Planning a School Visit

Timing

Please arrive 15 minutes before you are scheduled to meet your guide so you will have time to use  toilet facilities and put coats and bags in the cloakroom, where available.

Lunches

Lunch rooms are available at the Scottish National Gallery and Scottish National Portrait Gallery but not at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Please request at the time of booking.

Health and well-being

Risk assessments can be found as PDF documents on this page.

Some works may not be considered appropriate for all age groups. We recommend that you make your own site visit or enquire for further details in advance of your visit.

Access

Please let us know any additional support needs when booking so we can best support your visit. We offer 

  • wheelchair access to all areas of the National Galleries of Scotland
  • hearing loops
  • tours for visually impaired visitors 

Further Guidance

  • We encourage you to talk about the artworks, sit on the floor, draw or write in the galleries. Please be mindful of other visitors who need access to the works.
  • If drawing in the Galleries, please use only pencils, crayons or oil pastels.
  • Teachers are responsible for pupils’ behaviour at all times, both in the Galleries and in the grounds. Pupils should always be accompanied by an adult.
  • We recommend the following adult - student ratios: 1:5 for under 5s; 1:10 for 6-11 year olds; 1:15 for 12-16 year olds; 1:20 for 16-18 year olds.
  • Please do not touch the artworks. Even clean hands can cause damage.
  • Please do not bring food or drink into the galleries.
  • Please carry rucksacks in your hand, or leave in the lockers, where available.
  • Please follow any instructions given by the gallery attendants. It is their job to ensure the safety of visitors and artworks.
  • Photographs can be taken of items in the permanent collections. Please enquire about permission to photograph any temporary exhibitions.
  • To avoid congestion, we ask that pupils visit the shop in small groups and are accompanied at all times.

Getting here

Please check which of our 3 venues you are visiting:

Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL,  just off Princes Street, overlooking Waverley Railway Station and Princes Street Gardens.

  • Disabled access is at the rear of the building. Please ring the doorbell.
  • Car – limited pay and display parking and car parks are available nearby. Disabled parking is available at the Mound – please call 0131 624 6410 to arrange in advance.
  • Coach – groups can be dropped directly beside the National Gallery of Scotland on the Mound. Free coach parking is available at the Gallery of Modern Art on Belford Road.
  • Bus – the gallery is 10 minutes’ walk from St. Andrew Square bus station, and close to many bus stops on Princes Street.
  • Train – the gallery is 5 minutes’ walk from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One and Modern Two), Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR, to the west of the city centre, on Belford Road.

  • Disabled access is at the front of Mod One and at the rear of Mod Two.
  • Car – free car parking and disabled parking are available
  • Coach – groups can be dropped off in front of the building. Free coach parking is available at Mod Two.
  • Bus – the gallery can be reached from the city centre by Edinburgh Coach Lines, service 13.
  • Train – the gallery is 10 minutes’ walk from Haymarket Railway Station.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen St, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD, at the east end of Queen Street, behind St. Andrew Square

  • Disabled access is at the front entrance. The designated drop off/pick-up point for disabled visitors is from North St David Street at the back of the building. Please come to the second door and ring the doorbell.
    • Car – limited pay and display parking available nearby.
    • Coach – groups can be dropped off at the bus stop to the west of the gallery on North St David Street. Free coach parking is available at Modern Two on Belford Road.
    • Bus – the gallery is next to St. Andrew Square bus station, and close to many bus stops on Queen Street.
    • Train – the gallery is 10 minutes’ walk from Waverley Station.
  • Cars (but not larger vehicles) with blue badges are permitted to park in North St David Street avoiding areas marked with double yellow lines.
  • The nearest designated parking bays for blue badge holders are on West Register Street and St James Place. These are a 5-8 min walk away.