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Scottish Borders

Robert Smail’s Printing Works

Oldest working commercial letterpress printers in the UK – a living museum of Victorian history

Planning your visit

We want you to enjoy your visit to Smail’s – your safety is our priority. This means we have had to make some changes so that we can keep everyone safe. Please read our Guide on what to expect before you set off.

This property is part of the ‘We’re Good to Go’ scheme, which means we have carried out an official COVID-19 risk assessment to check we have everything in place to reopen safely.

Please be aware that for the health and safety of visitors, volunteers and employees in our hospitality venues, we will record the name and contact details of everyone who enters in order to support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect. This information will be used to enable NHS Scotland to contact you should you have been in the venue around the same time as someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. We are obliged to process this data to comply with The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 11) Regulations 2020. Please see our Data Protection page for further information.

Further to this, in National Trust for Scotland non-hospitality settings, where there is either a pre-booking system in place or there is the potential for close contact (eg in some of our smaller properties), we will ask visitors to provide limited contact information. This is for the purposes of managing the number of visitors and also to support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect. For further information, please see our Data Protection page.


Pre-booking

We have set up a pre-booking system to make your visit easier and safer. Ticket numbers are capped each day, so please book in advance to avoid disappointment. In accordance with government guidelines, no more than six people from two household groups will be permitted per hour time slot.

Book your ticket now

We strongly advise that you pre-book before travelling. If you do not pre-book, we cannot guarantee entry to the the Printing Works.


Dogs (except assistance dogs) are not permitted at Smail’s.

For more information about planning your visit, please see the drop-down facilities below or our frequently asked questions.

If you’d like to speak to us, we can be contacted by email: smails@nts.org.uk or telephone 01896 830206.

Facilities & access

Unfortunately, our Caseroom is not suitable for wheelchair access.

We have an ongoing programme of accessible content development. Detailed accessibility guides for the most visited Trust places are available on our Accessibility pages as well as links to useful resources.

We’d love you to visit the Euan’s Guide website to review the accessibility of Trust places and tell us (and others) what’s good and where we need to do better.

With the exception of the Caseroom on the first floor, all areas of Smail’s are accessible for buggies.

Visits to Robert Smail’s Printing Works include a guided tour in three sections as well as a hands-on element. In the Office you’ll find out about the generations of the Smail family and see some of our fantastic archive. In the Caseroom you’ll be put to work by the compositor – can you pass the first year of your apprenticeship?! And in the Machine Room you’ll see some of our original presses in action.

Hearing loop

A large-print version of the guidebook is available.

Smail’s has a fantastic gift shop, selling an exclusive range of letterpress stationery produced on the premises, alongside quality and quirky items from across Scotland.

With the exception of the Caseroom on the first floor, all areas of Smail’s are accessible for wheelchair users.

Opening times

Printing works and gift shop

Access to the printing works is by pre-booked time slots only. Please note that spaces are limited.

1 Jan–29 Apr, closed Current period30 Apr–31 Oct, Fri–Mon, 10.30–17.00 1 Nov–31 Mar 2022, closed

Entry prices

Printing Works
Adult
£7.00
Family
£17.00
One adult family
£12.00
Concession
£5.00

Members go free

At all Trust places, admission is free for members.

Join from £50