Reopening FAQs

Learn more about what’s changed to help you plan your visit to the National Museum of Rural Life.

Frequently Asked Questions

We've put together answers to some common questions to help you plan your visit to the National Museum of Rural Life. If you have any questions which aren’t answered here, please email info@nms.ac.uk or call 0300 123 6789.

Health and safety

What health and safety measures are in place?

A range of new safety measures have been put in place in line with Scottish Government guidelines. This includes pre-booked timed entry, enhanced cleaning, sneeze screens, hand sanitising stations and one-way routes in certain areas of the museum where physical distancing is not possible.

 

Please do not visit the museum if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus.

 

We want you to have a safe and enjoyable visit. During your visit, we ask you to:

 

  • Please keep your distance from others (2m).
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Follow the welly boots for directions.
  • Please note card payments only.
  • Face coverings must be worn in our indoor spaces and shops.
  • Any questions? Our Visitor Experience team will be delighted to help.

Do I need to wear a face covering?

In line with Scottish Government guidelines, all visitors over the age of 5 must wear a face covering in our indoor spaces.

What if I’m not able to wear a face covering?

It is now mandatory that all visitors over the age of 5 wear a face covering whilst visiting our museums. However, there are exemptions for those, for example with a health condition, disability, physical or mental impairment, who are unable to do so. Not all exemptions are visible so please be understanding.

Will staff be wearing protective equipment?

Masks and face screens are available to all staff who wish to use them and who are unable to adhere to physical distancing measures because of the nature of their role.

Is there a reason I shouldn’t visit the museum?

Please do not visit the museum if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus.

Timed ticketing

Why do I need to pre-book a timed entry ticket?

Timed entry has been introduced to ensure that we can manage numbers and maintain physical distancing. Please book a timed entry ticket online in advance of your visit. This includes National Museums Scotland Members, National Museum of Rural Life Annual Pass holders and National Trust for Scotland Members.

How do I book?

All visitors must book a timed entry ticket online. Once you have booked, you will be sent an email confirmation and order number to bring with you when you visit. 

 

National Museums Scotland Members receive priority booking two days before the general public and an allocation of Member tickets for all dates. Just enter your Membership number when prompted to enter an 'access code' when booking. Once you have booked, you will be sent an email confirmation and order number to bring with you when you visit. Please also bring your National Museums Scotland Membership card.

 

Please note that National Museum of Rural Life Annual Pass holders and National Trust for Scotland Members also need to book a timed entry ticket online in advance of their visit. Once you have booked, you will be sent an email confirmation and order number to bring with you when you visit. Please also bring your Annual Pass or NTS Membership card with you. Without this, you will not be able to access the site and will be asked to pay the normal admission price and this will not be refunded. 

 

If you require access assistance with ticketing, please call 0300 123 6789 and a member of staff will be able to help you.

When will tickets be released?

We are releasing timed entry tickets in two-week blocks so that we can manage the number of bookings carefully. Learn more about timed entry tickets for the National Museum of Rural Life.

How many tickets can I book, and can I bring a group?

Small groups of up to six people can visit the museum by booking timed entry tickets in advance. All members of the party must arrive at the same time to be granted entry. Please only book tickets for yourself and your household, to help us comply with NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect. We are unfortunately unable to accommodate school and large group visits at this time.

I am a National Museums Scotland Member. Do I still need to pre-book a timed entry ticket?

Yes, all visitors, including National Museums Scotland Members, need to book a timed entry ticket online in advance of their visit. This will ensure that we can manage numbers and maintain physical distancing.

 

National Museums Scotland Members receive priority booking two days before the general public and an allocation of Member tickets for all dates. Just enter your Membership number in the 'promo code' box on the booking page to access the allocation.

 

Once you have booked, you will be sent an email confirmation and order number to bring with you when you visit. Please also bring your National Museums Scotland Membership card.

I am a National Museums Scotland Member. The Member ticket allocation is sold out. Should I still pre-book a general ticket?

If the Member ticket allocation sells out, National Museums Scotland Members are able to book free timed entry tickets from the remaining allocation. Instructions for how to do so can be found on our booking page.

I am a National Museums Scotland Corporate Member or Patron. How do I pre-book a free timed entry ticket?

Please book your free timed entry ticket online before you attend. Enter your Corporate Member or Patron number in the 'promo code' box on the booking page to access the Member ticket allocation.

I am a National Museum of Rural Life Annual Pass holder. Do I still need to pre-book a timed entry ticket?

Yes, all visitors, including Annual Pass holders, need to book a timed entry ticket online in advance of their visit. This will ensure that we can manage numbers and maintain physical distancing.

 

Please select the 'Annual Pass holder' ticket option on the booking page. Once you have booked, you will be sent an email confirmation and order number to bring with you when you visit. Please also bring your Annual Pass. Without this, you will not be able to access the site and will be asked to pay the normal admission price and this will not be refunded.

 

If you purchased an Annual Pass before 17 March 2020, we have extended your Pass for five months to cover the period of closure for Covid-19.

I am a National Trust for Scotland Member. Do I still need to pre-book a timed entry ticket?

Yes, all visitors, including National Trust for Scotland Members, need to book a timed entry ticket online in advance of their visit. This will ensure that we can manage numbers and maintain social distancing.

 

Please select the 'National Trust for Scotland Member' ticket option on the booking page.

 

Once you have booked, you will be sent an email confirmation and order number to bring with you when you visit. Please also bring your NTS Membership card. Without this, you will not be able to access the site and will be asked to pay the normal admission price and this will not be refunded.

I am a carer. Do I need to pre-book a ticket?

Yes. All visitors, including carers, need to book a timed entry ticket online in advance of their visit.

I’ve changed my plans. Can I swap my ticket or get a refund?

National Museums Scotland have a non-refundable and non-transferable ticketing policy. Customers will only be provided with a refund if the event or activity has been cancelled by the museum, or museum closure has taken place due to circumstances outwith our control. If you have any questions about our refund policy please email info@nms.ac.uk or see our full Ticketing Terms & Conditions.

I haven’t received my confirmation email.

Please check your junk or spam folder. If you still cannot find your confirmation, please email info@nms.ac.uk with the details of your booking and we will resend your booking confirmation to you. You can also view and print your tickets from your Eventbrite account.

Are you reducing ticket prices in light of the reduced rate of VAT?

National Museums Scotland, like most organisations across the cultural sector, has been financially hit by Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown.

 

We have been closed for five months and as a consequence have been unable to generate income through our commercial activities. We therefore need to absorb the VAT reduction to help offset our financial losses.

Arrival at the museum

When is the National Museum of Rural Life open?

The National Museum of Rural Life is now open. Our opening hours are 10:00–17:00 each day. Please book a timed entry ticket online in advance of your visit. This includes National Museums Scotland Members, National Museum of Rural Life Annual Pass holders and National Trust for Scotland Members.

What do I do when I arrive at the museum?

When you arrive at the museum you must present your pre-booked timed entry ticket (either printed or on a smartphone) or provide your order number, along with your National Museums Scotland Membership card, Annual Pass ticket, or National Trust for Scotland Membership card (as appropriate). 

 

You will be checked in by our staff before you can start your visit. Please ensure you arrive at the museum within your arrival slot. If you arrive before or after your slot, we may not be able to grant you entry.

Will there be queues?

Advance timed entry ticketing will help reduce queueing to enter the museum. To help our staff provide an enjoyable experience for all visitors, please arrive within the arrival slot shown on your ticket.

How long can I stay at the museum?

You must arrive within the arrival slot shown on your ticket but are welcome to stay in the museum for as long as you like until closing time.

What's open?

Which parts of the museum will be open?

As we begin to welcome visitors back to the museum, the reopening of the site will be phased, with some parts of the museum and farm opening first. The majority of the museum galleries are open, and you will be able to see all the animals at the farm as usual. However, we ask that you please don’t pet the animals, including our farm cats.  


We have developed a new visitor map to show which parts of the site are open and what can be enjoyed during your visit, as well as a new family trail

 

Some interactive displays and high-touch areas are temporarily closed for your safety, including the Garden Detectives gallery in the museum building, as well as the farmhouse on our working farm. 

 

The Farm Explorer tractor-trailer isn't running, so don’t forget to bring your wellies for the walk to the farm!

Are special events and activities going ahead?

There will be no special events or activities during this period. However, we have developed a new family trail to help you explore the site.

Will the outdoor play area be open?

Yes, the outdoor play and picnic area is open with clear guidance on how to use the area and hand sanitiser nearby. We ask that children under 12 be supervised by one adult per household when using the play area.

Toilets, facilities and access

Are the toilets open?

Toilets are open throughout the site, including accessible toilets and baby changing facilities. In line with Scottish Government guidelines and our commitment to ensure the safety of our visitors as much as possible, we have increased the frequency and expanded the cleaning regime in these facilities each day. Please refer to the onsite signage and speak to the team should you have any questions during your visit.

Can I use the lifts?

Lifts are in operation, however we ask that you walk and use the ramps if able as the capacity is limited.

Food and drink

Is the café open?

Shielings Café is open, accepting card payments only.

 

You are welcome to bring your own picnic to eat in our outdoor play and picnic area. Please dispose of your rubbish responsibly in the bins provided. Barbecues and gas stoves are not permitted.

Shop

Is the museum shop open?

The museum shop is open to museum visitors only, accepting card payments only. In line with Scottish Government guidelines, all visitors over the age of 5 must wear a face covering in our indoor spaces, including the shop.

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