Open Doors 2016 launched from world’s oldest yacht club premises

Thursday 01 September 2016

Fascinating Caernarfon building just one of hundreds taking part in annual celebration

Open Doors

Open Doors

Throughout September people across Wales will get to unlock the adventures hidden in their towns and communities thanks to the Welsh Government’s Open Doors programme.

In Wales’s Year of Adventure, Open Doors 2016 has today (1 September) launched from the Royal Welsh Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in Wales and the oldest yacht club premises in the world.

The Club, which is just one of hundreds of unusual properties taking part in Open Doors, will offer visitors a rare glimpse inside its doors for guided tours and talks on its famous members including World War I fighter pilot Lionel Wilmot Brabazon Rees who became the first person to sail single-handed across the Atlantic Ocean.

The event will also provide an opportunity to experience Porth yr Aur Clubhouse — one of the original medieval entrances to the walled town of Caernarfon — and part of the Castle and Town Walls of King Edward World Heritage Site.

Funded and organised by the Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw), Open Doors offers both locals and visitors to Wales the chance to explore new aspects of the country’s culture and history.

More than 300 of Wales’s most iconic and unusual properties including but not limited to Cadw managed sites, will offer free entry, activities or events throughout the month of September, with some unique locations opening their doors to the public for the first time. This includes the unique Pembrey Gunnery Dome in Carmarthenshire — the only surviving World War II air defence training simulator in Wales.

From a Denbighshire museum revealing the history of radio in Wales and a luxury bed manufacturer in Pontypridd to a Victorian gothic mansion in Cardiff, visitors can explore all types of the country’s fascinating buildings and sites, with over 1,000 of events to discover.

There will also be the chance to take a tour revealing the history of Wales’s oldest printing press and to walk the Denbigh garden that inspired the books of children’s author Beatrix Potter.  

Additionally, Cadw is offering the first 25,000 people to register through its Eventbrite page, free entry to its 23 paid-admission sites over the final weekend in September (24–25 September).

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “Open Doors is an excellent programme which offers local people and visitors the chance to explore both our best known sites and hidden adventures.

"Wales boasts a unique blend of historic sites, from fairy-tale castles to local miners’ institutes, all of which demonstrate our rich and diverse heritage.

“Through free access, unique events and special guided tours, there is plenty to encourage people to embark on adventures of their own this September.”

Some venues have a limited number of spaces or require advance booking.

Visit for full event listings and details of properties taking part in the programme.