The Lewis Chessmen: Unmasked National Museum of Scotland 21 May – Sun 19 Sept Special Exhibitions gallery, Level 3 Free
Featuring chessmen drawn from the collections of National Museums Scotland and the British Museum, The Lewis Chessmen: Unmasked is the most comprehensive exhibition on the chessmen for over a decade. The exhibition will look at the mystery and intrigue surrounding the chessmen, explore the stories surrounding their discovery and show how the characters reflected society at the time they were made. It will draw upon new research by National Museums Scotland on their craftsmanship, origins and historical context to provide visitors with a new and vibrant perspective on the chessmen. The National Museum of Scotland is the first venue for the exhibition, which will later travel to Aberdeen Art Gallery, Shetland Museum & Archives and Museum nan Eilean in Stornoway. The exhibition and tour has been made possible with funding from the Scottish Government.
The Jet Age National Museum of Flight New permanent exhibition Included in museum admission Take a look at the UK’s only Boeing 707 cockpit and cabin as we launch The Jet Age. The exhibition features the reminiscences of former cabin crew and passengers from the heyday of commercial travel. Visitors can revel in the glory of 1960s air travel, when photographing celebrities at the airport was still a novelty! Discover how the aircraft was made and watch interviews of passengers and crew. Uniforms, baggage trolleys, airline jet engines and an airport fire engine all help tell the story of the airline that ushered in the ‘Jet Age’. Parachute Store National Museum of Flight New permanent exhibition Included in museum admission Experience an evocative glimpse into life at East Fortune in the Second World War. Newly restored to its original appearance, the Parachute Store is where parachutes were hung from the ceiling to dry and repacked ready for use. Marriage in the Movies National Museum of Costume Fri 9 April – Sun 31 October Entrance included in Museum admission
Marriage in the Movies presents some of the most memorable wedding moments captured on film as we showcase gowns and accessories from the big (and small) screens. The exhibition features wedding dresses worn by Keira Knightley, Helena Bonham-Carter and Meryl Streep, examines the iconic work of Oscar-winning costume designers, and explores the history of the wedding gown from its symbolism and tradition to fashion and style. While all the wedding gowns on display were made especially for the screen, they also represent the story and the style of the time – from the 1770s in Frankenstein and the late eighteenth century in The Duchess, to the early 1900s in Howard’s End. Exhibitions Land Girls and Lumber Jills National War Museum 26 February 2010 – February 2011 Included in Edinburgh Castle admission This new exhibition tells the important story of the Women’s Land Army (WLA) and Women’s Timber Corps (WTC) in Scotland. From roots in the First World War, these Land Girls and Lumber Jills played a vital role in feeding the nation and providing timber. Objects include a formal uniform from the 1940s right up to the 2008 medal awarded to all surviving members of both the WLA and WTC. ‘Land girls’ took on all types of agricultural work from sowing to harvesting, calving to shearing, whilst the Women’s Timber Corps supplied the wood. Some volunteered but others were conscripted as by 1941 all women under the age of 60, without children under 14, could be called up for essential war work. Public recognition of the vital hard work and commitment from these women arrived in 2008 when they were issued with a medal which incorporated the designs from both the Land Army badge and that of the Timber Corps, along with a certificate of thanks from the Prime Minister. Garden Detectives National Museum of Rural Life Free with museum admission What lurks at the bottom of your garden? See the natural world through the eyes of a detective. Delve into hedges, take a peek in our shed and unearth wonders from our flower beds and pond. Explore habitats, study food chains, track animals and discover what they get up to while you’re asleep! Inspired by the work of Charles Darwin to mark his 200th birthday, Garden Detectives turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. Take a larger-than-life look at plants and flowers, learn fascinating facts about nature and experience all the sounds and smells of a real garden, without getting your hands dirty. Darwin200 is a national programme of events celebrating Charles Darwin’s scientific ideas and their impact on society.
Treasured: Wonderful Things, Amazing Stories National Museum of Scotland Until 2011 Free This exhibition offers the chance to discover some of the most extraordinary treasures in the care of National Museums Scotland. Featuring over 300 objects drawn from the four corners of the globe and spanning across centuries, Treasured: Wonderful Things, Amazing Stories celebrates the wonder and diversity of the National Museums’ world-class collections. From a Sumatran tiger to a Victorian corset, Treasured is an eclectic mix of the spectacular, extraordinary, precious and personal. The exhibition provides a link to the Royal Museum collections during closure, casting new light on familiar objects and also giving a first glimpse of some of the objects which will feature in the redeveloped National Museum of Scotland when it re-opens in 2011.

National Museum of Scotland Talks and lectures
Curator’s Choice: Scottish Clocks Fri 11 June Dunfermline Room 14:00 (1hr) £5 / £4 / Members free Book now on 0131 225 7534 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0131 225 7534 end_of_the_skype_highlighting Join Assistant Curator Lyndsay McGill and Clock Conservator Darren Cox for an insight into National Museums Scotland’s Scottish clock collection. Learn more about long-case clocks from the 17th–19th centuries, as well as the more unusual examples on display.
The Lewis Chessmen Wed 23 June Early People gallery 19:00 (1hr) £5 / £4 / Members free Booking now on 0131 225 7534 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0131 225 7534 end_of_the_skype_highlighting New research has revealed that there is a lot more to be said about how, when and where these gaming pieces were buried. We can even speculate about who might have owned them. Find out more with Dr David Caldwell, Keeper of Scotland and Europe.
Special events Meet the Author: The Chess Piece Magician Sun 30 May Visit for times and booking details Free Inspired by the Lewis Chessmen, The Chess Piece Magician is a fantasy adventure set on the Isle of Lewis. Come and meet the author, Douglas Bruton, and create your own island adventure!
Giant Lewis Chessmen Sun 11 July Hawthornden Court 12:00 – 16:00 (Drop-in) Free Join artist Karen Clulow to make your own giant paper chessman. Make your own queen, king or popular berserker and try out their moves on a giant chess board!
Summer events Summer Science Weekdays Mon 12 – Fri 30 July Connect gallery 11:00 – 13:00/ 14:00 – 16:00 Age 5+ Free (Drop-in) Join in our three-week programme of science fun, featuring scientists and astronomers from the Edinburgh Royal Observatory and the University of Edinburgh. We have everything from Huge Telescopes to Build a Superbug workshops! Check for details.
Weekend events Connect Super Science Shows Connect gallery Every Sat and Sun 12:15/13:15/14:15/15:15 (20mins) Age 5+ Limited space (seating for 20) Free Come along to our free events every weekend in Connect. Find out about science in the real world at our Meet the Scientist events or enjoy a Super Science Show!
Free Tours: Scottish Collections Tours leave from the Hawthornden Court meeting point:
Highlights Tour (1hr) Daily 11:30/13:30
Themed Tour (1hr) Daily 14:30
Family Tour (15mins) Sat 14:00
Treasured: Wonderful Things, Amazing Stories Tour (1hr) Tue 15:00/Fri 12:00
Information about topics for themed and family tours can be found on the museum’s information screens and on our website
National War Museum
Special events
Clan Warriors Sat 19 – Sun 20 June 9:45 – 16:00 Events are included in Castle admission The courtyard rings with the clash of steel as our master-at-arms puts his pupils through their paces. Will the full plaid and array of weapons give our volunteer the courage to take part in the Highland Charge?
National Museum of Flight
Special events
Into the Future Sat 19 – Sun 20 June 10:00 – 17:00 Adult £10, Conc £8, Child 12 and under free, National Museums Scotland members free. Parking £4. Group discounts available – please call 0131 247 4238 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0131 247 4238 end_of_the_skype_highlighting for more information. Join Robots Live! as they bring their show to Scotland for the very first time. See machines from television’s Robot Wars fight live in the arena and watch amazing boxing robots battle. Talk to a scientist, try on a pair of anti-gravity boots, or take a UFO or extraterrestrial picture to fool the nation!
National Museum of Rural Life

Special events Grow it, Cook it, Eat it Sun 6 June 10:00 – 17:00 Adult £7, Conc £6, Child 12 and under free, National Museums Scotland members free Where does food come from? Enjoy a guided wild food walk. Find out how to make butter and grow your own vegetables. Meet local brewers, whiskey distillers and food producers and take home some country flavour!
Go Wild in the Country Fri 25 June – Mon 23 August 11:30/14:00 (2hrs) Booking essential on 0131 247 4369 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0131 247 4369 end_of_the_skype_highlighting Enjoy country activities including den-making, ranger skills, photography and our Garden Detectives exhibition. Make a day of it with a picnic and trips on our Farm Explorer.
Museum addresses: National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF National War Museum, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG National Museum of Flight, East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian EH39 5LF National Museum of Costume, Shambellie House, New Abbey, Dumfries, DG2 8HQ National Museum of Rural Life, Wester Kittochside, Philipshill Road, East Kilbride, G76 9HR