Every day of December, on the lead up to Christmas, a new building whose doors are usually shut to the public, open up for free all around Edinburgh. This real-life advent calendar encourages the exploration of this beautiful city. The diversity of doors opening up means this event has something to suit everyone, from creative spaces, to churches, to factories and traditional homes. It’s the perfect reason to get out of the house, discover hidden gems in Edinburgh and most importantly- forget about those looming deadlines for a little while.
I had the chance to attend St Giles’ Cathedral on its day of advent, the 4th of December. It really was a breath-taking place, with bright stained-glass windows and detailed stones carvings. Although this venue is open all year round, some other doors that I attended weren’t. Gracemount Youth & Community Centre (3rd of December) used to be a mansion house but is now a voluntary organisation. Both of these advent events were eye-opening.
Another door that I hope to enter is Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory (7th of December), where ex-servicemen make all the items for the Scottish Poppy appeal as well as year-round remembrance wreaths. This humbling charity will put anyone’s exam revision into perspective!
24 days of advent was a huge success last year and this year proves to be an even bigger and better event. An abundance of places are going to open up their doors before Christmas including Coburg Hous; Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory; Leith Registrars Marriage Suite; Scottish Tourist Guide Cannongate door tour; Rock House; Cockenzie House and Gardens; Customs House; Edinburgh Playhouse; Mansfield Traquair Centre; Assembly Rooms; Gilmerton Cove; Forth Bridge; New Register House; The Biscuit Factory; Talbot Rice Gallery; The Glasite Meeting House; Dovecot Gallery; The Real Mary King’s Close; The City Chambers; St John’s Scottish Episcopal Church; and Dalmeny Parish Church.
If that sounds like your perfect adventure then check out http://www.edinburghschristmas.com/whats-on/24-doors-of-advent1 for more information.
Get involved in your city and see the hidden gems Edinburgh has to offer!
Image: Flickr: Kristian Dela Cour