Bring the Homefront to life with our 1940s themed living-room handling session. Discover the people behind four real life stories of the Second World War in this hands on session.Wartime Life Room
Located within Edinburgh Castle, the museum is available to visit free of charge for pre-booked UK school groups.
To book a general self-led visit please complete a Historic Environment Scotland Booking form
Tel: 0300 123 6789
Entry to the museum is free.
Historic Environment Scotland charges for admission to Edinburgh Castle where the National War Museum is located.
Further visiting information is available on the Edinburgh Castle website.
Open daily: 09:45 - 16:45
Before you visit
Read the visiting planning information on our website to familiarise yourself and your pupils with the site.
Download Edinburgh Castle's map to help you plan your route to the National War Museum (location number 5). Teachers can also book a pre-visit free of charge to assist their planning.
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 National War Museum).
Please note child to adult ratios for Edinburgh Castle are:
Early Years - Nursery and P1/2 (or aged 7 and under) 1:6
Primary P3-7 and Secondary S1-S4 (or aged 8-15) 1:10
Senior Phase (or aged 16-18 but still in school) 1:15
One o'Clock Gun
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.
There are a range of resources you can use with your class during your visit. Remember to bring pencils and/or clipboards.
Due to renovation works, there is currently no indoor lunch area at Edinburgh Castle. Lunches can be eaten outside.
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. If applying for this subsidy please ensure you quote ‘visiting Edinburgh Castle/National War Museum’.
Find out more about planning your visit to the National War Museum.
To ensure your visit runs smoothly, all school visits to the National War Museum must be booked in advance.
Pre-booked general visits and downloadable resources are all free of charge.
All other activities have a cost, unless otherwise stated. Your school will be invoiced after your visit.
Please arrive on time to allow yourself time to travel to the museum from the Castle Esplanade. In busy periods, this can take up to 20 minutes.
Edinburgh Castle will be busier by mid-afternoon so please ensure you leave 20 minutes to return to your bus at the end of the day.
A range of safety measures have been put in place in the museum 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:
If a member of your group begins to display COVID-19 symptoms whilst in the museum, please alert the nearest member of the Visitor Experience team (dressed in navy/purple) immediately.
Please also read Edinburgh Castle's access guidelines before you visit.
There is a coach drop-off point at the bottom of the Castle Esplanade and on Johnston Terrace.
Due to renovation works, there is currently no indoor lunch area at Edinburgh Castle. Lunches can be eaten in the Castle grounds.
At present, our cloakroom is closed. You will therefore need to carry your jackets and bags around the castle with you. Please do not bring any items that you are unable to carry during your visit.
Please check special exhibitions and other areas around Edinburgh Castle as photography restrictions may apply.
There is a small shop in the National War Museum. There is also a shop at the ticket point when you enter/exit the Castle. Please ensure there is a ratio of 1 adult to 10 children when in shop.
There are a number of cafés located around Edinburgh Castle. Packed lunches cannot be eaten within them.
Historic Environment Scotland will provide you with the relevant guidelines to assist you in writing your own risk assessment.
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.
Please read and follow any safety notices and instructions from Visitor Experience staff.
For facilitated (charged) sessions:
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