Let's go through the keyhole with the Open Doors programme
FROM art galleries to copper works, lavish gardens and museums to ancient castles... there are plenty of places for people to discover during the annual Open Doors programme which starts on Saturday.
Hundreds of historic building and hidden gems will offer free entry, activities or events throughout the month of September, with some unique buildings even opening their doors to the public for the very first time. The event is organised by the Civic Trust for Wales and supported by Cadw.
Features reporter LAURA DAVIES picks out her favourite attractions in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire. Visit the full Open Doors programme here.
Owned by Cadw, the earliest castle on this site was Norman and made of earth and timber and by 1200 the castle had been rebuilt in stone. Custodians will be giving guided tours of the castle at September 21 and 22 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm
The Hafod and Morfa Copper Works is one of the most important industrial heritage sites in Britain. Swansea University and Swansea Council are working together to bring the site back to life. It is being transformed and is a beautiful venue for a walk and picnic. Heritage and wildlife walks of the site will be given. September 14, 11am to 1pm.
The Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Swansea where is used for a variety of public and private functions. The Mansion House was opened in 1863. September 14 and 15, 10am-4pm
Tapestri at Llys Glas
Originally the Swansea Central Police Station, the building was purchased by Gwalia and has become part of the City’s Arts and Cultural quarter. Llys Glas features nine onsite artists working in studios, a cafe and bistro, conference venue and student accommodation for 80. Guided tours of the facility run between 9am and 12pm with demonstrations of art work by artists in residence at Llys Glas. September 14, 9am-7pm.
Birthplace and home of Dylan Thomas
The Thomas family moved into the house when it was newly built in 1914, a few months before Dylan was born in the front bedroom. He lived here for most of his life. Now fully restored and furnished to its 1914 condition, the house is open for house tours and is a venue for filming and local events. September 15, hourly tours from 11am-3pm
Swansea's Waterfront Museum contains Wales’ Story of Industry and innovation over the past 300 years. For Open Doors people can visit the museum for “Object in Focus” — a deeper insight into one of the large objects on display in the gallery. September 14and 15, 12pm -2pm
Penllergare Valley Woods
On the northern fringe of the city of Swansea, lies Penllergare Valley Woods. Here, deep in the valley, visitors will find the overgrown but still discernible remnants of a 250 acre important historic landscape. Enjoy the sound of birds, delight in the profusion of wild flowers, discover evidence of exotic plantings and uncover for themselves the hidden features of a grand design. Guided tour September 14, 2.15pm
Brunel Tower and Briton Ferry Dock
Guided walk and talk on the history of the Briton Ferry Dock, engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1861. The Dock comprised an inner floating dock and outside tidal basin between which was a hydraulically powered lock gate. The hydraulic power was generated from an adjacent engine house whose tower will be open for an exhibition of how the dock functioned in its heyday. September 7, 11.30.
Visit the ruins of the splendid Cistercian Abbey and a grand Tudor house. The abbey originated with a grant of 1129 of land to the Norman abbey of Savigny. It was dissolved in 1539, after which the buildings were converted by the Williams family into a mansion, abandoned in the early 18th century. The site was subsequently used for copper smelting. September 14/15, Tours at 10pm, 12.30pm, 3pm
Tabernacle, Woodfield St, Morriston
The iconic grade one listed building, one of only a dozen such in Wales, and has been restored to include a new capstone and restoration of the 160ft spire, the whole of the east elevation, ceiling decoration, enhanced lighting and electrical upgrade. There will be a talk which will be interspersed with short items of choral and organ music. September 15, 3pm-4pm