Back in service and free to visit 10 Scottish museums this weekend


NOW, are you sure you’ve got it all with you? Uh? Mask? Sanitizer for hands? Kit for learning? Huh? Yes? I suppose then we’re good to go.

Although we are still in the shadow of the virus, some items, like museums, are slowly returning.

The National Museum of Scotland and Kelvingrove Museum have both reopened in recent days.

And while access is regulated and there are limits on where you can go, after months of closure, the opportunity to visit your favorite museum (or probably your favorite cafe) is definitely welcome.

Here are 10 that you might want to visit soon.

…and when you’re inside, try to wear your mask.

Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland

Once again, the National Museum of Scotland, reopened with shortened hours on Wednesday (10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily), is the ideal retreat for those seeking relief from the moody weather in Edinburgh. As the museum tries to return to (almost) regular operations, pre-ordered timed entry, mandatory face covers and one-way streets are now in place. The entrance to Chambers Street is through the west door.

It will reopen the museum in stages. Visitors are now open to the entrance hall and first floor, but rooms with a high number of interactive exhibits, including the galleries Imagine and Explore, remain closed for now.

The museum has unfortunately had to cancel a number of special exhibits, but it is host to the Precious Seas of Scotland, an exhibition exploring the rich marine life of the nation and the effect on our maritime environment of climate change. It is part of the Year of Waters and Coasts.

For more info and to book admission, visit

Museum in Kelvingrove, Glasgow

For Kelvingrove, which has reopened its doors to the public from 11 a.m., advance booking is also required. By 4 p.m. Every day. Up to two weeks in advance, tickets are available with a limit of six guests per booking, all from the same family. Admission is planned, giving guests a window of two hours. A one-way system was introduced, but most of the main spaces in the gallery are open. Masks are needed and no choices for food will be available. There will be toilets open, however. The entrance is next to the parking lot.

That only leaves one question. When you walk in, what is the first thing you’re going to visit? Are you there for the ancient Egyptian artifacts or to learn about the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh?

PS, on August 31, the Riverside Museum will reopen. Put on your calendar the date.

Visit for more information and to book tickets.

National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Pre-registration is required for limited-time admission to the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune. But at least here you don’t have to quarantine yourself when you step off the planes. Some buildings are still closed, unfortunately, but the Concorde Experience, Parachute Store and civilian and military aircraft hangars are all open, as is the store and cafe. One-way streets are in operation.

And, of course, the airfield itself is open, which means you can take a look inside the aircraft on display – there’s a Vulcan, a Comet and a BAC 1-11. No passes required.

Visit for details and reservations.

The McManus Art Gallery and Museum, Dundee.

The McManus, voted Scotland’s best visitor attraction just before it closed, reopened Thursday and remains one of Dundee’s most reliable places to visit (though there’s more competition these days).

It’s now open daily Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., reservations are not required and exhibits are free. The café has reopened with social distancing measures, and the store now only allows four customers at a time. Admission to the museum will also be limited, so you may have to wait in line.

Joseph McKenzie’s photography at McManus.

Still, it will be worth it. To celebrate the reopening, two new exhibitions have just opened. Time and Tide: The Transformation of the Tay looks at the importance of the river in the city’s ongoing history, while A Love Letter to Dundee: Joseph McKenzie Photographs 1964-1987 celebrates McKenzie’s evocative and nostalgic black-and-white images of Dundee as it once was


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