Magic museums in Scotland

Scotland has some fantastic museums, interesting both inside and out. Both the spectacular modern designs and the historic structures house some fascinating exhibits. 

1) St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art

Let’s be honest, Glasgow has a pretty convoluted history with religion. It hasn’t always been pretty, but this space only promotes education and acceptance to the most devout and sceptic amongst us. Named after the patron saint of Glasgow, the exhibitions show art and artefacts from the world’s largest religions. There is a floor dedicated to Scotland, which illustrates how religion has influenced and dictated opinion over 5000 years. The zen garden at the back was the first in Britain and the overlooking Glasgow cathedral the oldest building in Scotland.

Scotland - Glasgow - St Mungo Museum Religious Life and ARt exterior

2) Peterhead Prison Museum

Peterhead Prison, also known as Scotland’s Alcatraz, was made notorious by the 1987 riots, when prisoners took control of D hall and made two guards hostage. The siege rampaged for 5 days until home secretary Douglas Hurd decided to send in the SAS (British Special Forces) to take back control. Jackie Stuart, who is now in his late 80s, was one of the guards taken captive and works now at the museum as a guide. The tour is interesting and provides a thought-provoking insight into Scotland’s only convict prison.

Scotland - Peterhead Prison Museum hallway

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3) The V&A Dundee

This truly unique and outstanding building makes quite the impression on the Dundee skyline. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, its form is said to be inspired by the cliffs of the North East and is quite the structure to ponder over. It’s the first ever museum in Scotland dedicated to design and showcases some of the most influential and inspiring collections of international and Scottish design, both physically and virtually and certainly is a bold statement to begin with. Ten years in the making, it’s a grand addition to the UNESCO city of design.

Exterior of the v&a dundee design museum in Scotland

1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee

+44 (0)1382 411 611

4) National Museum of Scotland

Right in the centre of Edinburgh lies the National Museum of Scotland. Formed in 2006 by merging together the Museum of Scotland and the Royal Museum, which lied adjacent. The two buildings now come together to form the outstanding experience. The grand central hall pours in an array of light that highlights the grandness of the cast iron construction, dating back to 1866. The exhibitions consist of ancient Egypt, technology, the natural world to name but a few. However the most important and some of the most impressive pieces can be found in the Scottish History and Archaeology display. Here you can find artefacts from the earliest cultures. Learn about Scotland’s history, how we were governed, what we have contributed, and take a moment to reflect on where we want to go as a nation. Both intrinsically and internationally. The Museum Late Nights during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe are not to be missed, and are an incredible way to spend your evening. Give yourself time to work around this magnificent building.

high and white exhibition room at the National Museum of Scotland

Chambers Street, Edinburgh

+44 (0)300 123 6789

5) The Riverside Museum

The Riverside museum is a fascinating structure that is distinct in the skyline and designed by the late Zaha Hadid. It houses the Glasgow Transport Museum. The collection has every mode of transport you can think of from old buses, locomotives, prams, trams and bicycles. Fun and interactive displays, that make learning about our industrial past engaging. Great day out.

Bikes at an exhibition of The Riverside Museum in Scotland

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