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Hawk wings

The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. A stunning pair of Hawk wings with the iconic RAF Red Arrows livery are on display in the new Explore gallery at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Exterior of the Concorde cockpit facing right.
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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A museum employee stands with a horse in its stable in front of a group of school children
Trails for the National Museum of Rural Life

Explore inside the National Museum of Rural Life with your class using our themed trails.

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Scotland and the Caribbean

What do museum collections reveal about Britain’s and Scotland’s role in the Transatlantic slave system and the experiences of enslaved people?

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Cup and cover by Malcolm Appleby

This striking ceremonial standing cup and cover was created especially for the Museum by virtuoso silversmith Malcolm Appleby.

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Thai Ceramics

Among the museum's collection in storage are a group of Thai ceramics excavated at Sawankhalok.

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Colour illustration of a four towers of power equipment on the surface of Mars.
Stirling Engine

A Stirling engine is powered by hot air rather than steam. Now 200 years old, its revolutionary technology has become even more relevant today.

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Tyrannosaurs

Visitors met the most feared and revered of all dinosaurs in this cutting-edge exhibition, that brought the latest discoveries in palaeontology to life and challenging preconceptions about these ferocious predators.

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Tipu Sultan and the Siege of Seringapatam

Explore the story of Tipu Sultan and the Siege of Seringapatam (Srirangapatna) at the National War Museum.

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Lighthouses

Discover the story of the people who designed, built and operated Scotland's lighthouses through the objects which brought their role to life.

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Bright red tractor outside the National Museum of Rural Life
Booking tickets

The National Museum of Rural Life is open and tickets are available to book online.

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Mummy Shroud

A unique, full-length mummy shroud, which is over 2,000 years old yet is still in remarkable condition, has been discovered in National Museums Scotland’s collections.

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Uniquely Scottish Silver

Uniquely Scottish Silver brings together five distinctively Scottish silver designs: mazers, quaichs, thistle cups, ovoid urns and heart brooches.

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Unmask the Lewis chess pieces

Welcome to the world of the Lewis chess pieces! Discover all there is to know about these mysterious figures in this interactive resource.

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A pink corset with cream and gold lace trim
Mode

Mode brings the museum's wardrobe to life with a selection of 30 objects from the world of fashion.

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Ornate silver chest pointed at diagonally to view two sides at once. A heavy lock guards it and a coat of arms is inscribed on one side.
The Silver Casket

See an iconic piece of Scotland’s national heritage, the silver casket believed to have been owned by Mary, Queen of Scots.

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Made in Scotland, Changing the World

Over the last 300 years, Scottish scientists and engineers have made discoveries and inventions that have changed our relationship with the world. From simple, everyday processes to cutting edge of 21st-century medicine, Scotland remains at the heart of scientific innovation.

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Our Japanese collection

Explore highlights of our Japanese collection, from tiny netsuke to cutting edge designs, superb ceramics to Ainu artefacts.

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The Rise and Fall of Hamilton Palace

The destruction of Hamilton Palace, the grandest stately home in Britain, was one of the greatest losses to national heritage ever to happen in this country. This is the story of how Scotland’s biggest treasure trove was won and lost.

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Three young visitors scribble at a table.
Family hub

All you need to know for a great family visit at the museum.

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Scarecrow in a dirt field
Visiting FAQs

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

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A mother and baby play with toy vegetables in a basket.
Tractor Tots

Tractor Tots is a bookable series of playful sensory singalong sessions for under-fives and their adults at the National Museum of Rural Life.

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A child running through a garden of flowers.
Spring Explorers

Our Spring Explorers school holiday activities are back at the National Museum of Rural Life.

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The Glenmorangie Commission

In 2018, the internationally renowned metalsmith Simone ten Hompel was commissioned by National Museums Scotland and The Glenmorangie Company to create a new artwork inspired by our curatorial research and the Museum’s collection of metal artefacts from early medieval Scotland.

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Iranian fashion design

In 2015, the Edinburgh Iranian Festival and National Museums Scotland celebrated new movements in Iranian dress and design with a magnificent fashion show. On this occasion, the Museum acquired a selection of women’s clothing for its existing textile collection from Iran.

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Trainspotting script signed by Ewan McGregor

This signed script for the influential Edinburgh-set film Trainspotting was donated to the Museum by actor Ewan McGregor.

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Awesome Bricks at home

Recreate your favourite museum objects and places using the LEGO you have at home!

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Supermarine Spitfire LF.XVIe

The Spitfire is the most famous of all British combat aircraft, and played a vital role in the Battle of Britain in 1940.

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Oracle Bones

Oracle bones are parts of animal bone, used in divination ceremonies in ancient China. National Museums Scotland’s collection of oracle bones dates from the late Shang dynasty (c.1200–1050 BC) and was found at Yinxu site near Anyang city, in central China.

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Penelope's Trotter Trail

Explore the museum with Sue the sheepdog! Use the trail to find out about our bee's and fun facts about our animals in the farm

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Sue's Sheepdog Trail

Explore the museum with Sue the sheepdog! Use the trail to find out about our bee's and fun facts about our animals in the farm

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Golden pin shaped like a bird, with long, flat tail, upturned wings and flamingo-like beak.
The Galloway Hoard: Viking-Age Treasure

Visitors were able to see cleaned and conserved objects from the Hoard, revealing intricate decoration not seen since the objects' burial more than 1,000 years ago.

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Very old open book with medieval script and a colourful Biblical scene, held open by two purple-gloved hands.
Book of Hours inscribed by Mary, Queen of Scots

Delve into the pages of an exquisitely illuminated Book of Hours in which Mary, Queen of Scots, inscribed an affectionate verse in French to her great-aunt, Louise de Bourbon.

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Seven members of a family running forward, with some holding umbrellas.
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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Bird Pin trail

Families can pick up our new trail to find the Bird Pin, from the Galloway Hoard, hiding amongst her feathered friends around the National Museum of Scotland.

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Museum Role Call: Rachel Drury - Learning Enabler

EPISODE 2: Rachel Drury 🤹‍♀️ Learning Enabler

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An illustration of a Highland Cow's head as it licks its nose.
Lewis’s Scottish Adventure Trail

Explore the museum galleries with Lewis the Highland bull in Lewis’s Scottish Adventure Trail, available in English and Gaelic

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Wester Kittochside

The history of the Reid family and farming on the Wester Kittochside farm National Museum of Rural Life.

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Five visitors look at shelves of agates in our Natural World galleries.
Plan your visit

Everything you need to know about visiting the National Museum of Scotland.

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Messerschmitt Komet

The Messerschmitt Komet was the fastest aircraft of the Second World War, and the only rocket-powered fighter plane ever to be used in combat.

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£250,000 project for community groups to research collections in galleries, libraries, archives and museums across the UK 

National Museums Scotland has been awarded a grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with the National Maritime Museum, London to enable organisations around the UK to work with community groups to explore experiences of empire, migration, and life in Britain through their collections.

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Colour and draw

We asked our Facebook fans which objects from the National Museum of Scotland their families would like to colour in, and here are the results! From our family of lions to the giant sunfish, T-Rex to our elephant - is your favourite here?

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Portrait of Eunice Olumide, crouching down posing in a white dress
Celebrating Black Fashion

Join model and broadcaster Eunice Olumide as she shares her experience of a transforming industry with museum curator Georgina Ripley.

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African dolls

These multi-coloured plastic dolls, western in their appearance, are very popular in Africa today.

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L’Éden panoramic wallpaper

Uncover the landscape of L’Éden, a set of 20 rolls of 19th-century scenic wallpaper and discover how this spectacular wallcovering has been conserved by the Museum.

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Persian rug of Sir Robert Murdoch Smith

This bold and vibrant woollen pile rug once furnished the Edinburgh home of Sir Robert Murdoch Smith, the director of this museum from 1885 to 1900.

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Sendtner orrery

The story of this 100-year-old planetarium provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of science interpretation, as well as a behind-the-scenes peek into early 20th century museum politics.

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Articulated Necklace by Dorothy Hogg

This articulated silver necklace encapsulating a large labradorite disc is one of Dorothy Hogg’s earliest works (1969-70).

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