Everything you need to know about Member benefits, becoming a Member, renewing or changing your Membership and gift Membership.

How to contact us

Membership enquiries

Call us on 0131 247 4294 or email membership@nms.ac.uk.  The office is open Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00 (except public holidays). We try to answer all calls and emails promptly, but if the team is unavailable please leave us a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.

Our postal address

National Museums Scotland
Freepost EH2842

In the museums

You can join, renew or buy a gift of Membership at any of our museum ticket desks, and pay by cash, credit / debit card or Direct Debit.

Joining and renewing Membership

How do I become a Member?

  • Join online.
  • Visit the Ticket or Information Desk in any of our Museums.
  • Call the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294. The office is open Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00. We try to answer all calls, but if the team is unavailable please leave us a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.
  • Email membership@nms.ac.uk to request a call back.

How do I renew my Membership?

If you pay by Direct Debit we will renew your Membership automatically and send you a new Membership card and advance notice of the next collection at least 10 working days in advance of your account being debited. You can cancel future Direct Debit payments at any time.

If you do not pay by Direct Debit, you will receive a letter to remind you when it is time to renew, around four weeks before your current card expires. You can renew by phone or post. If you renew by Direct Debit you can enjoy a discounted price and receive 15 months for the price of 12 in your first year as a Direct Debit payer.

Can I renew my Membership online?

Yes, you can now renew your Membership online. Please note you will need to register as an online user first if you have not already done so.

Why is the Student Membership only available to full-time students?

When we looked at the Student Memberships and discounts already offered by other cultural and heritage organisations, it is an industry standard that Student Membership was only available to full-time students. Part-time students can still enjoy the concession price charged for exhibitions and events (valid student ID required).

Why don’t you have a Membership for Over 60s/Retired/Seniors? 

A significant proportion of our Membership is made up of those over 60, who are much valued Members of National Museums Scotland. This group often have more spare time, grandchildren to entertain or have an interest in supporting a heritage organisation.  A discounted category exclusively for those over 60 would have a significant impact on the level of support contributed to this charitable organisation by our Members.

I am disabled / a carer what is your admission policy?

Our admission policy admits free of charge a necessary carer or companion accompanying a disabled visitor to our museums, exhibitions and events. This applies to our Membership as well: disabled Members can bring a carer/companion with them for free. We do not offer a concessionary rate on Membership for disabled Members. Our visit planning pages have further information about access for disabled visitors to National Museum of Scotland, National Museum of FlightNational Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum.

Lost and replacement cards

What should I do if I lose my Membership card?

To request a replacement card please call the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 or email us at membership@nms.ac.uk. Please ensure that you bring your Membership card with you to claim your Membership benefits, including free entry to exhibitions.

The office is open Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00. We try to answer all calls, but if the team is unavailable please leave us a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.

Change of details

I pay for my Membership by Direct Debit. How can I change my bank details?

Please contact the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 to arrange this.

Can I change the frequency / payment date of my Direct Debit?

All Direct Debits are payable as one annual payment on the first working day of the month (as advised in your joining letter).

We are unable to offer monthly Direct Debits as we do not currently have the resources required to manage the increase in administration this would facilitate.

I want to change the second name on my Joint  / Family Membership. How can I do this?

If you do not pay by Direct Debit, and are due to renew your Membership, you can amend your category and the names of the Members on the renewal form. However, if you are midway through your Membership or pay by Direct Debit, please contact the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 or email membership@nms.ac.uk and we can make the necessary changes.

Special exhibitions

Do I need to pay for special exhibitions?

As a Member you receive FREE admission to all special exhibitions and you can visit as many times as you like.

Do I need to book tickets for special exhibitions?

Our special exhibitions can be very popular. During peak times (such as school holidays and weekends), you may prefer to book in advance and collect your ticket on the day or have it posted out to you. However our ticket desk queues are not usually long so booking in advance is not essential. We do not currently operate a timed ticketing system for special exhibitions.

I have just joined as a Member and want to visit the special exhibition today. Is the Membership valid straight away?

Yes, Membership is valid from the moment you buy it. If you have joined at a Museum, you will be given a temporary Membership card which is valid for one month and can be used for immediate entry into the special exhibitions. If you have joined online, you will receive a confirmation email of the purchase, which you can print off and use as proof of Membership. Direct Debit payments are not taken on the day you join, but are scheduled ahead of time to allow us to set up the instruction with your bank. Your permanent Membership card will be sent out in around 10-15 working days, but if you need it sooner please contact us.

Can I bring a guest to the special exhibition? Can I bring a child?

You can bring a guest of any age if you have bought “Guest Membership” – you will have one Membership card which will say “Individual and Guest” under the category.

You can upgrade Individual Membership to include a Guest or a second named Member for £10 if you currently pay by Direct Debit, or for £13 if you pay by any other method.  Upgrades can only be organised by the Membership Team so please call 0131 247 4294 or email membership@nms.ac.uk.

All of our museums welcome children and under 5s go free to our museums and special exhibitions. Up to two children between the age of 5 and 15 can be included in a Family Membership.  If you wish to upgrade, this can only be organised by the Membership Team so please call 0131 247 4294 or email membership@nms.ac.uk.

Members' events

Are there any special events for Members?

There are a variety of events each year including Members’ Private Views, where you can explore special exhibitions after hours and enjoy an exclusive talk.

Members can also take advantage of our free or discounted tickets to events as part of our extensive adult events programme. Hear experts talk about fascinating topics and gain a deeper understanding of the work of National Museums Scotland. These are subject to availability.

Information about Members’ events will be sent to you in advance; these events are advertised in Explorer magazine and online. We also send out Member e-bulletins which include information on these events; please ensure we have your up-to-date contact details to ensure you don’t miss out on these updates.  Call the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 or email membership@nms.ac.uk to ensure we have the correct details.

Member free or discounted event tickets can only be purchased by active Members and must be shown together with a valid Membership card for entry. Visitors may be denied entry if they present a Member ticket and are not a Member of National Museums Scotland.

How do I book for lectures and events?

You can book for Member and public events by contacting our Museums’ ticket desks:

  • Call 0300 123 6789 (select the relevant museum, then select option 1)
  • Visit the specific event web page and book online
  • Book in person at any museum ticket desk.

Please note that booking fees may apply. Please see our terms and conditions for more information.  Bookings for any events cannot be made via the Membership Office.

Do Members get special rates to events such as Heavy Horse Show, Fabulous 50s, Wartime Experience, Country Fair, Christmas Fair and Foal Show or Scotland's National Airshow?

Members get free access to the Big Events programme at National Museum of Flight and National Museum of Rural Life.  This includes Wartime Experience, Heavy Horse Show, Awesome Bricks (new for 2017), Country Fair, The Wheels and Wings Show and the Christmas Fair and Foal Show. A limited number of free tickets are secured for Members at special events such as Awesome Bricks and must be pre-booked.

Members receive a generous Early Bird discount for Scotland’s National Airshow at National Museum of Flight. To enjoy the Member discount, the Early Bird tickets must be purchased before the advertised cut-off date.  Please visit the National Museum of Flight webpage for further details; please note that ticket prices for the Airshow are confirmed each spring. Member Airshow tickets can only be purchased by active Members and must be shown together with a valid Membership card for entry to the Airshow. Visitors may be denied entry if they present a Member Airshow ticket and are not a Member of National Museums Scotland at the time of the Airshow.

Using your Membership

Can I lend my Membership card to my partner or a friend?

Only the named Member may use their Membership card. Membership cards should not be passed on to third parties for use, and may be de-activated if abuse of the card is suspected. You can share your enjoyment with a friend or family member by upgrading to a Joint or Guest Membership from £10 if you pay by Direct Debit or from £13 if you pay by another method. Contact the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 or membership@nms.ac.uk.

Can I bring a guest?

You can bring as many people as your Membership allows. If you have opted to purchase a Guest Membership, you can bring a guest (your card will say “Individual and Guest” under the category). If you have Joint or Family Membership, each named Member will receive their own card which can be used together or independently.

As a Member, how do I find out about forthcoming Museum exhibitions and events?

We send out regular e-bulletins to Members with details of upcoming events, exhibitions and special offers. To receive these updates, please ensure we have your email address by contacting the Membership Team on 0131 247 4191 or email membership@nms.ac.uk.  We also send out monthly e-bulletins with non-Member specific news, to receive this email visit www.nms.ac.uk/signup. Please note that you can unsubscribe from any of our mailings at any time.

Do Members get free admission to Edinburgh Castle to visit the National War Museum?

The National War Museum is situated inside Edinburgh Castle.  Edinburgh Castle is owned by Historic Scotland and so Members of National Museums Scotland receive a 10% discount on Castle admission rather than free entry.  Access to the National War Museum is free of charge.

On visiting Edinburgh Castle as a National Museums Scotland Member, please proceed to Visitor Information to buy your discounted tickets. This will also allow you to skip the queues at the Ticket Desk

Do Members get free use of the museum cloakroom?

Members’ do not receive free use of the cloakroom. We charge £1 per item. Please be aware that any items deposited in our museum cloakrooms are left at your own risk.

Do Members get special discounts in the shops and cafés?

Members receive a 20% discount in all the museum cafés and a 10% discount in all museum shops, including the online shop. Just show your Membership card at the start of your transaction to claim your discount.  Look out for your online shop discount code in our regular Member e-bulletins and on the letter accompanying your new/renewed Membership cards. Members do not receive a discount at the Tower restaurant situated on the rooftop of the National Museum of Scotland.

How do I find out about Member-specific special offers?

The quickest way to inform our Members is by email, so to make sure you know about all the latest events and offers sign up for the regular Members’ e-bulletin and receive news and offers exclusively for Members. Contact membership@nms.ac.uk to ensure we have your email address; if we have your email address then you are automatically subscribed to Member-specific emails as these are part of the Membership package. You can unsubscribe from these mailings at any time. Also, take a look at our website where we list our events and special offers for Members.

Gift Membership

If I want my gift sent directly to my friend, when will it be sent?

Any gift Membership to be sent directly to the recipient will be sent within 10 working days. Please contact us if you require it for a specific date. To make sure your Gift Membership arrives in time for Christmas please order before Friday 15 December 2017.

When do gift Memberships start?

Gift Memberships start from the moment the recipient receives their Membership card(s).

When do gift Memberships expire?

The expiry date will be the last day of the month 12 months after the Membership is purchased.

I've bought a gift by Direct Debit. When will you be debiting my account?

We will send out a letter advising you of your payment collection at least 10 working days before your first payment.

I've received a renewal reminder for a gift Membership which I bought in the past. Can I renew this online?

You can now purchase Gift Memberships online and renewals can be processed through this. Alternatively, please contact the Membership Team on 0131 247 4294 or email membership@nms.ac.uk to renew a gift Membership or return the completed renewal form.

Gift Aid

Gift Aid allows you to increase the value of your Membership fee by enabling us to reclaim tax that you have already paid at basic rate through UK income tax and/or capital gains tax.

For every £1 you give, we can claim an additional 25p from HMRC. So, for example, if you purchased an Individual Membership at £42, National Museums Scotland would receive an additional £10.50 from HMRC, without you paying a penny more.

Simply complete the Gift Aid declaration on the online Membership form, downloadable application form or let us know when you purchase a Membership over the phone.

Further information
Please note that the amount you pay in UK income tax and/or capital gains tax must at least equal the amount National Museums Scotland claims on all your donations in that tax year. If you would like to know more about Gift Aid, please contact our Development Team via email on development@nms.ac.uk or telephone 0131 247 4095

Contact us

National Museums Scotland
Freepost EH2842

Tel: 0131 247 4294

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