Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions some of our usual additional support programming, tours and resources are temporarily unavailable. However we are working on alternative methods of support, so please check this page for updates.
For info about our safety measures please see our reopening FAQs.
Museum Socials are free sessions for anyone living with dementia, their relatives, friends and supporters.
Our Museum Socials are now online!
The next session is on Friday 22 January at 11.00 and the topic is "Pick and Mix: our favourite museum objects and stories from our volunteer guides." Come on a virtual tour with them to find out what they are most passionate about and why. Book through Eventbrite here.
Then on Friday 19 of February, join our assistant entomology curator to hear why she is passionate about insects. Find out how Ashleigh Whiffin manages a collection of 2.5 million insect specimens and what are her best of the bugs!
Book on Eventbrite here.
On Friday 11 March, we will be looking at the Galloway Hoard. The Galloway Hoard is the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland. Join us to explore this incredible discovery of over 100 objects found by a metal detectorist in 2014.
Book on Eventbrite here.
Watch a film made in 2016 by Edinburgh Napier University student Laura Briggs about the Museum Socials.
Our Socials programme was a finalist in Scotland's Dementia Awards 2017, together with the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, for Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative.
We were nominated by Julie Baikie whose mum, Rae, has been coming to the Socials every week for the last year.
“It’s the highlight of her week…. the variety of Friday activities are right up her street. It’s a fabulous program doing really important work and definitely contributing greatly to my Mum’s mental health and wellbeing.”
National Museums Scotland is committed to encouraging autistic children and young people to visit and enjoy our museums. You can find out more about activities, events and support for autistic children and young people and their families here.
Free, audio described guided tours are also available by request and subject to availability. This is an audio description of our Discover the National Museum Tour and it is delivered by our Learning staff or Volunteer Guides. To find out more and book, please call 0131 247 4041 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check our Exhibitions and Events calendar for audio described tours of special exhibitions.
Free British Sign Language interpreted tours are available by request. To arrange please email email@example.com or call 0131 247 4041, giving at least three weeks’ notice.
Check our Exhibitions and Events calendar for ticketed BSL tours and events.
All of our tours offer the use of the Hearing Helper Tour Guide system. These help visitors with hearing difficulties overcome background noise and distance from the guide. They can be used with hearing aids. This can be asked for on the day but if you have any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 247 4041.
There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge. Lifts are available to all floors and accessible toilets are available on most floors, as well as a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0. Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted. You can find more access information here.
Header image: Museum socials © Ruth Armstrong Photography.