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“Fascinating - a real surprise!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Surgeons' Hall Museums

Surgeons' Hall Museums
Ranked #28 of 379 things to do in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Surgeons’ Hall Museums (SHM), part of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, houses one of the largest and most historic collections of artefacts charting the history and development of surgery. The collections include surgical instruments and artworks and one of the largest collections of anatomical specimens in the world. These specimens are displayed in the Wohl Pathology Museum, which is located within the iconic building designed by William Playfair in 1832. All of the exhibits which have made SHM world-famous will be back on display: including a pocket book made from the skin of the infamous murderer, William Burke; and exhibits relating to Dr Joseph Bell, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s teacher and main inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, the highlight of which is a letter from the author crediting his mentor as such. The reopened SHM, whose transformation has been supported by a £2.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will also feature even more interactive and display exhibits, which will help visitors from all around the world discover the stories and breakthroughs that have shaped modern surgical practice.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Fascinating - a real surprise!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2013

We visited here today as part of our latest trip to Edinburgh and it was fabulous! An actor gave a fabulous interactive talk several times a day which was super! He was very enthusiastic and was more than happy to answer any questions at the end of the talk. It's probably worth arriving at the museum early around 10ish if you can to read most of the displays in the room he gives the talk in before he begins as the talks are at regular intervals of around an hour and we still hadn't finished reading when the next one began which was very distracting. Parts of the museum contain extensive collections of specimens, not for the faint hearted but the whole exhibit was engaging and thoroughly interesting. The £5 entrance fee was a bargain considering we were there for over 3 hours. It's a real must see!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank loubylou2209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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633 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Medical marvells”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2013

have passed this building for years, but as it was raining we decided to visit. What a surprise in store, facinating history of medince, some interesting exhibits - unusual but good

Visited September 2012
Thank StuartBlaikie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Grisly but interesting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2013

Wonderful museum macabre, but interesting,made all the more special by actor portraying an 19th century surgeon. So many wonderful discoveries in medicine made in Edinburgh. Well worth a visit

Visited March 2013
Thank citybrowser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vantaa, Finland
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Real, honest and bold. Absolutely fascinating!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2013

This is definitely a place that every suregon to be should visit. It gives you a honest overview where it all began. There where no fancy equipments or even the kind medicine we have today. It really makes you appreciate all the things you have today.

This museum wasn't what I accpected to be, it was much more! I just thought I was going into one these average museums that would have a couple of real human bones and mostly just pictures in it. But no! The scots are not afraid to show that this is human, these are thing you're maid of. I work as a nurse and this is the kind of museum I would have liked to visit during the time I was studying. And even now having been on the job for a while, I still learned a lot.

So, all the surgeon and nurse wanna bees go see this. Dontä just read your books and look pictures. See how it all began, see how one most important parts of medicine got into the the point where it is now.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Marika H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
239 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Very Interesting if a Little Gory”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

Thoroughly enjoyed our visit even although it can be a little gory. The Museum is amazing and makes one realise how fortunate we are to be living now and not 100 years ago - the advancements in Medical Science are truly amazing.

Visited March 2013
Thank Foodie50XX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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