“A Night at Kinneil House and Museum” will see free tours of a historic mansion, plus a museum quiz, goody bags, a bat walk – and music.
The entertainment has been laid on to support the Scottish Festival of Museums, running this weekend – and the UK-wide Museums at Night celebrations.
More details are online at www.kinneil.org.uk/night
The evening will kick off with free tours of Kinneil House – at the heart of the estate. The building boasts fine renaissance wall paintings. Visitors will be able to see inside from 6 to 7 p.m. (last admission 6.40 p.m.)
Neighbouring Kinneil Museum is also opening its doors from 6 to 9 p.m. on May 15. There will a quiz and goody bags (subject to availability). Visitors will also be able to check out the newly-revamped museum displays – including extensive new panels and a film about the Bo’ness Fair.
Members of Kinneil Youth Band are coming along to entertain crowds around 7 p.m. If the weather’s good, they should be playing outside historic Kinneil House.
The evening will end with a nature walk – looking for bats – around the estate from around 8.30 p.m.
The event has been organised by the charity The Friends of Kinneil, in conjunction with Historic Scotland, Falkirk Community Trust and Falkirk Council’s Ranger Service.
All the events are free of charge, and visitors need to just turn up, although places on the bat walk are limited. Please book bat walk places at: www.kinneil.org.uk/night
“We’re also giving away lots of goody bags to visitors, containing sweets, drinks and local information – until they run out. A big thank you to Lidl, Tesco, Scottish Fine Soaps and our friends at VisitFalkirk for helping us fill the bags with treats.” – MARIA FORD, Friends of Kinneil
Maria Ford from the Friends said: “It should be a great evening, offering something for everyone.
“Open events at Kinneil House are always popular, and we’re pleased to be able to offer tours for the first hour from 6 to 7 p.m. this Friday, May 15.
“Falkirk Community Trust is also opening Kinneil Museum until 9 p.m. Thanks to the Community Trust, there will be a museum quiz – and great new displays to enjoy.
“We’re also giving away lots of goody bags to visitors, containing sweets, drinks and local information – until they run out. A big thank you to Lidl, Tesco, Scottish Fine Soaps and our friends at VisitFalkirk for helping us fill the bags with treats.”
She added: “I’m also delighted that Kinneil Youth Band will coming along around 7 p.m. to entertain visitors.
“We’ll be ending the evening with a ‘Bat Walk’ around the Estate. We’re grateful to Lesley Sweeney, Falkirk Council’s outdoor access ranger, for agreeing to lead this walk. We’ll go on a nature walk first, and then finish our walk looking for Kinneil’s bats.
“The Museum and House activities are free to attend – just turn up – although we are asking for people to book online to attend the Bat Walk itself. This is limited to 40 places.
“Please note that children under 16 must be accompanied on the walk – and all walkers should wear appropriate footwear and clothing. In the event of very wet weather, the Bat Walk may be cancelled.”
Helping out at the Kinneil event will be local councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s tourism spokesman. He said: “Taking part in festivals like this raises the profile of facilities and encourages people to get out and explore museums and their collections. I hope lots of people will come along and join in the local activities this weekend – and also enjoy the wider events around the country.”
Joanne Orr, Chief Executive of Museums Galleries Scotland – responsible for the Festival of Museums – said: “Festival of Museums is about igniting imaginations while celebrating Scotland’s wealth of culture. There is a packed programme this year with lots of extraordinary, surprising and exciting events over three fun-filled days. So come and see what Scotland’s museums have in store for you.”
SUPPORTING HERITAGE FESTIVALS
* The Kinneil Estate event this Friday ties into a number of local, national and international festivals.
* It’s part of Nature Fest – Falkirk district’s nature festival – which encourages people of all ages to learn about local wildlife and heritage … and to explore the great outdoors. Find out more at www.nature-fest.co.uk
* The event is also part of the Scotland-wide Festival of Museums. The Festival is coordinated by Museums Galleries Scotland to showcase Scotland’s extensive cultural offering. Over 100 events are taking place at venues across the country from May 15-17. Find out more at www.festivalofmuseums.co.uk
* Since the Kinneil event runs in the evening, it is part of Museums at Night – a biannual UK-wide festival which attracts visitors into museums, galleries and heritage sites after hours through special evening events. Museums at Night ties in with the European campaign, La Nuit Des Musées, and takes place on the weekend nearest to 18 May, International Museums Day. The UK festival has grown rapidly since co-ordinators Culture24 took it over in 2009, with over 500 participating venues, 700 events and 100,000 visitors in 2014. The BBC covered the festival in 2014, led by an hour-long programme on the Saturday night hosted by Will Gompertz. See www.museumsatnight.org.uk