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Book your tickets

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

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Trails for the National Museum of Scotland

Explore the National Museum of Scotland with your class using our themed trails.

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Silver spoons

These silver spoons were bought by Assistant Surgeon Stewart Chisholm using prize money awarded to him for his service at Waterloo.

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Living in Renaissance Scotland: the highs and lows

Join curator Anna Groundwater for a guided virtual tour of life in Renaissance Scotland at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Amateur Microscopists

In the early 18th century, natural history was an increasingly popular pastime and many people visited fields and ponds, often bringing a microscope, to investigate the flora and fauna.

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Artworks by Danie Mellor

In 2013, National Museums Scotland acquired one metal sculpture and one work on paper by contemporary Australian artist Danie Mellor.

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Art of Glass on film

Preparing for the Art of Glass exhibition at National Museum of Scotland.

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Who was Robert Burns?

Discover the life of the National Bard through the collections of National Museums Scotland.

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Tour of the Ancient Egyptian Gallery

Join curator Margaret Maitland for a guided virtual tour of our Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery.

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Discovering Japan

From Samurai treasures to tiny netsuke, the National Museum of Scotland has the largest Japanese collection in Scotland.

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From minerals to your mobile

A huge range of different elements are used to make up the components of a mobile phone. But did you know that many of them can be found in minerals you can see on display at the National Museum of Scotland?

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Museum building at the National Museum of Rural Life © Wattie Cheung
Booking tickets

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

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Museum Maker: How to draw a King Penguin

Watch as artist Kayleigh McCallum shows you how to draw a King Penguin from our collection.

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Museum Maker: How to draw an Egyptian Coffin

Watch as artist Kayleigh McCallum shows you how to draw an Egyptian Coffin from our collection.

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Museum Maker: How to draw the Hunterston brooch

Watch as artist Kayleigh McCallum shows you how to draw the Hunterston Brooch from our collection.

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Museum Maker: Make a champion’s rosette

Summer is usually the season for gala days and rural shows, including our own Heavy Horse Show. Celebrate the champions you know – family, friends or even pets - by making them a personalised rosette!

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History of the collection

The story of how specimens make their way into a museum’s collection is often a peculiar one.

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Artist's concept of a fission surface power system on 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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Second World War: Meet the Pilot workshop - accompanying resources

This page contains a range of dinosaur themed activities for P5-7. The activities can be used alongside our Digital Schools Session or to support classroom or home learning.

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Foster stereo printing press model

This Victorian scale model of a printing press was made in the Museum's own workshop.

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Tyrannosaurus rex

Meet the 12 metre-long, spectacular life-sized skeleton cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the star attractions at the National Museum of Scotland.

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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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GEN

GEN is an innovative strategy game where you can use biomedical objects from the museum collection to diagnose and treat a digital creature.

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© MOD Crown copyright  

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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Josephine tumbler

This tumbler was given by Napoleon to Captain Francis Maitland of HMS Bellerophon, which took the deposed Emperor away.

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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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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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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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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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Plan your visit

The National War Museum is located within Edinburgh Castle. Find out how to get the most from your visit here.

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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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