Step back in time with your pupils and discover the story of Scotland at war. Relive wartime experiences, from the front line to the Home Front, through personal mementoes and military equipment.

How do I request a visit to the National War Museum?

What options are available for a visit?

Schools can choose to visit the museum as:

  • A self-guided visit
  • A facilitated workshop.

Please select your preferred option when completing the booking request form.

What can my class see and do during their visit?

  • Explore the history of conflict through our themed galleries.
  • Follow the First and Second World War trails around the museum.
  • Take part in workshops and live interpretation sessions led by experienced facilitators - full workshop details can be found here and in the school programmes.
  • Experience a free teacher-led wartime life session, supported by our 1940s Wartime Life resource pack. Examine letters, photographs and uniform, hear new from the Front Line on the wireless and watch as veterans recall their experiences on DVD.

Do I need to book in advance?

To ensure your visit runs smoothly, all school visits to the National War Museum must be booked in advance. Please complete the booking request form here.

How much does a visit cost?

Pre-booked self-guided visits and downloadable resources are all free of charge. All other activities cost £75 per class, unless otherwise stated. Maximum class size is 33 students. Your school will be invoiced after your visit.

What workshops are available?

Details of our workshops and Enabler/Facilitator-led sessions can be found, here and in our primary and secondary schools programmes.

How long do workshops last and when should we arrive?

  • Workshops last for 75 minutes unless otherwise indicated. The duration of all workshops can be found in the schools programmes.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your workshop is due to begin so you can use the toilets and put bags and coats in the cloakroom.
  • You should allow additional time after your workshop if you wish to visit the shop.

Will there be time to visit the rest of the museum before or after our workshop?

  • We recommend that if you book a morning workshop you visit the rest of the museum after lunch.
  • If you book an afternoon workshop you should visit the rest of the museum before lunch.

Can I download resources for my visit?

How do we find the National War Museum?

The National War Museum is located within Edinburgh Castle. You can download a map to help you find us here.

Is there parking for our bus or minibus?

There is a coach drop-off point at the bottom of the Castle Esplanade and on Johnston Terrace.

Where can we eat our lunch?

Due to renovation works, there is currently no indoor lunch area at Edinburgh Castle. Lunches can be eaten in the Castle grounds. 

Is there a space to leave our bags and coats?

There is a small cloakroom space outside the Education Room.

Is the space we'll be visiting fully accessible?

A minibus can be provided to take wheelchair users from the Castle Esplanade to the Education Room. The Education Room is accessible but it relies on a stair lift so there would be a time issue for large groups of wheelchair users or those with other mobility issues.

You can find full information for visitors with disabilities here.

Do you have a risk assessment we can use?

There are guidelines for teachers to help you write your own risk assessment. Teachers can make a free pre-visit to carry out their risk assessment. Contact us on schools@nms.ac.uk for further details.

Can we look round the rest of Edinburgh Castle?

School groups should adhere to Historic Environment Scotland’s guidelines for school visits at all times. Teachers and groups leaders should also familiarise themselves with Historic Environment Scotland's hazard information before visiting.

Do you have safety guidelines?

We will send you full safety guidelines with your booking form. Please check them before your visit. Please read and follow any safety notices and instructions from Visitor Experience staff.

Can I take photographs?

Yes.

Is there a shop and café?

There is a small shop in the National War Museum and a café nearby in the Castle (please ensure there is a ratio of 1 adult to 10 children when in shop).

How do we cancel our visit?

We understand that you may need to cancel or change your booking. Please contact us as soon as possible to let us know of any changes.

National Museums Scotland reserve the right to charge a fee for short notice cancellations. Bookings cancelled:

  • Less than 3 weeks prior to the visit may incur an administration fee of 50% of the value of chargeable events
  • Less than 2 weeks prior to the visit may incur an administration fee of 100% of the value of chargeable events.

Last minute requests to change a visit date may also incur an administration fee as above. In certain circumstances, such as adverse weather conditions, National Museums Scotland may waive the cancellation fee. 

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