Doors Open Day 2019 - 20 top buildings and three guided tours

Inverclyde is gearing up for Doors Open Day, the huge, free festival that celebrates Scotland’s history and allows access to landmark buildings. Local residents will get the chance to see inside 20 top locations which are normally closed to the public.

This year Doors Open Day celebrates its 30th birthday and is being held on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September.

The programme has a James Watt theme which includes a James Watt historical trail and the ever popular tourist bus tours of Port Glasgow, Kilmacolm and Gourock. 

Over the weekend the Find the Watts Children’s Challenge will also see kids hunting for six, mini James Watts that will be hidden in some of the buildings along the Greenock Town Trail. There will be themed arts and crafts provided by Rig Arts in the Tobacco Warehouse for them to enjoy as well.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Greenock born inventor’s death. The James Watt themed Doors Open Day events are part of a year-long series of activities designed raise awareness about his global impact on the world of science and engineering.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Convener of Inverclyde Council’s Education & Communities Committee, said, “The aim of Doors Open Days is to make Scotland’s buildings, old and new, open and accessible to people living and visiting the country.

“Inverclyde has a wealth of historic buildings that are definitely worth visiting. Many of us never take the time to be a ‘tourist in our own town’ so now is the time to find all the attractions on your doorstep!”

The Doors Open Day 2019 website goes live on Monday 29 July. It has a full programme which covers Inverclyde and the rest of Scotland.

Doors Open Day is coordinated by the Scottish Civic Trust and is part of European Heritage Days alongside Scottish Archaeology Month, coordinated by Archaeology Scotland (formerly known as the Council for Scottish Archaeology).  Both are supported by Historic Environment Scotland.


Doors Open Day includes tours arrange by the local tourist group. They can be booked at from Monday 29 July or by phoning 01475 712032. There are also tours of the Prison. These can be booked by phoning 01475 712032. Currently they are not bookable on Eventbrite.

Inverclyde Doors Open Days Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September

  1. Quarriers Village, Faith Avenue, near Kilmacolm, Inverclyde PA11 3SX. Saturday, guided walks at 11am and 1pm
  2. Greenock Community Fire Station, Rue End Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1HA. Saturday, 10am – 4pm
  3. Inverclyde Central Library, Wallace Place, Greenock, PA15 1JB. Saturday, Lego Watt! Drop-in sessions from 11am until 12 noon. Suitable for all ages children under 8 are asked to bring an adult
  4. Burns Museum, Custom House Quay, Greenock, Inverclyde, PA15 1AQ
  5. Wellpark Mid Kirk, Cathcart Square, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1DS. Saturday, 10am – 4pm. Sunday, 1pm – 4pm
  6. Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Museum and Heritage Centre, Old Fire Station, Dalrymple Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1LY Saturday, 10am – 4pm and Sunday, 12 noon – 4pm. Includes children’s quiz sheets, interactive games
  7. Tobacco Warehouse, 5-7 Clarence Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1LP. Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 3pm
  8. The Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay, Greenock PA15 1HJ. Sunday, 12 noon – 5pm
  9. Greenock West United Reformed Church, George Square, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1QP, Saturday only 10am – 4pm. Organ music at intervals throughout the day
  10. St John the Evangelist Scottish Episcopal Church, Union Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA16 8JJ. Saturday 11am- 2pm, Sunday 10am – 2pm and Service on Sunday at 11am. Descriptive illustrated leaflets available and guided tours on request.  Recorded organ music will also be played throughout the day.
  11. Greenock Westburn Parish Church, Church of Scotland, 9 Nelson Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1TP. Saturday 10am – 1pm  (for Worship @ 11 am followed by tea/coffee/juice/biscuits)
  12. St Mary’s Catholic Church, 14 Patrick Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA16 8NA. Saturday 11am – 4pm and Sunday 1pm – 3pm
  13. Lyle Kirk (formerly Old West Kirk), Esplanade, 2 Campbell Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA16 8AN. Saturday 10am– 4pm and Sunday 2pm – 4pm. Historical Talks are at 11am on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. Children’s activity - colouring pictures/outline of the Windows
  14. HMP Greenock, 85 Old Inverkip Road, Greenock, Inverclyde PA16 9AJ. Saturday and Sunday 12.15pm – 1.15pm. By arranged tour only, pre booking essential.  This event will consist of a tour of the prison and will give an opportunity for people to see living areas, work areas and opportunities on offer for people who live in prison. Booking on the tours is essential as numbers are restricted. All visitors must be 16+
  15. Greenock Art Club, The Stables Studio, Gourock Park, (The Bunny Park), Broomberry Drive, Gourock. Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm. Demonstrations of painting, craft making and wood turning. Refreshments are available and children are very welcome.
  16. Old Gourock and Ashton Parish Church, 41 Royal Street, Gourock, Inverclyde PA19 1PW. Saturday 10am – 2pm, Sunday 12noon – 2pm
  17. Gourock Municipal Building, 122 Shore Street, Gourock, Inverclyde, PA19 1QZ. Saturday and Sunday 12noon – 4pm. On Saturday from 1pm - 2pm we will be showing our amateur film Last Dance of Cragburn. On Sunday from 1pm - 2pm there will be a live drama titled Witches and Witchcraft.
  18. St Ninian’s Primary School, Staffa Street, Gourock. Saturday 10am – 1pm
  19. Wemyss Bay Station Wemyss Bay, Inverclyde, PA18 6AR. Saturday only 9.30am – 4.30pm. There are guided tours at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.
  20. Skelmorlie’s secret bunker - The Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Post Museum. Saturday and Sunday 12 noon – 6pm pre bookable tours only. Access is via a 15foot vertical steel ladder from an entrance shaft on the surface.  Tours last up to 1 hour and are restricted to adults and children from Primary 7 onwards. All tours MUST be pre-booked by phoning 07513-504115.

Bus tours

Be a Tourist in your own town – Port Glasgow & Kilmacolm. Sunday at 1.30pm

Coach leaves Port Glasgow Bus Station.

Duration: 3½ hours.

Tour guides provided by Inverclyde Tourist Group


Be a Tourist in your own Town – Gourock. Sunday at 1.30pm

Coach leaves from Gourock Railway Station.

Duration: 2½ hours approx.

Tour guides by Inverclyde Tourist Group.


The James Watt Tour & Trail 2019. Sunday at 10.30am

Coachleaves from Kilblain Street Bus Station, Greenock. Free parking is available nearby at Hastie Street, PA 15 1SR.

Duration: 2 hours.

Some walking required.