This is my pick for the best place on my entire Steam Tour to take your littlest Steampunks. There are fun, hands-on exhibits about the water cycle and great info about the history of harnessing the Thames and combatting the Cholera outbreaks through London’s history. But the most exciting parts of the museum complex is room after room of real, working steam engines. They don’t run every engine every day, but I was lucky enough to visit on a bank holiday when they did run every engine for at least 15 minutes at some point during their open hours.
In the courtyard there are some smaller engines as well as a station to make giant bubbles in the afternoon, so that is another plus for kids. There is also a replica of a Victorian-era workshop where all the machines run on the same belt system (the original workshop was destroyed during the Blitz) and they offer tours.
The Mister and I stumbled upon this amazing museum totally by mistake. We had just escaped the crowd on the Royal Mile after picking up our tickets for Fringe and were looking for a quieter place to look at the map. We soon found ourselves on the stone steps outside the National Museum of Scotland with a few hours to kill before our first show. A few hours wasn’t nearly enough!
The first visit was spent mostly in the ancient history section, but we went back a second day to check out the rest of the historical and industrial arts exhibits. If you are a fan of steam engines, elaborate clockwork, intricate model ships and all manner of shiny things, don’t miss this stop if you find yourself in Edinburgh. The museum recently underwent a massive renovation, but the largest gallery dates to the Victorian era and calls to mind the pictures I have seen of the Crystal Palace.
I hope you enjoy the gallery of photos below. (Click on any picture to see a them in a different view).
Have you ever visited this museum? Did you have a favorite part?
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