Visitors and locals are being handed the keys to Glasgow to explore iconic historic buildings, architectural gems and onto rooftops – all for free.
The annual festival, Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival, organised by the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, celebrates the city’s architecture, culture and heritage through a programme that also includes guided walks, workshops and events all taking place September 10-16.
Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival is part of a national programme of Doors Open Days coordinated by Scottish Civic Trust.
It takes place in 29 regions in Scotland during September and is part of European Heritage Days, along with Scottish Archaeology Month, coordinated by Archaeology Scotland.
Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival is also part of the 2018 Festival of Architecture, coordinated by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.
The 2018 programme features 16 venues across the Southside for visitors to explore with exclusive opportunities including tours of the Langside Halls, one of the city’s most imposing commercial buildings; Pollokshaws Burgh Hall, home to the last concert-standard Wurlitzer wind organ left in Scotland and Queen’s Park Camera Club, Glasgow’s longest surviving camera club.
MollyMae Whawell, events and development coordinator at Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, said: “Each year the Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival throws open the doors of the city and reignites the natural curiosity of thousands of visitors.
“Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival is not only an opportunity for international visitors and for those from surrounding areas, but for Glaswegians to rediscover the city, to get into buildings they walk past every day, and to reconnect to the story of Glasgow.”
For further information and to view the full programme or events, visit
Explore some of the Southside’s iconic historic buildings and architectural gems
Camphill Gate Tenement
Fantastic opportunity to see the Southside from a different vantage point. Only usually open to the residents of Camphill Gate, come join them in their roof garden and look out across the City and see its story laid out. There will be a small pop-up cafe on the roof. Sat-Sun 11am-6pm Tours available on the hour.Greenbank Gardens Built for merchant Robert Allason in the 1760s, Greenbank Garden is an impressive celebration of west coast domestic gardening, featuring more than 3,600 named species of plants. Visitors can take a stroll around the garden or relax by the soothing water feature.Sat-Sun 2-4pm.
Hampden Bowling Club
Come along and discover 1st Hampden, the world’s first purpose-built international football ground made for Scotland and Queens Park FC in 1873. Hampden Bowling Club now occupies this sporting site and continues to use the original pavilion, from the first Fri and Sun 10am-3.30pm.
The Hidden Gardens
Discover how the old Coplawhill Tramworks has been transformed into a lush green haven, a sanctuary for humans and wildlife alike. A work of art in themselves, the gardens also host art works and artistic activities, alongside their neighbour, the Tramway. Tue-Thu 10am-5pm, Fri-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 12pm-6pm; Tours Sat 1pm, 2pm, 3pm; 40 mins.
Holmwood is a detached house designed by renowned architect Alexander “Greek” Thomson. Masterfully designed but surprisingly cosy, Holmwood is a family home with grand imagination behind it. Visit this inspiring setting to see how the other half lived. Sat-Sun 12pm-5pm.
Originally the National Bank of Scotland in Queen Street, Langside Halls was dismantled and moved brick by brick to its present location in 1902-03. Take a tour of this unique building, and learn about its architecture, sculptures and history. Sat-Sun 10am-4pm. Tours on the hour; 20 mins.
Pollokshaws West Station
The oldest surviving railway station building in current operation in Glasgow. It was refurbished in 2013 by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and has been adopted by South West Community Cycles to provide affordable bike-related services and activities for locals. Tours: Sat-Sun 12pm & 2pm; 30 mins.
Queen’s Park Camera Club
Queen’s Park Camera Club, formed in 1945, is Glasgow’s longest surviving camera club where members share a passion for the art and science of photography. View prints and images depicting the club’s work, and involvement with local projects. Sat-Sun 10am-4pm.
An opportunity to learn about the 2017 restoration of the lodge for a private Scottish charitable organisation with before and after photos of the works. Tours: Fri 3pm & 3.30pm; 20 mins.
A former tram depot, this vast Southside building was converted into a theatre in 1988. 30 years on, it continues to produce internationally renowned contemporary visual art and performance. Browse historical exhibition catalogues and join us for a talk about the rich history of the building. Sat 9.30am – 8pm, Archive on display 1pm-3.30pm, Talk 4pm-4.45pm.
Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
Glasgow Museums can only display a fraction of the collections at any one time, so the rest is stored at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC). The vast collection of objects from around the world contains everything from armour to zebras. Tours every half hour: Sat 10.30am–2.30pm, Sun 11.30am–2.30pm; 60 mins.
Newlands South Church
Impressive perpendicular Gothic revival style church with beautiful WW1 memorial stained glass windows. Explore our recently discovered WW1 archives, and hear music played by talented young people. See how the building has evolved into a thriving community space for over 20 multi-generational organisations. Sat 10am-4pm.
Victoria Gardens Allotments
No two allotments are the same – and this is very true at NVG. Celebrate the Year of Young People with A Scone and a Song in the tearoom – then a relaxing stroll into the secret gardens of Pollokshields. Sat-Sun 12pm-4pm.
Pollok House is the ancestral home of the Maxwell family, from around 1752. See one of the finest collections of Spanish art in the UK, together with fine Edwardian furniture and furnishings. Below the stairs, the servants’ quarters illustrate the reality of running a country house. Sat-Sun 10am-5pm, last admission 4.30pm.
Pollokshaws Burgh Hall
Built in the Scottish Renaissance style and gifted to the burgh in 1898, Pollokshaws Burgh Hall has been serving the community ever since. Known for its remarkable clock tower and original features, it also houses the last concert- standard Wurlitzer wind organ in Scotland.Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Tours 10am; 45 mins.
Wilson Macdonald House
An exclusive guided tour with Studio KAP of this award-winning extension designed to complement the existing Victorian villa externally in a contemporary manner and to create a variety of contrasting spaces internally from which to experience the garden landscape in different ways. Tours: Sat 11am & 12pm; 30 mins.