Paisley’s unique high street museum store, an archive of shipbuilding plans and engineering drawings, the return of music to the Gleniffer Braes, and a chance to explore the inside of one of Paisley’s most mysterious passageway are just a few of the intriguing locations and activities visitors to Renfrewshire can experience next weekend.

Photo: Paisley’s medieval Abbey Drain

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 that surrounds us.

On Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th 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.

Many of the old Doors Open Days favourites are returning to the programme, such as the Sma’ Shot Cottages and Paisley Abbey, and 2018 will also see a selection of new venues joining the fun.

On Saturday, Paisley: The Secret Collection will be open, allowing visitors the chance to see thousands of objects reflecting Renfrewshire’s amazing heritage and culture, many of them unseen for years.

The Ballast Trust in Johnstone will also be opening their doors for the first time in celebration of their 30th birthday. Their home in the former James E. Robertson and Sons Ltd furniture factory holds technical records – such as shipbuilding and engineering plans and railway drawings – for archive organisations like the University of Glasgow, Glasgow City Archives and the National Records of Scotland.

Sunday will see the Lamont Farm Project in Erskine offer tours to visitors, while Renfrew Fire Station gives guests an insight in to life inside an operational fire station.

Photo: Lamont Farm

Across the weekend, lucky visitors will have the opportunity to see inside Paisley’s medieval Abbey Drain. The drain is an archaeological and architectural gem and preliminary investigations suggest there may be more to the structure than it first seems.

Successful visitors have been awarded their place on the tours through a ballot which received over 1000 entries. There will be an opportunity to learn more about the mysterious structure through a range of activities, talks and workshops for those who are not able to take the tour.

Special events taking place this year during Doors Open Days also include a programme of activity organised by Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2) aiming to engage diverse audiences with the culture and heritage of Paisley.

On Sunday, Gleniffer Braes will see the return of music and entertainment during a community-driven event to promote the Braes as a tourist destination and there may even be a chance to star in a promotional film.

There’s also an extra special reason to visit Paisley Museum during Doors Open Days as the building is planned to close later this month to prepare for a £42m refurbishment in to a world-class destination telling the inspirational stories of Paisley, its heritage and its pattern.

More than 50 buildings and locations will be open for the public across the weekend ensuring there is something for everyone.

Photo: Renfrew Fire Station

Many of the participating venues have kids’ activities planned, and little ones can fill up their Doors Open Days passport with stamps from the unusual places they explore.

Collecting five stamps will see them rewarded with a prize in yet another reason to get involved.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron is urging people to take the chance to explore Renfrewshire this Doors Open Days.

Provost Cameron said: “We are extremely fortunate to have so many beautiful and historic buildings in Renfrewshire but it is not often that we have the opportunities to visit them.

“Venues from across the area will open their doors to let us inside next weekend and this year we are welcoming a number of new additions alongside the old favourites.

“I will be at the Council chambers on Saturday so I’d be delighted to see you there, and I’m also looking forward to visiting the Gleniffer Braes on Sunday.

Photo: Paisley Museum

“We should all be proud of the wealth of culture and heritage to be found across Renfrewshire over the whole weekend and I’d love to see as many people as possible out experiencing it.”

The Renfrewshire Doors Open Day programme is available from all Renfrewshire libraries.