The ‘Porridge Bowl’, unique gargoyles and the home of Robert Burns’ compatriot are just a few of the intriguing sights and locations visitors to Renfrewshire can experience next weekend.Paisley Abbey
Part of a worldwide event with over 50 countries taking part, Renfrewshire Doors Open Days is a celebration of the fantastic architecture and significant history of the region.
On Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September, everyone will have the opportunity to experience a weekend of exploration around Renfrewshire as many venues not normally accessible to the public open their doors for a look inside.Alison Christie with children at the Sma’ Shot Cottages
On Saturday, the home of Robert Tannahill, the ‘Weaver Poet’ who formed a close relationship with Robert Burns, will be open for visitors to see the extraordinary collection of memorabilia on display at what is now the home to one of the oldest Burns Clubs in the world.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to look inside the John Neilson Institute which, due to its distinctive roof, is nicknamed the Porridge Bowl and has become a distinct feature of Paisley’s skyline.
Sunday will see the Renfrew Victory Baths welcome visitors in on a guided tour of the striking Edwardian swimming pool which was awarded Grade ‘B’ listed status in 1971, while Castle Semple in Lochwinnoch will offer tours of the lookout tower giving visitors to take in the spectacular views of the loch and Garnock Valley.
After the news Paisley has been shortlisted for UK City of Culture 2021, its High St location will open its doors on both days to give everyone a chance to find out more about what the bid means for the area, what it could do for you and what’s still to come in the next few months.
More than 50 buildings and locations will be open for the public across the weekend ensuring there is something to peak everyone’s interest.
Kids can collect their own Doors Open Days passport from participating buildings and Renfrewshire’s libraries which they can fill up over the weekend with stamps.
Collecting five stamps will see them rewarded with a certificate and a gift in yet another reason to get involved.
Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be joining members of the public in exploring the area and can’t wait to see what she discovers.
Provost Cameron said: “We are extremely fortunate to have so many beautiful, historic buildings in Renfrewshire but it is not often that we take the time to visit them.
“Venues from across the area will open their doors to let us inside next weekend and I can’t wait to take up the opportunity.
“I will be at the Council chambers from 10am until midday so I’d be delighted to see you while I’m also looking forward to visiting the Sma’ Shot Cottages as it is always fascinating to hear the volunteers speak on the history of the weavers.
“So if you’ve always meant to visit Paisley Abbey, or never had the time to walk around Castle Semple, this weekend is the perfect opportunity so don’t miss out and visit as many locations as you can.”
The Renfrewshire Doors Open Day programme is available from all Renfrewshire libraries.
An online version can be downloaded from www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/