National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh
Lothian
EH1 1JF
Scotland

Website

www.nms.ac.uk

E-mail

info@nms.ac.uk

Telephone

0300 123 6789

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
The Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland
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Fire your imagination at the National Museum of Scotland, one of the UK’s top 10 visitor attractions. Our diverse collections will take you on a journey of discovery through the history of Scotland, the wonders of nature and world cultures – all under one roof.

From meteorites to monsters from the deep, our Natural World galleries tell the story of our planet, while our World Cultures galleries link people and possessions across the globe. Follow the story of Scotland from prehistory to the present day in our Scottish galleries, marvel at a spectacular array of over 800 objects in our Window on the World and meet the Scots whose ideas, innovations and leadership took them across the world in our Discoveries gallery.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Daily: 10:00-17:00
Christmas Day: Closed
Boxing Day: 12:00-17:00
New Year's Day: 12:00-17:00

Admission charges

Admission free, donations welcome.

Getting there

A number of buses go via the city centre and stop outside the museum on Chambers Street, or nearby on George IV Bridge and South Bridge. Single and day tickets are available. Lothian Buses’ family DAYticket allows two adults and up to three children unlimited travel together on day services. Visit the Lothian Buses website for further information.

During the summer there is a special weekend bus, Service 9 , that runs between the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Additional info

See website for details

Come and explore the National Museum of Scotland. When did people first settle in Scotland? What are our oldest treasures? Discover some of the nation's most precious possessions alongside the everyday objects that throw light on Scotland throughout the ages.

Our collections represent astonishing diversity, from fossils showing evidence of the earliest forms of life, to the rich artefact collections representing world cultures. Material evidence of Scottish history and culture from the earliest times to the present day has been collected and preserved for the future.

You can take part in lots of activities every day at the Museum. To get the most from your visit, pick up a map and check our information screens for details of all events and activities.

Collection details

Weapons and War, Trade and Commerce, Social History, Religion, Industry, Coins and Medals, Archaeology, Agriculture, Science and Technology, Costume and Textiles, Design, Fine Art, Music, World Cultures, Aviation, Decorative and Applied Art, Medicine, Natural Sciences

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
A fasther and his son playing a game in the exhibition.

Game Masters

  • 5 December 2014 — 20 April 2015 *on now

Featuring over 100 playable games, Game Masters showcases the work of more than 30 leading videogame designers.
The exhibition explores the development of videogames through interviews with game designers, rare original game artwork and interactives, as well as looking forward to how independently produced games are leading the way in design, aesthetics and game play.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults £10/£8; Child £6.50 (under 5s free); Family of 3 £23, Family of 4 £28 (must include at least 1 adult and 1 child); Students £5 (Tuesdays only)

Exhibition Gallery 1, Level 3

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/game-masters/

a piece of jewellery in gold and blue.

Express Yourself

  • 12 December 2014 — 19 April 2015 *on now

Jewellery is a powerful and personal form of expression. Whether the individual is a collector or designer, what they choose to buy, commission or create defines them.

Discover more about those who are or were involved in collecting, commissioning or creating jewellery, including leading UK jewellers and fashion designer Jean Muir.

Admission

Exhibition Gallery 3, Level 1

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/express-yourself/

Masters of Japanese Porcelain

  • 6 March — 30 August 2015 *on now

In the late 19th century, new markets and technologies inspired innovation in the Japanese ceramic industry. The finest potters of this period achieved recognition as Imperial Household Artists. This small exhibition focuses on four such individuals; Seifū Yohei III (1851–1914), Miyagawa Kōzan (1842–1916), Itō Tōzan I (1846–1920) and Suwa Sozan I (1851–1922).

A drawing of a woman wearing a red cardigan.

Fully Fashioned: The Pringle of Scotland Story

  • 10 April — 16 August 2015

Pringle of Scotland celebrate their 200th anniversary in 2015. This exhibition explores the central role the company has played in the production and design of knitwear, not only in Scotland but around the world. Using rare pieces of early knitwear, iconic fashion garments, archival records and film footage, the exhibition traces Pringle’s evolution from hosiery manufacturer to cutting-edge fashion brand.
This exhibition is organised by Pringle of Scotland.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Exhibition Gallery 2, Level 3

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/fully-fashioned/

A picture of the battle

Waterloo - After the Battle

  • 8 May — 20 September 2015

To mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, find out more about the impact of the battle within Scotland, from public celebrations to political unrest, the celebrity of veterans and the birth of battlefield tourism.

Where

Exhibition Gallery 3, Level 1

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/waterloo/

Daguerreotype of little girl holding a framed daguerreotype of a man, presumably her father, by Ross and Thomson, Edinburgh. From the Howarth-Loomes Collection at National Museums Scotland.

Photography: A Victorian Sensation

  • 19 June — 22 November 2015

Meet the pioneers of photography and discover how the Victorian craze for the photograph transformed the way we capture images today and mirrors our own modern-day fascination for recording the world around us.
Follow the cross-channel competition between photographic trailblazers Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot, enter the world of the 1851 Great Exhibition and see some of the world’s first stereophotographs. Then get swept up in the collecting craze of the carte-de-visite and discover the fascinating stories of the people behind the pictures, including Hill and Adamson’s beautiful images of Victorian Edinburgh.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults £10/£8; Child £6.50 (under 12s free)

Exhibition Gallery 1, Level 3

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/photography-a-victorian-sensation/

Nguyen Spiritus Centrepiece

The Silversmith’s Art: Made in Britain today

  • 18 September 2015 — 4 January 2016

This ground-breaking exhibition celebrates the exceptional creativity and skill which make Britain a world leader in modern silver. The Silversmith’s Art features 170 masterpieces made by 67 acclaimed silversmiths between 2000 and 2015.
At the heart of the exhibition is The Goldsmiths’ Company’s role as patron of contemporary studio silver. This guild, situated in the City of London, has supported Britain’s gold and silversmithing trades for over 700 years.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Exhibition Gallery 2, Level 3

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/the-silversmiths-art/

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

LateLab – Tron v Tron: Legacy

  • 4 April 2015 7:30-10pm

Kick off the 2015 LateLab season by playing Light Cycle to decide which of these two films gets the Atmosphere treatment in this special expanded cinema event to complement the Game Masters exhibition. Be transported inside the software world of a mainframe computer where interaction between programmes good and malicious is the only way to get back out. Behind the smoke and mirrors, watch out for the bits and bytes.

Admission

Cost: £10, £8 Members & Concessions

Edinburgh International Science Festival adult events

  • 4 — 19 April 2015

This year the Science Festival will transform into the 'Ideas Factory' and celebrate its role as a hub for ideas, information, innovation and inspiration. Special events include:

Admission

Pricing dependent on specific event

Lab Rats in Space: Explore Your Universe

  • 7 — 11 April 2015

Help our museum lab rats scientists on their astronomical adventures through fun demonstrations and hands-on experiments. Suitable for ages 5-8 and their adult helper. Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Games for everyone, by everyone

  • 8 April 2015 8-9:30pm

Dr Jo Twist, CEO of the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment will discuss diversity in games and will share stories from some of the industry’s most successful women.

Jo will also take an in depth look at the UK computing curriculum and the measures that need to be put in place to attract more women into STEAM subjects like computer science and coding.

Admission

Cost: £8, £6 Members & Concessions

Spotlight On: Philosophy and the Science

  • 9 April 2015 1:45-3pm

Explore the relationships between philosophy, science and our universe at National Museum of Scotland. How did cosmology evolve from metaphysics to science? How can the laws of cosmology be tested?

What are dark matter and dark energy, and what is the evidence for them? Join philosopher of science Michela Massimi and Peter Davidson, senior curator of Minerals and Meteorites, National Museums Scotland, to ask the big questions about our universe.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

The Big Bang Bash

  • 10 April 2015 7-10:30pm

Save the date for an out-of-this-world night of science at the museum.

Admission

Cost: £12, £10 Members & Concessions (tickets available soon)

Astro-tots

  • 14 — 19 April 2015

Come on a museum space science adventure with stories, songs and mini experiments. Suitable for ages 3-5 and their adult helper.
Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children

Astro-teenies

  • 14 — 19 April 2015

Reach for the stars in our space-themed sensory science story sessions. Suitable for under 3s and their adult helper. Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Suitable for

  • 0-4

Lecture: Spotlight on Waterloo

  • 14 May 2015 2-3pm

200 years on from the Battle of Waterloo, Principal Curator Dr Stuart Allan discusses the impact of the battle in Scotland.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/spotlight-on-waterloo/

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Robert Burns: To a Mouse Family Footprints Trail

A new museum trail for families exploring one of Burns’ famous poems through exhibits in our Scottish collections.
Available from the Info Zone Level 3 Grand Gallery Balcony or download from our website.
Supported by Scotland’s Winter Festivals

Discover Celts and Romans at Birnie

http://www.nms.ac.uk/ironage_scotland

Explore an Iron Age power centre uncovered during archaeological digs at Birnie (North Scotland), and find out why this site was important to both the Celts and the Romans.

Discovery Zones

Get your hands on history in our Discovery Zones. Follow a Viking journey, fire a medieval catapult of dress up in 16th century style!

How to obtain

Our free Discovery Zones are located on Levels 0,
1, 3 and 5. Ask a member of staff for more information!

Getting there

A number of buses go via the city centre and stop outside the museum on Chambers Street, or nearby on George IV Bridge and South Bridge. Single and day tickets are available. Lothian Buses’ family DAYticket allows two adults and up to three children unlimited travel together on day services. Visit the Lothian Buses website for further information.

During the summer there is a special weekend bus, Service 9 , that runs between the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

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