Things to do on a rainy day

A man and a woman looking at the Hill House, while standing in the protective 'Box'.

Looking for adventure, despite the weather? Here are some exciting ideas for rainy days near you. From stately homes and castles to interactive museums, there's something to suit everyone.

The Hill House, Helensburgh

The Hill House is considered to be Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s domestic masterpiece. The architect and his wife Margaret created almost everything you see here, from the building itself to the beautiful and iconic furniture and textiles.

We’re partway through a long-term conservation programme to protect the building. The protective steel-frame Box allows continued public access to the house, as well as views of the Hill House that have never been seen before. Walkways lead around and over the top of the house, where you can see conservation in action as the Box protects the walls from the harsh, wet Scottish weather.

Our shop is filled with a range of bespoke design-led products inspired by the Hill House and the Box, and you can relax in the café, where we offer a delicious selection of locally sourced, Scottish produce.

A dark panelled hallway in the Hill House.

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Ayrshire

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum offers a truly unique encounter with Scotland’s favourite son. Explore the famous sites in Alloway where Burns was inspired to write some of his best works, including the cottage where he was born. In the museum, see the world’s most important collection of Burns artefacts and works. There are also interactive games and quizzes for all ages to learn and get involved.

Robert Burns's writing desk is displayed in a museum, with sheets of paper flying off it. A young child stands and looks at it.

Did you know?

Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali visited the historic Burns Cottage in 1965. A photograph of this extraordinary event hangs in the museum. See if you can spot it on your next visit.

Robert Smail’s Printing Works, Scottish Borders

Get your hands inky at Robert Smail’s Printing Works, the oldest working commercial letterpress printers in the UK. A living museum of Victorian history, its premises have remained more or less unchanged for over a century. See how newspapers, tickets, posters and letterheads were printed before the digital age. Test your skills at typesetting, learn the traditional art of letterpress printing and see authentic Victorian machinery in action.

Two children and a woman stand around a large case in a printing workshop. All wear long white aprons.

Crathes Castle

Standing proudly against a backdrop of rolling hills, Crathes Castle is awash with history, along with turrets, winding staircases and ornately painted ceilings. Step inside and listen to stories of the Burnett family, who lived here for almost 400 years among. Don’t miss the most famous object associated with Crathes – the jewel-encrusted Horn of Leys said to have been given to the Burnetts by Robert the Bruce.

Glencoe Visitor Centre

Although you might think of the outdoors when you think of Glencoe, there’s loads on offer at the visitor centre if the weather is inhospitable. History, wildlife and things to do in the glen are brought to life through quirky design, visual displays, sound and sculpture.

A powerful short film takes you on a journey through millions of years, while the ‘Pioneers of the Peaks’ exhibition highlights the glen’s role in shaping mountaineering and climbing in Scotland over the last 100 years.

And you can take in the panoramic views of the mountains while you refuel in our Highland Coo Café.

A mother and two children look up at a rescue sledge suspended from the ceiling in the new Glencoe Visitor Centre. It is an airy space with polished wooden floors and spaced out exhibits and panels.

Culloden, Inverness

Visit the powerfully moving site of the final Jacobite Rising – Culloden – the last and most harrowing pitched battle to be fought on British soil. Explore the modern, family-friendly and interactive visitor centre with fascinating artefacts from both sides of the confrontation. Highlights of the collection include the Brodie Sword, a magnificent display piece that contains wonderful imagery of Medusa and dolphins on its hilt, and a rare blunderbuss that was taken from the battlefield at Culloden by a Government soldier.

The museum uses technology to help re-imagine the battle. Our 360-degree battle immersion theatre puts you at the heart of the action, and the bird’s-eye view battle table details the tactics and movements of the day.

Did you know?

At Culloden, we have resources to allow you to find out which clan you may have been part of, and where and if they fought during the Battle of Culloden. Our Families of the ’45 book is a unique collection of names from the Jacobite Rising and often holds surprises for visitors.

The Georgian House, Edinburgh

Discover the Georgian House in Edinburgh – a grand 18th-century town house that was at the heart of the city’s New Town development. Admire the stunning collections of period furniture, paintings, porcelain, silver and glass, and gain a fascinating insight into both the upstairs and downstairs elements of 18th-century society. For younger visitors there are a variety of fun activities, including replica Georgian costumes for dressing up.

Did you know?

The Georgian House, situated in Edinburgh’s city centre, cost its first owner a modest £1,800 back in 1796.

Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran

Teeming with history and surrounded by mountains, Brodick Castle is every inch the quintessential island castle. Explore the building during our new self-guided visitor experience, which focuses on the fascinating stories of the people who lived here.

There are several interactive activities, including our Victorian arcade where you can race a horse on our roll-a-derby or play other traditional Victorian games. These activities, combined with special lighting, audio and costumed interpreters, help bring the castle to life.

Staff at Brodick Castle playing games in the new Victorian Arcade

Please see property pages for up-to-date opening times.

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