The Maritime Museum, Scotland, is a real two-for-one special!
The incredible Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine, in Ayrshire houses both the Linthouse Building, which is filled with stunning artefacts, machine tools, shipbuilding machinery, modern boat building and the UK Scottish Boat Building School.
The other museum within the Scottish Maritime Museum is the Dumbarton Museum, where you’ll find the Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank, which shows off the fascinating history of the William Denny and Brothers’ method of shipbuilding. From exploring old vessels and interactive games to learning about the sailing past of Scotland, a visit to the Scottish Maritime Museum will be unforgettable!
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Details to Know About the Scottish Maritime Museum
If you’re heading to the Irvine Maritime Museum or the Dumbarton location, here are all the details, from ticket prices and opening times to transportation and accessibility information.
Scottish Maritime Museum Tickets
There are two sites for this museum, so we’ll be covering ticket prices for each:
For the Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine, a day ticket to the Linthouse building (including the 1920s Flat and Fitting Shed Tour) is £12 for adults (age 17+), £10 for concession (including ages 60+. registered disabled persons, full-time students, NHS staff, British military and emergency personnel), and £7.50 for children (three under 3-year-olds get in for free!)
A day tour ticket for adults is £9, £7 for concession and £4.50 for children.
The Dumbarton Museum’s day tour ticket prices are £5 for adults, £4 for concessions, and £2.50 for children (free for up to three children under 3).
A membership/annual pass to the Irvine or Dumbarton Museum is £16 for students, £21 for a single membership with up to 3 children, and £30 for a joint membership with up to 6 children.
It’s best to book a visit to either site in advance online. Registered carers, Art Fund members, Scottish Maritime Museum and Corporate Members enter both sites for free!
Scottish Maritime Museum Opening Times
The opening hours for the Irvine Maritime Museum, Scotland, are between 10 am and 5 pm every day (except for Christmas, Boxing Day, and January 1st and 2nd).
Opening hours for the Dumbarton Museum are between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Saturday. They’re closed for the same dates as Irvine.
How to Get to the Scottish Maritime Museum
Before plotting your trip to either the Scottish National Maritime Museum in Irvine or Dumbarton, it’s best to have your transport routes handled!
To get to the Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine, take the A71 from the A77, then just follow the signs until you get to Harbour Road. Travelling from Glasgow? Maritime Museum is to the west, around a 40-minute trip from the M77. There’s free parking at the museum!
Getting to the Dumbarton Scottish Maritime Museum, Glasgow makes for an easy trip. Head out on the A82 Great Western Road, then follow the A814 sign leading to Dumbarton Road. From there, follow more brown signs, go left on Church Street, and left again on Castle Street.
There are many buses that stop near the Irvine museum, like the 14A from Troon and Kilwinning Wood Wynd West Car Park.
To Dumbarton from Glasgow, head to the Queen Street stop and hop off at Dumbarton Central after a 35-minute journey. The museum is a ten-minute walk away!
If you can get to the Irvine Railway Station, it’s a five-minute walk to the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine.
To Dumbarton from Edinburgh, take the rail to Helensburgh Central train and stop at Dumbarton Central.
The Scottish Maritime Museum reviews for accessibility are fantastic! At Irvine, there are accessible toilets, ramps, a free wheelchair to use, audio guides, an induction loop system, and assistance/guide dogs are welcome.
At Dumbarton, there is an accessible toilet at Morrisons supermarket next door. There is also an induction loop system and assistance/guide dogs are welcome.
Attractions at the Scottish Maritime Museum Tickets
The Scottish National Maritime Museum in the UK has tons of fun exhibitions and collections for visitors to check out, from art, workshops, boat exhibits, and the history of sailor life, filled with stories that will have you itching for life at sea!
Stroll Through the Linthouse Building
What used to be a shipyard engine shop is now an exhibition of the completed history of boatbuilding in Scotland. Catch a glimpse of a Viking Fourareen, the oldest floating Clyde-built vessel in the world, and explore a boat built by teenage partners! This building has everything, from the story of Scotland’s boats and beautiful maritime art to shipbuilding material.
While you’re in Irvine, check out the vessel collection: the MV Spartan (the last puffer built in the country), the SY Carola, and the harbour tug Garnock.
Take on an Activity Trail
There are activity trails in both museums, which is another two-in-one focus: education and a fun time! There are also colouring sheets if you feel like making some art along the way.
1920s Flat Tour & Fitting Shed Tour
This is one of the best in-depth boating tours in the UK! The exhibition allows you to discover what life was like for a traditional shipyard worker back in the day and examine a triple-expansion marine engine.
Explore the Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank
A visit to the museum’s commercial ship model experiment tank (the first of its kind in the world) offers history, fun, and innovation with the story of the Denny Brothers. You’ll see an expansive photo collection, the first commercial ship model, other boat models, vintage object collections, and more in the Propeller shop. You can also try smoothing and carving a real-life model of a wax hull!
The Scotland Maritime Museum in the UK always has lots happening whether it’s a new collection, school tours, markets, or fresh exhibits. Keep an eye on the Scottish Maritime Museum events page for updates!
More Scottish Museums to Visit
- Black Watch Museum
- Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
- Edinburgh Writers Museum
- Glasgow Science Centre
- Highland Folk Museum
- Museum of Childhood
- Museum of Edinburgh
- Museum of the Isles
- Museum on the Mound
- National Mining Museum
- National Museum of Flight
- National War Museum
- People’s Palace
- Riverside Museum
- Royal Yacht Britannia
- Shetland Museum & Archives
- St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art
- Surgeons’ Hall Museum
- V&A Dundee