{Scotland} Local History at Linlithgow Museum

Happy Museum Monday! We’ve got another Scottish recommendation for you today. Over the October half term break, we had a little mini break in Linlithgow which is just one train stop away from Edinburgh. It’s famous for being the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. There’s quite a few things for families to do in Linlithgow to fill a mini break with, and one of the things we did was to visit Linlithgow Museum, which celebrates the town’s heritage and history.

There are three galleries in total. The first is about ‘Civic Life’ and introduces you to Linlithgow’s royal heritage. A highlight of the gallery is the lie-size statue of Mary Queen of the Scots, the first of its size to be commissioned in Scotland. Oskar, my eldest, has studied Mary Queen of Scots at school so he was very interested to see this.

The second gallery is all about Linlithgow’s trades and industries, including electronics, explosives and pharmaceuticals. The boys learned about how glue used to be made from horses, which was quite an eye opener for them.

This gallery also included some fun hands-on activities for kids (and kids at heart), such as designing your own banner, mixing medicine, and even a smelling interactive.

The final gallery is about daily life in Linlithgow, including sports and leisure, education, politics and more. The boys were particularly interested in the section about childhood, and the section about school – with a very tall teacher’s chair, which enabled the teacher to have a better view of what was going on in the classroom.

There were also a couple of audio visual displays, and my younger boy enjoyed scrolling through and exploring old photographs, paintings and documents.

Also, I don’t really watch Star Trek (apologies to any fans) but I still appreciated the fact that the section on famous people from Linlithgow listed “Star Trek’s Montgomery Scott” who “will be born in Linlithgow in 2222”. I like a bit of museum humour.

Overall, the museum is not very big but there is lots of information in it. As well as the hands-on activities in gallery two, there is also a museum trail you can pick up from the info desk, and I believe there are different versions for different ages. This was great for extending our visit and for engaging the boys more in some of the exhibits, such as the glue making.

In total, we stayed for about 45 minutes. You could also combine your museum visit with a visit to Linlithgow library, which is in the same building. You can find up to date opening times on the museum website. Admission is free, though donations are welcome.

How to get there

Location: In the Partnership Centre (first floor) at Tam Dalyell House, 93 High Street, Linlithgow, EH49 7EZ

Take the train from Edinburgh Waverley or Haymarket, which takes around 20 minutes, to Linlithgow. Then it’s just a 5 minute walk to the museum.

Good to know

Cost: Admission is free, though donations are welcome.

Opening hours: Friday to Sunday year round, plus additional days over the Summer. Times vary.

Website: https://www.linlithgowmuseum.org/visit

Comments: 7

  • reply
    29 October 2019

    Oh this looks cool, we were at the Natural History Museum a couple of days ago. Museums are wonderful places, I love old medicine bottles and things like that so I would find this fascinating.

  • reply
    29 October 2019

    It really does look like a fab little museum, plenty to keep young and old occupied!

  • reply
    29 October 2019

    I love finding a museum to explore wherever I go. It’s even better when it’s somewhere free as well.

  • reply
    30 October 2019

    Oh this looks like so much fun. I think it’s great that they have free events!

  • reply

    Vicky Smith

    30 October 2019

    Looks like an amazing museum! I like the Star Trek reference. Also great to have some interactive elements there for the kids, I think that really helps get them engaged x

  • reply
    2 November 2019

    What a great little museum and always good to learn about local history and get kids interested in it too

    Laura x

  • reply
    16 November 2019

    We did not know Mary Queen of Scots was born in Linlithgow but what a lovely museum and love the three sections they have.

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