A host of fascinating buildings and visitor attractions across North Ayrshire will open their doors for free on Saturday, September 7 and Sunday, September 8, as the annual Doors Open Day event celebrates its 30th anniversary year.
North Ayrshire Heritage Centre in Saltcoats will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm on the Saturday, and this year they are delighted to welcome “Captain Betsy Miller” – the first registered female ship’s captain, who sailed from Saltcoats during the latter half of the 19th century.
“Betsy” will take you on a walking tour around Saltcoats, visiting her place of birth, the harbour from which she sailed and her burial place, before arriving back at the centre for some rations.
Free tours leave the centre at 10am and 2pm, but booking is essential by calling 01293 464174.
Or why not pop along to Irvine’s Townhouse on Saturday, where guided tours will leave from The Portal foyer at 11am and 1pm.
Built in 1862, the recently renovated cultural hub hosts art and heritage exhibitions, family and local history resources, civic events and weddings. The Townhouse will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
In Kilwinning, you can visit the Abbey Tower Heritage Centre on both Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm, with guided tours up the 143 steps to the roof available. Or you can step back in time with the Countryside Rangers at Eglinton Country Park as they lead a tour of some of the venue’s most important heritage sites on both Saturday on Sunday from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Pre-booking is essential on 01294 551776.
And in Kilbirnie, Stoneyholm Mill will be opening its doors to the public on the Sunday between 10am and 4pm.
Visitors to the category B listed former cotton mill complex will be able to see inside the mill and hear what it was like to work there, with activities on the day including an artisan craft fair, guided building tours, film screening, pop up coffee shop and children’s games.
Doors Open Day Ayrshire offers residents a chance to explore over 70 of Ayrshire’s finest buildings,many of which aren’t usually accessible to the public or where an entry charge is usually made.
For a full list of participating venues, further information, or to download a brochure, visit http://www.doorsopendays.org.uk/find-a-building/?area=7499. Please note that some visits must be pre-booked.
The event is organised by Kyle and Carrick Civic Society and is sponsored by North, South and East Ayrshire councils, Home Energy Scotland and the Energy Agency.