Each September, Heriot-Watt and the British Geological Survey take part in Edinburgh Doors Open Day!

We open up the doors to the Lyell Centre, the new home of the British Geological Survey and Heriot-Watt University scientists and engineers.

Come along and find out about the cool research our scientists do, and get hands-on with robots, sea creatures, microscopes and more!   There will also be tours of our underwater exploration workshops and a chance to visit our new robotic assisted living lab!

Here's just a taster of some of the things you can see and do when we open our doors!

Marine Touch Tanks

Get up close and personal with some wee sea beaties! Dip your hands in our Tidepool Touch Tank to touch sea urchins, anemones and other marine animals - and find out more about them from our marine scientists!


The BGS marine operations workshop is home to our sub-sea rock drills and the White Ribbon catamaran that is used to survey shallow water depths. To move these large equipment around, there are large yellow ceiling cranes that can move the width and breath of the warehouse.


Come and meet robots of all shapes and sizes - from landcrawling turtlebots, to Hamilton the hilltop robot, and Peppa the humanoid helper!

World Explorers

Find out how our scientists explore the world, and get hands on with our augmented reality sandbox - creating your own virtual floods and earthquakes!

Explore the Deep

With over 70% of our planet covered with water, there is still so much to discover about the deep oceans. Come along and and out how we go 1000'sof metres underwater, and what we find there!

Microscopic time capsules

Find out how tiny foraminfera have helped us understand how our oceans have changed!

Uh oh Oil!

Create your own oil spill.....and learn how our scientists are working out the best way to clean it up!

The details

  • Free entry and free parking
  • The Lyell Centre is located on the right as you enter the Edinburgh campus, with parking available in Car Park A.