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Schools visits to the National Museum of Rural Life

You can book to visit the museum free of charge with your pupils. The farm, agriculture, traditional farming, food chains, rural life and Scottish History – whatever your topic, come on a visit to find out more.

We currently offer self-guided visits. Events and workshops will be available in 2022 but we are unable to take bookings for these at present. 

What does a visit involve?  

A visit to the museum can be a unique, exciting experience for your pupils and can be used to explore a wide range of topics. The museum is available to visit free of charge for pre-booked school groups. 

Booking a general visit provides you with:

  • Free entry to the museum, working farm and tractor trailer
  • Access to a range of resources you can use beforehand, or print and bring with to use during the day
  • Cloakroom and lunchroom space – these are currently unavailable but we hope to reopen in the near future  

The day is yours to plan, and we’ve provided some top tips below to assist you in doing this. Details about timings, directions, and risk assessments will be included in your booking confirmation. 

How do I book?  

To book please complete our booking enquiry form.

Request a visit to the National Museum of Rural Life

Complete the booking enquiry form to enquire about a schools visit.

Book a schools visit

National Museum of Rural Life

Philipshill Road, East Kilbride, G76 9HR
Tel: 0300 123 6789


Advance online booking

Adult Annual Pass £9
Concession Annual Pass £8*
Child Annual Pass (5–15) £6 (under 5s free)
Family Annual Pass (2 adults and 2 children) £25

Find out more about the Annual Pass

  • *Concessions: 60+, students with valid NUS or Young Scot card, unemployed with ID, disabled people.
  • Carers of disabled people free.
  • National Museums Scotland Members free
  • National Trust for Scotland Members free
  • Discounts available for group bookings

Opening times

Museum open
Open daily, 10:00 - 17:00

Closed 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan

Top tips for visiting the National Museum of Rural Life

Before you visit

Plan your visit in class using our museum map and museum information.


Please be aware that pupils need to be supervised at all times when visiting the museum. We recommend splitting your class into small groups.

Don't miss

Book the tractor trailer and visit our working farm – don’t miss seeing it as part of your visit.

Garden Detectives

Visit our interactive gallery Garden Detectives to see the life cycle of a dragonfly and a frog, tip a watering can to see a flower grow, explore the gallery to reveal different insects and smell different flowers just like a bee in the garden. 

Preparing for your visit

What options are available for a visit? 

Schools can book a general visit to the museum free of charge. 

Our programme of workshops, events and handling boxes will be re-launched in 2022.   

To book a visit, please complete the booking enquiry form. 

What can my class see and do?

Your class can plan to spend a full day visiting the National Museum of Rural Life: 

  • Visit our museum and discover how 300 years of farming and rural home life have shaped and altered Scotland’s countryside.
  • Take an interactive, larger-than-life look at plants and flowers and pick up tips to help you find out what lurks at the bottom of your garden in our interactive gallery, Garden Detectives.
  • Jump aboard the farm tractor trailer to go to our working farm and get up close to our animals.
  • See our large purpose-built museum housing tractors, combine harvests, threshers, and many other inventions. Find out how machines have increasingly replaced people in farming.
  • Teachers can sign up for our CLPL events or can arrange to undertake a pre-visit to help plan ahead. 

You'll find lots more information on the visit planning section of the museum pages, and you can also book a pre-visit to help you plan your day.

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.

To book please complete our booking enquiry form.

How much does a visit cost?

Pre-booked general school visits and downloadable resources are free of charge.

All other events, activities and workshops have a cost. Details of these will be confirmed once the programme of workshops is released in 2022.

Your school will be invoiced after your visit.

When should we arrive?

Please arrive at the time stated on your booking.

What measures are in place to ensure a safe visit?

A range of safety measures have been put in place in line with Scottish Government guidelines. This includes face coverings, enhanced cleaning, sneeze screens and hand sanitising stations throughout the museum. Please read our guidance before visiting with your group.

We ask that you:

  • Keep your distance from others.
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided and wash your hands often.
  • Wear face coverings in our indoor spaces (visitors aged 12 and over), unless exempt.

If a member of your group begins to display COVID-19 symptoms whilst in the museum, please alert the nearest member of staff immediately.

National Museum of Rural Life

During your visit

Is there parking for our bus or minibus?

There is a coach park adjacent to the main carpark outside the museum. 

Where can we leave our bags and coats?

At present, our cloakroom is closed. You will therefore need to carry your jackets and bags around the museum with you. Please do not bring any items to the museum that you are unable to carry during your visit. 

Where can we eat our lunch?

At present, our lunchroom is closed. There is no indoor eating space. Please factor this into your visit plans. 

Is the space we'll be visiting fully accessible?

The museum galleries, including Garden Detectives, are fully accessible via lifts.

We have accessible toilets on all levels, as well as at the farm. 

The tractor trailer has a wheelchair lift, making it accessible. 

There is an Adult Changing Places (U) toilet on the ground floor of the museum. 

You can also read our full accessibility information.

Can I take photographs?

We are happy for you to take photographs, including flash photography, in the general museum and farm but not the farmhouse.

In addition, we may also wish to take photographs of you and your group. We will always discuss this with you in advance and will supply a photography permission form for you and your class to be completed prior to visiting.

Is there a shop/café?

There is a Museum Shop left of the Orientation Area (please ensure there is a ratio of 1 adult to 10 children when in shop). 

There is a café to the right of the Orientation Area. Take-away tea/coffee/liquids are not permitted in the museum. 

What safety guidelines should we follow around COVID?

Ensure everyone attending, including adults, are aware of our guidelines, including wearing a face covering. 

Please be aware that all our bookings will comply with Scottish Government guidelines and NHS Scotland Test and Protect.

Do you have a risk assessment we can use?

You can download our guidelines for teachers to help you write your own risk assessment. Teachers can make a free pre-visit to carry out their own risk assessment. 

Do you have behaviour guidelines?

We have developed an agreement which sets out what we aim to offer during your visit, and in return what we ask from you. 

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. 

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. 

We will send you full safety guidelines, a booking checklist and our agreement with you with your booking confirmation. Please check them before your visit. In addition, please read, sign and follow any safety notices and instructions from Visitor Experience staff. 

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