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“Interesting to see how printing used to be done”

Robert Smail's Printing Works
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland, Robert Smail's Printing Works is an operational Victorian-era printing works, which still uses its original letterpress machinery to produce cards and stationery today. Visitors to the works will have the opportunity to find out about how printing was done before the days of the computer! There is a chance to set your own name in type to create your own unique letterpress bookmark, see out presses in action and view pieces from our extensive archival collections. Robert Smail's gift shop stocks a wide range of cards and stationery produced on the premises and a range of quality and quirky gifts to suit all pockets and purses. The printing works runs a variety of activities and workshops throughout the year. See our website for details.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
176 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Interesting to see how printing used to be done”
Reviewed July 26, 2013

We went because we were nearby and had Scottish National Trust memberships, so this was free. Our kids loved type-setting their names into trays and printing bookmarks. The explanations and demonstrations of old machinery were interesting but a bit lengthy. If you are in the area, this is worth it, but I probably wouldn't drive out of my way to go.

Visited July 2013
Thank Scottish_Traveler_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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98 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Tells much more than the life of a print works.”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Was late going in but the staff allowed us a whistle stop tour which almost ended up as a full tour, far more than we expected for the time allowed, they all stayed longer than their normal working hours just to accommodate us, excellent.

Visited July 2013
Thank Andy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“A great national trust property”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We are national trust members and decided to stop at the Robert Smail's Printing Works as part of a weekend in the Borders. The staff were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. It was great to learn about the printing techniques and to have a go at typesetting ourselves. Definitely worth a visit!

Visited July 2013
Thank Beth G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Printing Awesome”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

An old printing business where the previous owner hoarded everything they did from opening in 1866 forms the basis of this delightful working museum. The enthusiastic staff are friendly, engaging and knowledgeable about the subject presented and thus you cannot help but enjoy yourself as you discover the world of type setting and printing. You also have the added bonus of having a go at setting type yourself to make a personalised keepsake of your visit. If you do plan to make a visit then please check the opening times on tinterweb and do allow time to wander down to the other end of the street for ice cream after you visit. You won't be sorry at visiting either!

Visited July 2013
Thank Richard T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Very informative place to visit”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Would recommend that you ensure you have at least two hours to enjoy visiting the print works. The staff explain a lot in detail and are very enthusiastic about it all. Not sure if under fives would appreciate a visit.

Visited June 2013
Thank rosebery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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