Occupying a 16th-century house with a bright red and yellow facade, the Museum of Edinburgh (formerly Huntly House) tells the rich history of the city, from prehistoric times to the present day. Among the star exhibits is the collar and bowl of Greyfriars Bobby, a dog who kept watch at his master’s Edinburgh grave for 14 years.
Many visitors arrive at the museum via hop-on hop-off bus tour and browse the exhibitions independently. Both permanent collections, devoted to Edinburgh’s history, and temporary exhibitions are housed inside, and are designed to be self-guided. The museum’s collections also feature examples of Scottish crafts, including glassware, silver pieces, and porcelain. Fans of the TV show Outlander may recognize the Museum of Edinburgh building. It, together with the surrounding Bakehouse Close, was used as a filming location during series three.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Museum of Edinburgh is a must for history buffs and Outlander fans.
Pair a visit to the Museum of Edinburgh with a trip to the complementary People’s Story Museum, a companion museum focusing on working-class Edinburgh life.
The upper levels of the museum are not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Museum of Edinburgh is situated in the Old Town, just off the Royal Mile opposite Canongate Kirk. The nearest trains station is Edinburgh Waverley railway station, which is about 10 minutes away on foot.
When to Get There
The Museum of Edinburgh opens Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The museum is typically busiest during July and August, school vacations, and at weekends, though crowds are rare. Get there for opening to experience it at its quietest.
Highlights of the Collection
The museum contains many objects of note. Examine the National Covenant of 1638, which called for changes in Scotland’s governance and set in motion the events that would ultimately lead to the Scottish civil war. Perhaps the most crowd-pleasing display in the collection is the collar and water bowl of Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier who famously waited by the grave of his master, an Edinburgh policeman, in Greyfriars Kirk for more than a decade after his death.