If you're studying war, the military or conflict, a visit to the museum can be a unique, exciting experience for your pupils. Located within Edinburgh Castle, the museum is available to visit free of charge for pre-booked UK school groups.

Classes: P4–S6
Cost: Free
Timings: Timing flexible
(Check your booking for timings and arrive at the museum at least 15 minutes before the start of your workshop)
Dates available: Throughout the year (visiting in the autumn and spring terms avoid peak summer season)

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What does a general visit involve?

If you're studying war, the military or conflict, a visit to the museum can be a unique, exciting experience for your pupils. Located within Edinburgh Castle, the museum is available to visit free of charge for pre-booked UK school groups.

Booking a general visit provides you with:

  • Free entry to the National War Museum and across Edinburgh Castle
  • Pre-booked tickets you can collect when you arrive to save you time queuing
  • Access to a range of resources you can use beforehand, or print and bring with to use during the day

The day is yours to plan, and we’ve provided some top tips below to assist you in doing this.

Details about timings, how to collect tickets, and risk assessments will be included in your booking confirmation.

Top tips for planning your visit

  1. Use our welcome guides to familiarise yourself and your pupils. There are different versions so make sure you pick the correct one for your visit.
  2. Download Edinburgh Castle's map to help you plan your route- the National War Museum is location number 5. Teachers can also book a pre-visit free of charge to assist their planning.
  3. Pupils need to be supervised at all times when visiting the museum and Edinburgh Castle. We recommend splitting your class into smaller groups and assigning one adult per group. Choose a visible meeting point, like the Haig Statue in Hospital Square (outside the War Museum).
  4. Bear in mind that the One o'Clock Gun fires at 1pm, and the surrounding area does get busy from 12.50pm. In peak summer season, you may need to queue to access areas such as the Scottish Crown Jewels.
  5. There are a range of resources you can use with your class during your visit. Remember to bring pencils and/or clipboards.

Looking to enhance your visit?

You can book workshops or special exhibition visits (subject to availability). See our full list here.

Other useful information:

  • Due to renovation works, there is currently no indoor lunch area at Edinburgh Castle. Lunches can be eaten outside. Please ask Museum staff if you would like to borrow picnic blankets.
  • An indoor lunch space is available at the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street. If you would like to book this facility please let us know.
  • There is a coach drop-off point at the bottom of the Castle Esplanade and on Johnston Terrace. The nearest parking zones are at Castle Terrace and Johnston Terrace.
  • As the National War Museum is situated within Edinburgh Castle, a travel subsidy is available from Historic Environment Scotland (https://www.historicenvironment.scot/learn/schools/school-visits-travel-subsidy/). If applying for this subsidy please ensure you quote ‘visiting Edinburgh Castle/National War Museum’.
  • You can find more information about visiting the War Museum with your school group here, or information about the War Museum in general here.
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