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The world famous Red Arrows conduct a daredevil close pass manoeuvre during display training in Greece.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic team The Red Arrows deployed to Andravida and Tenagra in Greece to begin Exercise Springhawk.

The exercise runs from the 19th March until 05th May in Greece, and will consist of the Red Arrows performing their 9 ship display three times a day over various datums in order fir the display to meet the high standards expected for the display season. The end of the exercise will be marked by the pilots being awarded Public Display Authority which will allow them to display in public and wear the iconic red suits.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Mode

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

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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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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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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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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 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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James Clerk Maxwell animated

During 2013, our Scotland Creates volunteers at National Museum of Scotland worked with curators from our Science and Technology department to investigate objects on display in our galleries. This film, one of three made with animator Cameron Duguid, was written and directed by our volunteers and displays their unique perspective on James Clerk Maxwell's dynamic top.

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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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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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Incredible Insects

Investigate the wonderful world of insects this June as part of National Insect Week.

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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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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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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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Wester Kittochside

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

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Black, white and green iIlustration for Selfie Safari featuring from left to right polar bear and Arctic fox, a monkey and a Reindeer.
Selfie Safari

Can you complete our Selfie Safari challenge? Find all the animals and take a family portrait with each one!

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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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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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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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Charles Darwin's Scaly-throated earthcreeper

This earthcreeper was one of thousands of specimens collected during a voyage that Charles Darwin joined on the HMS Beagle.

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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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Dolly and the Atom Smasher

Fly across Scotland with Dolly the sheep, hitch a ride to space on a rocket and collect museum objects along the way.

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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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Family Puzzle Trail

Download our family trail to help you plan a structured visit to the National Museum of Scotland.

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Classifying the collection

In the 19th century there was a particularly intense interest in classifying the natural world.

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T-Yoga with Tara - Morning Flow in the Grand Gallery

Join Tara from T-Yoga at the National Museum of Scotland for a gentle morning flow designed to wake up your body and mind.

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Farm animals

Our working farm at the National Museum of Rural Life is home to Ayrshire, Aberdeen Angus and Highland cattle, Tamworth pigs, sheep, hens and Clydesdale horses.

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Conscience Matters

This exhibition at the National War Museum explores the little-known story of British conscientious objectors of the Second World War through paintings, poems, letters, music and speeches.

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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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Visiting FAQs

Learn more about what’s changed to help you plan your visit.

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Art and Science – Communicating the Climate Emergency

Our panel of artists and museum curators discuss the urgency of the climate and biodiversity crisis, the research and technology being used to tackle it and how art can help communicate this critical message and inspire change.

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Romans in Scotland: highlight objects

See five highlight objects that summarise the legacy of Rome's invasions of Scotland

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Culloden: Regimental colours

These rare Jacobite and British military colours were carried into battle at Culloden by opposing sides.

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First World War

1914 brought war to Scotland on what would prove to be an unprecedented scale. Delve into the stories behind those who fought in the First World War here.

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Image adapted from a lithograph by J. Maclise, 1841/1844. Credit: Wellcome Collection
Anatomy: A Matter of Death and Life. School Visits.

Visit our Anatomy: A matter of Death and Life temporary exhibition with your class. Please note bookings for the academic year 2021/22 are now closed. Bookings for 2022/23 will open on Monday 8 August 2022.

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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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