See where Livingstone was born and lived in the early 1800s.
Discover the amazing life and work of David Livingstone, Scotland’s most famous explorer.
Learn how Victorian travellers prepared for the challenges they faced in unfamiliar territory.
Admire dramatic re-creations of scenes from Livingstone’s life, including a bronze sculpture depicting the lion attack he survived.
Walk through the Explorer’s Garden overlooking the River Clyde.
Scotland’s most famous explorer was born in a single-roomed tenement inside this whitewashed building in 1813. The Livingstones shared this building with 23 other families, living in cramped conditions. Known as Shuttle Row, the tenement block now houses a museum dedicated to Livingstone’s life and works.
Livingstone was the first European to cross southern Africa and filled huge gaps in western knowledge of the continent. He reported on the cruelties of the slave trade in a campaign to end it, and died trying to find the source of the Nile.
There is an Explorer’s Garden in the grounds, and the Clyde Walkway passes nearby.
Journey with David Livingstone, from his humble beginnings working in an early 19th-century cotton mill to his enthralling explorations in Africa – voyages that made him a hero.
You can see the single room, faithfully restored, that he shared with his parents and four siblings. Many of his personal belongings are on display including journals, navigational tools and medical equipment – he was not a man to travel light!
There is plenty for children to do, including quizzes, dressing up and even a lion hunt.
The centre is set in parkland and gardens overlooking the River Clyde, and there are plenty of picturesque woodland walks including along the Clyde Walkway to Bothwell Castle.
Children can let off steam in the play park.
If you’re still in the area around dusk, look out for wildlife – bats, owls and foxes can often be seen hunting near the buildings.
There is a Nature Explorers Club that runs once a month on a Saturday morning. Activities take place in the grounds of the centre, so you can drop your children off and go for a stroll while they have fun.
Dogs are welcome in the grounds on a lead.
There is a car park.
Guided tours last between 1 and 1.5 hours. Groups should book tours in advance.
Large groups are usually split into smaller groups of approximately 15 people. Tours can focus on a particular aspect of Livingstone’s life to suit the interest of a group.
Coach parking is available approximately 250m from the Africa Pavilion.
The car park is approximately 250m from the centre. Closer parking is available by arrangement.
Wheelchair access is available to the ground and upper floors of the museum (via a lift).
The woodland garden is accessible for wheelchairs, although there are slopes.
An accessible toilet is available in the Africa Pavilion.
The shop is fully accessible.
For hearing-impaired visitors, transcripts of the audio interpretation are available.
Guidebooks are available in French, German and Spanish.
Explanatory text is available in Afrikaans, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swahili.
The David Livingstone Centre is on Station Road, Blantyre.