Get a healthy dose of fresh country air and take in the sights, sounds and smells as your class explores our 1950s working farm. Explore life in the countryside during wartime, find out where the food in your lunchbox comes from and discover the wildlife on your doorstep.

Museum closure

At present, as our museums are closed due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we are not taking bookings for group visits.

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Education group leaders, travel agents and language schools

We will update this page once bookings reopen. If you would like us to email you when group bookings reopen, or for any other enquiries, contact us 

Museum at home

Our new Museum at Home teachers' page supports you in continuing your teaching either online or in a Hub school.

Highlights include:

Preparing for your visit

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?

  • Visit our museum and historic Georgian farmhouse to discover what life was like for country people in the past and how this has shaped Scotland's countryside today.
  • Meet the horses, sheep, cows and hens on our 1950s working farm and watch our dairy herd being milked.
  • Pre-school and primary school children can try milking 'Clover' the mechanical cow by hand.
  • Older students can examine rural issues such as dairy production and how our food gets from field to fork.
  • Visit our interactive exhibition, Garden Detectives. Aimed at 5-9-year-olds, it will get your class thinking about the wildlife on their doorstep.
  • Explore what role the farm played during the Second World War. Visit the bothy where German prisoner of war Heinrich Luckel lived.
  • Journey around the museum with our Bees and Farming Treasure Hunt

What additional activities are on offer?

  • Free accompanied tours of our working 1950s farm, which preserves many traditional and rare farming methods.
  • Excellent resources for ecological studies including woodland, farmland and wetland habitats.
  • Workshops and live interpretation sessions led by experienced facilitators - full details can be found in our school's programmes.
  • Farm Explorer tractor-trailer ride.
  • Outdoor play tractor, bats, balls and parachute games for younger pupils.

Do I need to book in advance?

To ensure your visit runs smoothly, all school visits to the National Museum of Rural Life must be booked in advance with the booking request form.

Request a visit

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.

How long do sessions last and when should we arrive?

  • Workshops last for 60 minutes unless otherwise indicated. The duration of all workshops can be found in the school's 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?

During your visit

Is there parking for our bus or minibus?

There is dedicated, free coach parking on-site.

Is there a space to leave our bags and coats?

There is a cloakroom adjoining the Learning Centre.

Where can we eat our lunch?

  • Lunch can be eaten in the Learning Centre.
  • There is also a separate bookable school lunch room. Please let us know if you wish to use the lunch room when you book your visit.
  • You can eat lunch in the picnic field in good weather.

Is the space we'll be visiting fully accessible?

The museum is ramped throughout with two lifts, one extra large. There is a good path network on the lower southern side of the farm. The tractor-trailer site transport has a wheelchair lift.

You can find full information for visitors with disabilities here.

Can I take photographs?

Yes, although flash is not permitted within the museum.

Is there a shop and café?

There are a shop and café on the ground floor of the museum (please ensure there is a ratio of 1 adult to 10 children in the shop).

Risk assessments, guidelines and cancellations

Do you have a risk assessment we can use?

There are guidelines for teachers to help you write your own risk assessment.  Please contact us on to find out more.

Do you have safety guidelines?

We ask that pupils visiting in school groups are accompanied at all times during their visit at a ratio of:

1 adult: 5 pupils (under the age of 5)

1 adult: 10 pupils (primary school pupils)

1 adult: 15 pupils (secondary school pupils)

Where pupils require support on a 1:1 ratio, this adult should be included over and above these ratios.

You will be sent full safety guidelines with your booking form. Please check these before your visit. Our safety guidelines are very important, especially if you are having a farm tour. There are sinks to wash your hands in the Learning Centre.

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 or no-shows.
  • Bookings cancelled less than three weeks prior to the visit may incur an administration fee of 50% of the value of chargeable events.
  • Bookings cancelled less than two weeks prior to the visit may incur an administration fee of 100% of the value of chargeable events.
  • No-show or last-minute cancellations of free workshops or staff-led sessions may incur a £50.00 administration fee.
  • In certain circumstances, such as adverse weather conditions, National Museums Scotland may waive the administration fee.
  • Cancellations should be notified in writing to
Explore more

National Museum of Rural Life

Explore life in the countryside at our five-star museum, farmhouse and historic working farm.

Things to see and do

Explore life in the countryside at our five-star museum and historic working farm.
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