Bristol Doors Open Days 2017 programme revealed

A feast for all the senses, Bristol Doors Open Days 2017 brings our buildings alive this September

Back bigger and bolder than ever before, Bristol Doors Open Days returns this September (7-10 September) to unlock the doors of our city’s iconic spaces and best kept secrets. 

Free for everyone, the festival is a citywide celebration of Bristol’s architecture, history and culture. Festival goers have four days to explore fascinating buildings, join guided tours, listen to inspiring talks, and enjoy a range of creative events and activities.

This year marks a significant time in the festival’s 20+ year history, as this September it sails past the century marker to open 108 venues across the city. Not only has it expanded its programme nearly by half, we are also in store for a feast of sensory overload. Experiencing the city in new ways, Bristol Doors Open Days 2017 theme of ‘Sensing Space’ invites festival goers to touch, taste, smell and listen as well as look afresh at the many places opening from Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 September.

Using all our senses to explore a space, many of the 100+ venues are hosting specially devised tours and interactions.

  • Follow your nose to see how scent affects your sense of space. From the tempting aromas of Avery’s Wine Cellars and the Dawkins Ale brewery, to the more pungent perfumes of Bristol Sewage Treatment Works or Bristol Waste’s depot.
  • Tickle your taste buds in carefully designed spaces where food growing provides enticement and intrigue. Go to Frenchay to see how Feed Bristol has transformed urban food production, lose yourself in the layout of the Malago Greenway Berry Maze, or just get out to play at Windmill Hill City Farm or the Golden Hill Community Garden.
  • Feel your way around the city as you take a dip into Henleaze Swimming Lake, dance across the sprung floor of the former Jacob Wells Baths and clamber into the man made tunnels of Redcliffe Caves.
  • Listen to the sounds of the city from sunrise to sundown. Join the dawn chorus from a church tower or hotel penthouse suite, appreciate the acoustic reverberations of diverse sacred spaces, catch the pop-up choirs surprising visitors throughout the weekend or take your turn at bell ringing.

Produced by the Architecture Centre, Bristol Doors Open Days is the largest festival of architecture in the South West. Speaking at the festival’s launch the director of the Architecture Centre, Sarah James, talks of the programme’s importance;

It’s impossible to go through a single day without encountering architecture. The built environment is intertwined with every facet of our lives – from our work to our homes to our hobbies and social lives. Our festival Bristol Doors Open Days is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get out into the city and explore the spaces and places they walk past every day. As our city expands and grows, we are proud to celebrate its design feats by engaging everyone in the conversation.”

It’s only six weeks away – so don’t miss this one-a-year chance to look behind closed doors and discover the city’s hidden treasures.  For full information of Bristol Doors Open Days visit the website – – and follow the festival on Twitter and Facebook with @BristolDOD #BristolDOD