Botanics and books among University attractions on offer at Doors Open Day

Botanics and books among University attractions on offer at Doors Open Day

Aberdeen’s ‘secret garden’ will be throwing open its gates to those taking part in the always popular Doors Open Day.

The Cruickshank Botanic Garden - tucked away in Old Aberdeen - is among a number of University of Aberdeen attractions taking part in the national annual event this Saturday (September 14).

The Sir Duncan Rice Library, King’s College Chapel and the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) – the workplace for hundreds of medical researchers from all over the world – are also opening up for Doors Open Day which is also part of Techfest  in September*.

Visitors to the IMS on the Foresterhill health campus will be able to hear about some of the ground-breaking research taking place at the IMS during three conducted tours: at 10.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm. There will also be exhibitions on Magnetic Resonance Imaging - pioneered at Aberdeen - and biomedical imaging as well as interactive demonstrations.

Three tours - at 10.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm - are also on offer at Cruickshank which recently saw the blossoming of a Giant Himalayan Lily: a rare, exceptionally tall plant that flowers just once in seven years and then dies. Experts will also be on hand to discuss topics such as bees and pollination.

Visitors to King’s College Chapel will get the chance to experience the beautiful architecture and history of the building and see the finest surviving pre-Reformation choir stalls and screen in Scotland via conducted tours at 10.30am, 11.15am and 3.15pm. The Chapel will only be open to the public at the times of the tours.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library will also offer conducted tours at 10am, 11am, 12 noon and 1pm which will also take in the Glucksman Conservation Centre and Special Collections Centre - home of rare books, manuscripts and archives. Guided tours of the Special Collections will take place at 10am, 11am, 12 noon, and 1pm. The tours can accommodate a maximum of 15 people per tour party, tours of the Special Collections Centre will last around 50 minutes. Book tours at There is also a free Family Fun Arts and Crafts drop in session, from 12-2pm in the Events Area of the Library.

Dr Rhiannon Thompson of the University’s Public Engagement with Research Unit said: “Doors Open Day is a fantastic opportunity for the public to find out more about one of Scotland’s oldest universities and hear about some of the research underway into diseases such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Visitors will also be able to explore our historic King’s College Chapel, see some of our treasures at our striking new library and stroll through Cruickshank Gardens which for some will be a previously undiscovered gem.”

Another attraction of this year’s Doors Open Day in Aberdeen is a photo competition for school pupils up to S3 age. See below for details.

*Aberdeen’s annual TechFest In September festival will return to the city from September 13 to October 2 with a special 20-day programme of events, workshops and shows to celebrate its 20th birthday.

Supported by joint principal sponsors Shell and BP, the annual festival of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), is set to attract around 25,000 visitors of all ages.

Book tickets online at or call Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122. For more information on TechFest In September 2013, visit or follow TechFest In September on Facebook and Twitter.