What Are The Best Museums In Scotland?

Scotland is like one big museum. For any history nuts out there, just cruising through the Highlands will bring you past a number of famous sites, ancient buildings and epic, history-soaked landscapes. But for those who want to go a little further, Scotland caters for all.

Across the country, there are a number of brilliant museums that capture history and squeeze it inside their walls. These are great for history nuts, but they’re also perfect for families too. That’s right, even for kids, many of these museums are… dare we say it… fun!

If you’re hiring a motorhome in Scotland with your family – and you want to know more about the land you are traversing upon – then these museums are must-visits to expand your knowledge and have fun whilst doing it. With this in mind, here are seven of our favourites:

National Museum Of Scotland, Edinburgh

Starting off close to home, the National Museum of Scotland – the biggest and potentially best museum in Scotland – is located right in the city that you’re going to be setting off in. With a number of fascinating exhibits – including dinosaur fossils, ancient Highland artefacts and early 20th century technology – this is a museum that is perfect for everyone. We should also note, if you are a “Doctor Who” fan, there is currently an exhibition dedicated to the beloved sci-fi show, with a number of set pieces, props and interactive, science-y areas that are perfect for the kids.

The Surgeon’s Hall Museum, Edinburgh

Sticking to Edinburgh, the Surgeon’s Hall Museum is also a fantastic place to discover a bit more about human anatomy. Edinburgh was known as a hotspot for grave robbers back in the 19th century, so there’s a lot of history on show in this regard, including the pocketbook of William Hare, which is bound in the serial killer’s own skin. Yep, if you haven’t guessed already, this museum is not for the faint of heart. But it’s great if you want to learn more about the mystery of Burke and Hare and get a bit of a biology lesson in the process! 

Riverside Museum, Glasgow

Riverside Museum was the very first purpose-built museum in Glasgow, and it is known for housing a number of incredible technology collections, all of which have been gathered over the last few centuries and show just how big a part Glasgow played in the industrial revolution. The building itself is also a must-see. It was designed by architect Dame Zaha Hadid, looking almost like a collection of pyramids that reach out into the sky and are sheened with sleek, black glass. 

The Royal Yacht Britannia, Leith

Just outside of Edinburgh, the town of Leith has the beautiful Royal Yacht Britannia. Formerly the Queen’s sea-vessel of choice, it now lives in Leith Harbour, and it is open to anyone who wants to get a closer look at important royal artefacts and feel what life would have been like inside the ship. It is part of the core collection of historic vessels, and it is often touted as the most important British ship in existence today.

Discovery Point, Dundee

Whilst we’re on the subject of ships, the RRS Discovery is another brilliant attraction that will take you around the ship of Discovery, telling her story with a number of fascinating exhibits. If you are into your nautical history, this is one of the most famous Antarctic vessels there is, with a number of stories to tell and adventures to replicate. You can even walk in the footsteps of Captain Scott, getting to know every detail of his incredible voyages inside the heart of the ship itself.

Inverness Museum And Art Gallery, Inverness

When it comes to the Highlands, there is so much culture and history to get familiar with if you really want to appreciate your motorhome travels in Scotland. One great place to learn all of this is the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. This is one of the oldest museums in Scotland, having first opened in 1826, and it is full of displays, workshops, recitals and interesting exhibitions. It’s also very hands on, which makes it great fun for kids and adults alike!

The Skye Museum, Kilmuir

As mentioned before, all of Scotland is basically a museum in its own right. One of the best examples of this resides in the Skye Museum Of Island Life, situated in Kilmuir. If you choose to visit the Isle of Skye in your motorhome, this is a fabulous place to visit, not least because it’s one of the most unique museums in all of Scotland. It is set on the top of a gorgeous, dramatic hill, with a number of authentic farming tools and thatched cottages that give a real representation of what life would have been like back in the 18th century. A museum is designed to take you back in time, and at the top of this hill, it will feel like you really have!