The National Museum of Scotland

Tuesday, 5 March 2013
You may remember that a while back I posted about a trip to the modern art gallery and I went on about how I was going to start posting more "things to do in Edinburgh" type content....well, that went well didn't it?  Anyway, I'm about to redeem myself now by posting a similar story about a recent trip to the National Museum of Scotland.

The National Museum, on Chambers Street, was refurbished a few years ago and relaunched with some excitement in 2011.  B and I both hadn't been there since we were kids though so a few Saturdays ago I suggested we pay a visit.


The day in question didn't start particularly well, as literally within seconds of me getting out of the car a BLOODY BIRD SHAT ON MY HEAD!!  Me and my poor freshly washed hair were not in the least bit amused so I had to jump back in the car and frantically scrub away with a wet wipe - not a great moment.

Anyway, with the bird poo fiasco out of the way we continued onto the museum (stopping off at the loo the minute we got there to scrub my hands!).  It's free to visit, although special exhibitions have a nominal fee - at the moment the paid-for exhibit is on the vikings but the topic didn't particularly excite either of us so we just stuck to the main part of the museum.

As we only had 2 hours to spare (we were going round to B's dads for coffee and a catchup) we decided to only visit the areas that we really wanted to see, rather than try dash round it all.  You could literally spend all day going round everything, so picking and choosing the most interesting bits seemed like the least stressful way of doing things.

As I love animal facts my immediate reaction was "I want to go to see all the animal stuff" - or in more scientific terms, the "natural world" section (lime green on the map).  This part of the museum is incredible - it is literally a massive room (3 levels high) with huge life sized animals EVERYWHERE - hanging from the ceiling, in glass cases, on the ground in front of you - everywhere you looked there are animals of all shapes and sizes.  It was so exciting - a bit like how I imagine it would be inside Noah's ark (if there was only 1 of each animal....and they were playing an intense game of musical statues...and you know, Noah was real). 

National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

As well as lots of animals to look at there were also cool facts dotted all over the place (of course I can't remember any of them now) and a few trivia games to play too.  There was one game which was all about how sense of smell differs across species - there were 4 flaps that you had to lift up and smell underneath and decide which 2 were identical.  The first one smelt disgusting and the next 3 all smelt like perfume/flowers but after much deliberation I decided 2 and 4 were the same.  After revealing the answers it turned out I was right, but amusingly #3 which I also thought was perfumey was actually fox pee!  A woman behind me burst out laughing as I loudly went "this one also smells of perfume....oh no wait it's fox pee!".

There were more interactive games in a section just next to the main animal room but there were loads of kids playing on them so I thought it would be a bit awkward to muscle in....shame though, it looked fun! 

After about an hr and half we'd been round all the green section and our feet were starting to hurt a bit so decided to head off.  We're planning on going back soon though and checking out the other areas. 

I definitely recommend paying a visit if you're looking for a fun day out in Edinburgh.  The museum is such a beautiful building inside too, the main atrium is really big and bright with its high ceilings and glass roof - reminded me a little bit of Grand Central Station.  You can also hire the museum for private events like weddings....I did mention this to B as we were walking round but he said "that would cost a fortune" so I don't think I'll be getting married here anytime soon, lol.


  1. Isn't it supposed to be good luck if a bird poos on you . . . . ?
    Great post, really enjoyed reading it. Made me laugh out loud about the bird and the Fox per.

    1. Haha, you know what I did actually buy a lottery ticket that day cos my mum said the same....and ZERO of my numbers came up! :(

  2. It looks amazing! I can't believe I've never been before, definitely want to pay it a visit next time I'm over your side of the country :)


  3. Aww no I want to go to a wedding at the museum! Surely it's not thaaat expensive in the grand scheme of things? Get Blair telt! :P

  4. These photos are gorgeous, I love the National Museum, it's so beautiful and there is just so much to see. You should definitely check out the roof of the other part of the building next time you go, the view of the castle is stunning xo

  5. I love this museum, the taxidermy is hilarious! I love the giraffe with its tongue out, I laughed at it for far longer than was socially acceptable! I hope you had a great time!

    E x