National Museum of Scotland

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.
Illustration of tetrapods on land

Fossil Hunters: Unearthing the Mystery of Life on Land

  • 19 February — 14 August 2016

Until recently no fossil evidence had been found to explain how vertebrate life stepped from water to land, leading to a gap in our scientific knowledge of evolution. Known as Romer’s Gap, this mystery has been challenging palaeontologists for generations. However, after years of searching, the answers have begun to be unearthed.

In 2008, palaeontologist Stan Wood uncovered a number of fossils which began to reveal this key chapter in the history of evolution, including a notable amphibian specimen nicknamed ‘Ribbo’. Spurred on by these finds, researchers from National Museums Scotland and institutions around the country have been working together to uncover more examples in Scotland.

Finds featured in the exhibition, including tetrapods (four-legged land vertebrates), fish, plants and land invertebrates, some of which were found as recently as summer 2015, offer unique insights into an ecosystem that existed millions of years ago.

In Fossil Hunters, meet the people who uncovered these remarkable finds, discover the scientific techniques used to extract and identify them, and glimpse what life was like before the dinosaurs.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Website

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

A photograph of a coin

Celts

  • 10 March — 25 October 2016

This exhibition tells the story of the different peoples who have used or been given the name ‘Celts’ through the stunning art objects that they made, including intricately decorated jewellery, highly stylised objects of religious devotion, and the decorative arts of the late 19th century which were inspired by the past.

This is the first major British exhibition in 40 years to tell the story of the Celts. It showcases stunning and rare artworks lent from 16 UK institutions and ten international lenders.

Organised with the British Museum.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Adult £10
Concession £8*
Child (12-15) £6.50
Under 12s Free

Website

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

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.
Edinburgh Broughton Street made in LEGO® by artist Warren Elsmore

Build It! Adventures with LEGO® Bricks

  • 29 January — 29 April 2016 *on now

LEGO® is more than a toy. It makes architects, sculptors and storytellers of us all.

Renowned artist in LEGO® bricks, Warren Elsmore and his team display some of their most beautiful and intricate mini-buildings and models in our Grand Gallery. To add to the set, they will also be on-site, building a special three metre model of our very own museum. But don’t let them have all the fun. Join us for some hands-on LEGO® brick activities from February till April. Get creative in the Builders’ Yard, help us make a special sculpture of one of our most-loved museum objects, or build your own masterpiece.

BUILD IT! is part of the Festival of Architecture 2016, which will celebrate Scotland’s fantastic built environment, as a key part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations. #IAD2016

Suitable for

  • Any age
Museum Lates at the National Museum of Scotland

Museum Late: Celts

  • 13 May 2016 7-10:30pm

Join us for an evening of entertainment inspired by the National Museum of Scotland's spectacular Celts exhibition, alongside all your Lates favourites. Vic Galloway will be back hosting sensational live music on the Grand Gallery stage with Fresh Air FM’s silent disco in the Imagine Gallery, pop-up bars, object handling and talks, plus the rare opportunity to simply explore the National Museum of Scotland at night.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Late plus exhibition entry £20, £18, Members & Conc.

Late only £12, £10, Members and Conc.

Website

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

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.

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.
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