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.

The Tomb: Ancient Egyptian Burial

  • 31 March — 3 September 2017 *on now

Exhibition Gallery 2, Level 3

Discover how one tomb, excavated in 1857, provides a unique insight into changing burial rituals in ancient Egypt. This exhibition presents the story of one extraordinary tomb, built around 1290BC and reused for over 1000 years. Originally constructed shortly after the reign of Tutankhamun, the tomb was first built for the burial of the Chief of Police of Thebes and his wife. Through artefacts discovered in the tomb and nearby, uncover stories of the people buried there, and of burial rituals in ancient Egypt.
Sponsored by Shepherd and Wedderburn

Suitable for

  • Any age

The Galloway Hoard

  • 16 June — 1 October 2017 *on now

The Galloway Hoard is an unparalleled find of Viking-age gold, silver and jewelled treasures. With over 100 rare and unique items from across Europe and beyond, unlocking the Hoard’s secrets has the potential to reveal new insights into this period of history. This display offers a first glimpse of a selection of the Hoard’s extraordinary treasures.

For more information: http://www.nms.ac.uk/hoard

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Website

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

The Galloway Hoard

  • 16 June — 1 October 2017 *on now

Exhibition Gallery 3, Level 1, Grand Gallery

The Galloway Hoard is an unparalleled find of Viking-age gold, silver and jewelled treasures. With over 100 rare and unique items from across Europe and beyond, unlocking the Hoard’s secrets has the potential to reveal new insights into this period of history. This display offers a first glimpse of a selection of the Hoard’s extraordinary treasures.

For more information: http://www.nms.ac.uk/hoard

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

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

Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

  • 23 June — 12 November 2017 *on now

Exhibition Gallery 1, Level 3
Adult £10, Concession £8, Child (12–15) £7 (under 12s free), Members Free, National Art Pass holders: 50% discount
The history of the exiled Stuart dynasty and their supporters, known as Jacobites, has held an enduring and romantic fascination for generations, from the writings of Sir Walter Scott to the current Outlander books and television series. Featuring the very best of Scotland’s national collections, alongside treasures from across the UK and Europe, this exhibition presents the wider story of the Jacobites, one which is more layered, complex and dramatic than any fictional imaginings. Explore the real story of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the rise and fall of the Jacobites.
Sponsored by Baillie Gifford Investment Managers

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adult £10, Concession £8, Child (12–15) £7 (under 12s free), Members Free, National Art Pass holders: 50% discount

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/bonnie-prince-charlie-and-the-jacobites/

Age of Oil

  • 21 July — 5 November 2017 *on now

Exhibition Gallery 4, Level 1, Grand Gallery

Exploring the people and places of Scotland’s offshore energy industry, this contemporary art exhibition showcases the work of visual artist Sue Jane Taylor who has worked in some of the most remote and challenging environments in Scotland. This multi-media exhibition will bring a unique perspective to the relationship between art, environment and industry while revealing a relatively alien way of life on board a North Sea oil platform.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17

Website

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

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.

Summer Holiday Activities

  • 3 July — 4 August 2017 *on now

Throughout the museum
Free, drop-in or sign-up 5 mins before
We've got something extra for families to enjoy at the museum this summer - whatever the weather! Details of the full programme can be found here: http://nms.ac.uk/summer.
Supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery

Jacobite Juniors: make and take
3– 8 Jul 2017, 17– 22 Jul 2017
Grand Gallery, Level 1
12:00– 16:00
Free, drop-in
Travel back in time for two weeks of fun inspired by our Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites exhibition

Mon 3, 17 & Thu 6, 20 Jul: Clan Crests
Design your own clan tartan and family crest. Find out about the clans who supported Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Tue 4, 18 & Fri 7, 21 Jul: Terrifying Targes
Get ready to charge into battle and defend yourself from the Government army by making your very own targe (Jacobite shield).

Wed 5, 19 & Sat 8, 22 Jul: Secret Sashes
Show your secret support for Bonnie Prince Charlie! Make a sash and decorate it with secret Jacobite symbols.

Story Corner in Imagine
3 Jul– 4 Aug 2017
Imagine Gallery, Level 1
11:00– 11:20
Free, drop-in
Join one of our Enablers in the Imagine gallery for informal stories from our favourite children's books with a connection to the museum. Suitable for under 5s with an accompanying adult.

Jaco-Bites: Historical Presentations for Families
6 Jul– 8 Jul 2017, 20 Jul– 22 Jul 2017
12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30 (25 mins)
Hawthornden Court, Level 1
Free

Thu 6 Jul & Thu 20 Jul
Meet a redcoat soldier from the British army of 1745. See and feel clothing and weaponry used in battle, and hear what it was like to fight against the Jacobites!

Fri 7 Jul & Fri 21 Jul
Meet a Jacobite officer from 1745. Discover the weapons which made the Highlanders such formidable warriors and find out how their early victories turned to devastating defeat.

Sat 8 Jul & Sat 22 Jul
Meet Charles Edward Stuart, the famous Bonnie Prince himself! Find out why he tried to claim the throne and where he thinks it went wrong.

Gallery Safaris
Sun 9, 16, 23 & 30 Jul 2017, 31 Jul– 4 Aug 2017
11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30 (25 mins)
Free, limited places. Sign up at the lighthouse lens in the Grand Gallery 5 mins before start time
Suitable for ages 7+
Explore the museum in a new way with our gallery safaris. Designed for small numbers, these are short, family-friendly, interactive treks through our galleries. Each one looks for objects on a different theme – from marine mammals to Mary Queen of Scots, hats and helmets to treasure and transport. See sign in Grand Gallery for today’s themes.

Ancient Egypt Tomb-bola
10 Jul– 15 Jul 2017, 24 Jul– 29 Jul 2017
Grand Gallery, Level 1
12:00– 16:00
Free, drop-in
Roll up, roll up and take your pick of our daily selection of activities all about life and death in ancient Egypt.

Mon 10, 24 & Thu 13, 27 Jul: Amulets
Design and make an amulet. Decide how it will protect you in the afterlife.

Tue 11, 25 & Fri 14, 28 Jul: Headdresses
Create and decorate your own Ancient Egyptian headdress or collar.

Wed 12, 26 & Sat 15, 29 Jul: Pyramids
Construct and customise your own pyramid.

Macastory and the Tomb of Tales
10 Jul– 15 Jul 2017, 24 Jul– 29 Jul 2017
Hawthornden Court, Level 1
12:30, 14:30, 15:30 (30 mins)
Free
So you Sphinx you know everything about Ancient Egypt? Well Sphinx again as Macastory take you on a journey to the afterlife with tales from the Book of the Dead. Meet the Gods, solve the riddles and cast the spells to smooth your passage to eternal life in this storytelling show.

Website

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

Audio Descriptive Tour: Scotland Transformed

  • 22 July 2017 2-3pm

A new series of tours for visually impaired people, this sensory and tactile tour explores Scotland in the Industrial Revolution.

Booking required (call 0131 247 4199 or sign-up at the Information Desk, Entrance Hall, Level 0)

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/audio-descriptive-tour/

Free Fringe Music

  • 5 — 27 August 2017

Experience the joy of live music at the museum as the best contemporary talents take inspiration from our Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites exhibition to perform traditional Scottish songs and instrumental sets.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/free-fringe-music/

Museum After Hours: Friday Fringe Takeover

  • 11 — 25 August 2017

Enjoy a unique flavour of the Fringe and explore the museum after hours.

Handpicked performers will showcase highlights from their acts across three exhilarating Friday nights, alongside bars and entry to our exhibition Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites.

From the Grand Gallery's main stage to more intimate spaces across the museum, discover some of our world class collections whilst soaking up the festival atmosphere. Guest-programmed by the festival gurus at The List, each night of this adults-only extravaganza offers a different take on the Fringe.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£18, £16 Members and concessions*

Price includes admission to Jacobites exhibition

* Concession prices apply to 60+, students and unemployed with ID, disabled people. Carers of disabled people free. A valid NUS or Young Scot card must be shown.

Website

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

Culloden

  • 15 August 2017 6-5:10pm

A special screening of Culloden at Filmhouse. Introduced by David Forsyth, Principal Curator of Medieval-Early Modern Collections at National Museums Scotland.

In his 1964 debut feature, Peter Watkins imagines a documentary film crew covering the Battle of Culloden. This ground-breaking film conveys an incredible amount of political and historical information within a humanistic, gripping narrative.

A detailed study of the 1746 battle and the ensuing brutal suppression of the Highland Scots, Culloden draws much of its analysis and voice-over narration from the history book of the same name by John Prebble, and presented a radical political statement at the time - particularly in the shadow of the ongoing Vietnam War.

English and Scottish Gaelic with English subtitles.

Certificate 12.

Filmhouse Box Office (open 10am-9pm daily, 0131 228 2688, no booking fee) or book online now.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£10, £8 Conc.

Website

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

Explorathon: Murder at the Museum

  • 29 September 2017 12-4pm

Join our experts to explore forensic science and crime as part of wider celebration of European research.
Test your forensic reconstruction skills, learn about the lethal links between poison and herbalism, and dig into the stories behind death, past and present.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free, drop in

Website

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

Figure drawing with Sue Jane Taylor

  • 30 September 2017 10:30am-4pm

Inspired by her own experiences drawing North Sea oil workers, join Sue Jane Taylor in this figurative workshop as she explores how to capture an individual who is hidden in protective clothing.

Sue Jane Taylor has spent for over thirty years recording the lives of workers in the North Sea oil industry. Her work extends to cover the offshore renewable energy industry, where she has followed developments from fabrication to installation. Taylor has exhibited, carried out public commissions and held artist-residencies nationally and internationally.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£45, £40 Members & Concession

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/figure-drawing-with-sue-jane-taylor/

Study Day: Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

  • 28 October 2017 10:30am-3pm

Join our panel of speakers as they investigate the Jacobite story and challenge many of the misconceptions that still surround this turbulent period in European history.

Chaired by historian Dr Fiona Watson, our expert panel will examine the wider Jacobite story: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s court at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Stuart courts in exile in France and Italy, and how our conservators prepared costume pieces for display.

In partnership with Royal Collection Trust.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£30, £25 Members & Conc.

Includes exhibition entry. Valid 28 October only.

Website

http://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/whats-on/study-day-bonnie-prince-charlie-and-the-jacobites/

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.

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!

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

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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