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Make and Create: Get hands-on with craft ideas

Get hands-on with craft ideas inspired by our collections.

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Scotland's native wildlife

Home to over 90,000 species, Scotland’s land, seas and skies support a wide range of native mammals and birds, amphibians, reptiles and over 50,000 different invertebrates. The collection at National Museums Scotland has examples of some of the iconic, at risk and once extinct birds and mammals native to Scotland.

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Awesome Bricks

Join us for one of Scotland's biggest hands-on LEGO® events.

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Museum map

Plan the perfect trip to the National Museum of Rural Life

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First World War centenary

Our First World War Centenary programme of exhibitions and events shares the Scottish memory of these world-changing events with national and international visitors.

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Build a story with Scottish Book Trust

Museums are great places to uncover stories. Build your own story, inspired by our amazing objects.

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Magic Carpet World

Our popular Magic Carpet storytelling sessions at the National Museum of Scotland provided inspiration for a pilot Community Engagement project encouraging bilingual families with preschool children to enjoy the Museum.

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Visitors in front of the BAC 1-11
Museum map

Plan the perfect trip to the National Museum of Flight

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Annual Review 2018

With over 3.1 million visits across all our museums, and nearly 2.2 million visitors to the National Museum of Scotland, we have enhanced our position as one of the most popular museum groups in the world.

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Masterclass: The Art of Siapo

Discover the process of designing Samoan siapo textiles and paint your own siapo design to take home. No previous training required, all material provided.

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Margaret's Wardrobe

On 31 October 2014, Dr Chris Lee presented Margaret’s Wardrobe at the National Museum of Scotland, as part of Luminate: Scotland’s Festival of Creative Ageing. This illustrated talk showed how personal collections can help preserve self-identity, and how our museum collections continue to stimulate memories and discussion.

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Top things to see and do

Make the most of your visit with our museum highlights. Your rural adventure starts here!

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The box that went on the March to Kandahar

Here we examine a decorated wooden box in the collections of the Highlanders Museum that was purchased as a souvenir from Afghanistan in 1880.

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Missionaries and Tibetan material culture

Explore how missionaries made a significant impact on gathering the materials featured within the Tibetan collections at the National Museum of Scotland, with their materials peaking between 1890-1904.

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Museum map

Find out what to see and do as you plan your visit to the National Museum of Scotland.

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History of East Fortune

East Fortune Airfield is the UK's best-preserved Second World War airfield. Discover its history from its beginnings in the First World War to its transformation to a national museum.

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Celts reviews

Here's what critics have been saying about Celts.

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Nordic Modernist Design

Discover a wonderful collection of design which was amassed during second half of the 20th century by collectors with an inspiring passion for Modernism.

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For Teachers: Primary Resources

Explore a range of activities suitable for pupils working at Early, First and Second Levels including: - Mandarin - Writing a story - Maths and numeracy

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For Teachers: Secondary Resources

Explore a range of activities suitable for pupils working at Third and Fourth Levels and Senior Phase including the First World War, Parasites and Fashion.

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Objects associated with Robert Burns

A variety of objects relating to the life of Scotland's bard can be found in National Museums Scotland's collections.

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Moroccan water basin

This unique water basin, shaped like a citadel, was made by Moroccan potters, probably as a diplomatic gift, in the 19th century.

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An Ocean sunfish and a scuba diver
Revealing the Secrets of the Rosemarkie Sunfish

Discover the facts about a large ocean sunfish that stranded off Scotland’s coast in 2020 and hear what we can learn from studying this strange fish.

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The Lothian Birth Cohort

What is it like to hold your own brain? John Scott, a Lothian Birth Cohort participant, was lucky enough to find out

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Clydesdale horse

Our beautiful Clydesdale horses are one of the star attractions at the National Museum of Rural Life

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The Lewis chess pieces

These medieval chess pieces from the Scottish island of Lewis are among our most popular collections. They give us fascinating insights into the international connections of western Scotland and the growing popularity of chess in medieval Europe.

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Mandarin at the Museum

Learn how to say colours in Mandarin, explore the museum collections virtually and create your own Chinese object card.

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Things to see and do

Discover the story of Scotland at war within the walls of Edinburgh Castle.

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Bernat Klein at National Museums Scotland

Textile designer and artist Bernat Klein put Scottish fashion on the map during the 1960s. Discover his colourful mohairs and tweeds, inspired by the landscape around his Scottish Borders studio.

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Top 10 things to see and do

Your journey of discovery starts here...

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The Concorde Experience

It's over 40 years since Scotland's Concorde took to the skies in the first BA Concorde fleet commercial passenger flight. Don't miss the chance to get up close to G-BOAA.

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Build back better

During the lockdown due to COVID-19, school children were asked how we could build towards a more Circular Economy, inspired by the Making Circles project.

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Our collections

The wealth of objects in the national collection represent everything from Scottish and international archaeology to applied arts and design, from world cultures and social history to science, technology and the natural world.

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Museum Art Challenge

What inspires you in our museums? Get creative and join our month-long online art challenge at National Museums Scotland!

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Header image: (c) Neil Hanna
CPD and events for teachers

We have a range of events and CPD for teachers looking to visit our museums or use our collections in their classrooms.

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Seringapatam sword

This splendid sword was a gift to celebrate a historic military victory over the ‘Tiger of Mysore’.

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May Morris embroideries

These beautiful hangings were worked around 1900 by May Morris, the daughter of the designer, William Morris, the father of the Arts and Crafts movement.

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John Lang lathe

Discover what this historic tool can tell us about the story of machinery and industry in Scotland.

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Ruston & Hornsby No.6 steam excavator

Discover the classic Ruston steam excavator, and find out how our conservation team restored it to its former glory.

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Brilliant bugs

Explore a range of incredible insect activities.

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Make a Litter Bug

Make a beetle or butterfly out of recycled materials. You can be even more environmentally (and insect) friendly by not using glue, so your bug can be taken apart and reused or recycled again.You could even turn your litter bug into a bug hotel!

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Commercial aviation in the 20th century

Thursday 25 June 2020 marks the 65th anniversary of the first flight of the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer. We mark this occasion with a look back at how commercial aviation has changed.

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The Reid Family Christmas and New Year

The Wester Kittochside Farm at National Museum of Rural Life was owned and run by the Reid family for more than 400 years. Find out how the tenth laird and his family celebrated Christmas and New Year on the farm.

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Elements: Fire

From intricate firelighting tools to rocket-powered aircraft and a fire alarm with a difference, our collections feature intriguing links to the element fire.

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Atalanta and Hippomenes overmantel

Discover the history of a 17th-century stone carving which reflects changing tastes in interior design through the years.

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Red Arrows Hawk

This iconic Red Arrows Hawk T.1A was flown by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows.

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Prisoners of war at East Kilbride

During and directly after the Second World War, the Reid family at Wester Kittochside, East Kilbride employed both Italian and German prisoners of war.

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Elements: Air

Discover how air has been used in modes of transport from airships to hot air balloons and how different species make use of air to travel through flight and gliding.

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Blaschka models

Discover how these amazing glass models have been educating and inspiring visitors for almost 150 years.

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Wellbeing at the museum

Resources and ideas to support wellbeing

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