Escape to the countryside to explore our five-star museum and historic working farm.

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Inside the Museum

Discover how 300 years of farming and rural home life have shaped and altered Scotland’s countryside in our large, purpose-built museum. See combine harvesters, tractors, threshers and many other inventions designed to make farming life more efficient and profitable, and find out how machines have increasingly replaced people in farming.

Above: Investigate the 300 years of farming inside the National Museum of Rural Life.

1950s working farm

Tour our period farmhouse for a sense of what living on a farm was really like more than 50 years ago. With each season there's always something fresh to see, from new born lambs and calves to harvesting and haymaking. You’ll always find plenty of life on our farm: Aberdeen Angus cattle, Tamworth pigs, Ayrshire cows, black-faced sheep and Clydesdale horses, Mairi and Anna.

Get to grips with milking in our 1950s byre. See how the experts milk our real dairy cows, then visit our model of ‘Clover the Cow’ to try your own hand. How much will you get in the bucket?

  • Explore inside our 1950s farmhouse up at the farm © Ruth Armstrong Photography.

    Explore inside our 1950s farmhouse up at the farm © Ruth Armstrong Photography.
  • View of the farmyard from the 1950s farmhouse © Ruth Armstrong Photography

    View of the farmyard from the 1950s farmhouse © Ruth Armstrong Photography
  • Get to grips with milking in our 1950s byre © Ruth Armstrong Photography

    Get to grips with milking in our 1950s byre © Ruth Armstrong Photography

Garden Detectives

Inspired by the work of Charles Darwin, Garden Detectives turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. Take a larger-than-life look at plants and flowers, learn fascinating facts about nature and experience all the sounds and smells of a real garden without getting your hands dirty. Take home new skills and investigate your own garden or local environment, and see the natural world through the eyes of a detective.

Above: Take a larger-than-life look at plants and creatures in the garden © Ruth Armstrong Photography.

For more resources, download our Garden Detectives teachers’ pack here [PDF 2.5MB].

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Tractors

From the early 20th century, the tractor helped to transformed farm life in Scotland. There are several examples on display in the collection at the National Museum of Rural Life, East Kilbride.
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