Museum of Edinburgh

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What an enjoyable visit we had to this amazing museum. I call it amazing because it has a maze of rooms crammed with collections illustrating the historical and cultural life in Edinburgh, presented in a variety of ways.

It is on Canongate on the famous Royal Mile in Edinburgh's old town that the Museum of Edinburgh can be found.

Walking down Canongate the brightly painted museum caught my eye. My first impression was that it would be a small museum, it looked as if the museum was housed in a standard size shop. Stepping inside I realised how wrong I was, the museum extends to a large adjoining building, there is also an exterior courtyard with seating and old fashioned lamp posts.

The Museum is accessed via the Museum shop which is full of appealing goods. Steps from the shop lead to the first floor where the museum begins, there is a warren of rooms to explore, each one detailing different aspects of Edinburgh's history and culture.

I learnt the bright ochre exterior walls and red paintwork which had attracted my attention are the colours it would have been painted in the past. Inside is equally as vibrant. Looking up to the roof, the beams are covered with Latin transcripts in gold. The writings which are also on the outside of the building are of sayngs from Edinburgh's past such as the cries of the Royal Mile tradesmen.

The museum illustrates Edinburgh's past in a variety of ways to suit everyone. For example for those who like details and maps, there are architectural drawings of James Craig's plans in 1766 for the building of Edinburgh New Town, as well as details of various trades and professions in Edinburgh through the ages. For those that like visual displays, there is a host of silverware, ceramics, art, absolutely everything, including a preserved wooden sewer pipe and various curiosities. For children there is The Learning Space, providing hands on materials, arts, crafts, dressing up clothes, fun activities.

Entry to the museum is free (donations are accepted). However, for an additional £4 you can watch a 15 minute programme on Edinburgh's past, in a darkened room with a large screen embedded on the floor. You either sit or stand and look down at the screen where maps and pictures of Edinburgh and its life are shown and verbally described.

Edinburgh's Royal Mile. has a huge variety of shops, cafes and museums and is just a short walk from Waverley Station.

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