The National Museum of Scotland combines two great collections and is the country’s most popular attraction for good reason.
There’s plenty to keep both young and old entertained and recent refurbishment has created a really impressive venue. And, since it’s free, it would be rude not to drop in for an hour or two on a rainy day!
The modern sandstone wing of the museum follows Scottish history from prehistory to the present via an outstanding collection of artefacts. Highlights include the Lewis Chessmen and Bonnie Prince Charlie’s canteen.
The adjoining main building is an airy late-19th century affair with huge attractive arcades around a central atrium. In keeping with the fashion of the time, it has room after room of eclectic curiosities. From giant dinosaur skeletons and Egyptian mummies to Jackie Stewart’s racing cars and Dolly the cloned sheep.
The complex also has a good café, a brassiere and a fine-dining restaurant.
The layout of both buildings is confusing and disorientating, so be sure to pick up the excellent free guide and floor plan on entry. The museum also has this in neat app form.
Finally, don’t miss the views off the roof – if you can find it!