FESTIVAL AROUND TOWN MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
Museums and attractions are listed by city, then alphabetically by venue. Submit listings at least 16 days before publication to firstname.lastname@example.org. Listings compiled by Laura Ennor and Lauren Mayberry. Indicates Hitlist entry
■ CAMERA OBSCURA & WORLD OF ILLUSIONS Castlehill, 226 3709, camera-obscura. co.uk Daily 9.30am–9pm. £10.95 (£9.95; under 16s £7.95; under 5s free). The ‘camera’ is a giant periscope inside a Victorian rooftop tower on the Royal Mile, giving a spectacular 360° perspective on Edinburgh, plus there’s interactive optical fun galore.
■ DEEP SEA WORLD Battery Quarry, North Queensferry, 01383 411880, deepseaworld.com Mon– Fri 10am–5pm; Sat & Sun 10am–6pm. £13 (£11; under 15s £8.75; under 3s free; family £38–£42). From seals to piranhas, this marine life centre has a petting area and underwater tunnel so you can get to grips with the deep. ■ EDINBURGH CASTLE AND NATIONAL WAR MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND Castlehill, 225 9846 (info)/ 668 8081 (bookings), edinburghcastle.gov.uk / nms.ac.uk/war Daily 9.30am–6pm. £14 (£11.20; under 16s £8.20). Perhaps Edinburgh’s most visible landmark, the Castle perches on top of a rocky outcrop at the head of the Royal Mile, and includes ceremonial rooms, fortifications, dungeons, and Scotland’s Honours or crown jewels. Inside, the National War Museum (nms.ac.uk) delves into the past 400 years of the country’s military history. Reconstructing Lives Until Feb 2013. A moving look at those who have lost limbs in war and the advances in medical technology that have helped them to cope.
■ THE EDINBURGH DUNGEON 31 Market Street, 240 1001 (info)/ 0871 423 2250 (bookings), thedungeons. com Daily 10am–7pm. £9.20–£16.20 (under 16s £5–£12). A grizzly look into historical Edinburgh, with actor-led tours and rides, just above Waverley Station.
■ EDINBURGH ZOO Corstorphine Road, 334 9171, edinburghzoo.org.uk. Daily 9am–5pm. £15.50 (£13; under 16s £11; under 3s free). Visitors can see the headline- grabbing giant pandas, the famous Penguin Parade and over 1000 other animals at this site three miles west of the city centre. ■ GEORGIAN HOUSE 7 Charlotte Square, 0844 493 2118, nts. org.uk/property/georgian-house Daily 10am–6pm. £6 (£5; family £11–£16). Step back to the age when the affluent moved out of the squalor of the Old Town to the spacious grandeur of buildings like this in Edinburgh’s wealthy New Town.
■ HOLYROOD PARK Holyrood Park Road, 652 8150, historic- scotland.gov.uk. Open at all times; Holyrood Lodge Information Centre daily 9.30am–3pm. Free. The main entrance to this large royal park, east of the city centre, is flanked by the Palace of Holyrood House and the Scottish Parliament Building.
■ MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD 42 High Street, 529 4142, edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venues/ 94 THE LIST 2–9 Aug 2012
org.uk Daily 9.30am–6pm (last admission 5pm). £10.75 (£9.80; under 17s £6.50; under 5s free). The official Scottish residence of the Queen, this baroque palace was once home to Mary Queen of Scots and now houses the great artworks and tapestries of its regal residents. ■ ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN EDINBURGH Inverleith Row, 552 7171, rbge.org. uk Daily 10am–6pm. Free; glasshouse entry £4.50 (£3.50; children £1; family £9). These gardens, founded in the 17th century, cover over 70 acres and are just one mile from the city centre. There are glasshouses and cafés within the grounds, as well as high-profile art exhibitions at Inverleith House.
■ ROYAL OBSERVATORY VISITOR CENTRE Blackford Hill, 668 8404, roe.ac.uk/ vc Entry by arrangement or at Public Astronomy evenings (weekly, Fri 6.30pm & 8pm). Public Astronomy evenings £4 (£3). See the stars through the research centre’s magnificent copper domes at weekly astronomy evenings. ■ ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA Ocean Terminal, Leith, 555 5566, royalyachtbritannia.co.uk Daily 9.30am–4.30pm (last admission). £11.75 (£10; under 18s £7.50; under 5s free; family £34). Take a guided tour of the ornate floating royal residence (and the naval quarters below) and learn about life aboard the yacht that served the royal family for almost 50 years.
■ SCOTCH WHISKY EXPERIENCE 354 Castlehill, 220 0441, scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk Daily 10am–8pm; entry is as part of a tour. Tours £12.50–£50 (£10–£25; under 18s £6.50). Learn more about Scotland’s tastiest export with a tour and tasting session. There is also a bar and restaurant if you need a few more drams to help decide which is your favourite.
■ SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT Horse Wynd, 0800 092 7500, scottish. parliament.uk Opening hours vary according to whether Parliament is in session, see website for details. Free. See Spanish architect Enric Miralles’ magnificent (and controversial) Holyrood building, take a tour of the interior, sit in on a debate or look at the artwork on display.
■ SCOTT MONUMENT Princes Street Gardens East, 529 4068, edinburghmuseums.org.uk Mon–Sat 9am–4pm; Sun 10am–6pm. £3. Commemorating Sir Walter Scott, this is the largest monument to any writer in the world. Take all 287 steps to the top for a great view of the city, and occasional exhibitions. ■ SCOTTISH STORYTELLING CENTRE AND JOHN KNOX HOUSE 43–45 High Street, 556 9579, scottishstorytellingcentre.co.uk. Mon–Sat 10am–6pm; Sun noon–6pm. Free entry to SSC; John Knox House £4.25 (£3.75; children £1; under 7s free). A stylish contemporary building appended to the 15th century home of Protestant reformer John Knox, housing materials relating to Scotland’s rich oral culture. ■ SURGEONS’ HALL MUSEUM Nicolson Street, 527 1649, museum. rcsed.ac.uk Daily noon–4pm. £5 (£3). Home to permanent collections on pathological anatomy, the history of surgery and dentistry, as well as temporary exhibitions, talks and occasionally gruesome hands-on events. Watching on the Heights: The Life and Work of Joseph Lister Until Fri 28 Sep. Artefacts, documents, instruments and specimens relating to the pioneering surgeon’s work.
SPOTLIGHT: CAMERA OBSCURA Get a different view of Edinburgh from inside this Victorian rooftop chamber, where you can see live 360° images of the city projected onto a viewing table by this cool piece of technology, which is part pinhole camera, part periscope. A tourist staple on the Royal Mile for over 150 years, this is a good place to start a day of sightseeing, not far from the Scottish Parliament and Arthur’s Seat. (Lauren Mayberry) ■ camera-obscura.co.uk
museum-of-childhood Mon–Sat 10am–5pm; Sun noon–5pm. Free. Learn about the toys, clothes and lifestyles of children of the past. ■ MUSEUM OF FIRE 76–78 Lauriston Place, 659 7285, lothian.fire-uk.org/museum Mon–Fri 10am–4pm; closed Sat & Sun. Free. This converted fire station tells the story of Edinburgh’s firefighters, from the oldest fire brigade in the UK, formed in 1824, to the present.
■ MUSEUM ON THE MOUND The Mound, 243 5464, museumonthemound.com Tue–Fri 10am–5pm; Sat & Sun 1–5pm. Free. Inside the Bank of Scotland’s head office, learn how money has evolved over the past 4000 years or try cracking a safe.
■ NATIONAL MINING MUSEUM SCOTLAND Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange, 663 7519, scottishminingmuseum.com Daily 10am–5pm. £7.50 (£5.50; children free). Nine miles south of Edinburgh, this museum is one of the best-preserved Victorian collieries in Europe. ■ NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND Chambers Street, 0300 123 6789, nms. ac.uk Daily 10am–5pm. Free. Renovated in 2011, this national beacon of culture has exhibitions on natural history, science and technology, Scottish history, art and design and world cultures in
galleries surrounding a beautiful, naturally-lit atrium space. Catherine the Great: An Enlightened Empress Until Wed 31 Oct. £9 (£7.50; under 18s £6; under 12s free). Exhibition showcasing the amazing art collections of the Russian Empress. FREE One Thousand Points of Light: Melvin Moti Until Wed 31 Oct. Installation by Dutch artist, incorporating objects from the Museum’s collections. FREE Sounds Global Until Sun 30 Sep. Exhibition created by and for young people, exploring music’s relationship to identity and beliefs.
G r e a t D A Y S O U T i d e a s ■ NATIONAL MUSEUMS COLLECTION CENTRE 242 West Granton Road, 247 4770, nms.ac.uk Visits by appointment only or with occasional tours. Following the redevelopment of the National Museum, two new collection buildings
have also been added to the Aladdin’s cave-like storage and conservation centre at Granton.
■ OUR DYNAMIC EARTH Holyrood Road, 550 7800, dynamicearth.co.uk Daily 10am–6pm (last entry 4.30pm). £10.80 (£9.50; under 16s £7.20; under 3s free). Take an interactive journey through the history of the earth, from the tundra to the bottom of the ocean. ■ PALACE OF HOLYROODHOUSE Royal Mile, 556 5100, royalcollection.