Local places to go

Arts + Crafts (dementia, sensory impaired) - National Galleries

The National Galleries in Edinburgh run a programme of activities and events to make the collections accessible to everyone. These programmes are available in the National Gallery, Portrait Gallery and Modern Gallery

Dementia – Gallery Social Programme
Join artists for free, relaxed and informal guided tours for anyone affected by dementia, their friends, relatives and supporters. Each month, the sessions will start off with refreshments and there will often be a simple practical activity that participants can take part in if they would like to. This will be followed by a tour exploring highlights from the permanent collections or a special exhibition. Portable hearing loops are available for all booked guided tours, talks and lectures. To book places call 0131 624 6560, or email info@nationalgalleries.org

See their What’s On Calendar for information about forthcoming events

  • Friday (fourth friday of the month)


Visually Impaired Programme
They offer a regular monthly programme of descriptive tours and practical workshops led by some of Scotland’s foremost artist-educators for blind and visually impaired visitors. For more information, or to sign up to their mailing list, contact Meg on 0131 624 6428, communities@nationalgalleries.org

  • Wednesday (third Wednesday of the month)


Hearing Impaired Programme
Artist Tessa Asquith-Lamb has considerable experience delivering tours to visitors with hearing loss. Tessa leads a monthly tour around the Galleries’ exhibitions with personal hearing loops available for visitors who take part. To book a place call 0131 624 6560, or email info@nationalgalleries.org

See our What’s On Calendar for information about forthcoming events

  • Sunday (third Sunday of the month)



Regular Children’s Programme

  • Art Maker (Ages 4-12)
    Join the Art Maker Club and make your own masterpieces with artists. An activity sheet tells you about a particular exhibit in the gallery, giving step-by-step instructions on how to make your own related work of art. Art Maker is atScottish National Gallery on the first Sunday of each month, 2-4pm.
  • Portrait Detectives (Ages 4-12)
    Become a Portrait Detective for the afternoon! Join Detectives Raeburn and Rothko as they attempt to keep order amongst the rogues and vagabonds in our portraits! Simply collect a detective kit, don your deerstalker and follow clues to solve a mystery. Portrait Detectives is at theScottish National Portrait Gallery every second Sunday of the month, 2-4pm.
  • Bags of Art (Ages 4-12)
    Cool and creative fun with artists. Collect a bag of activities from the art station to help your family explore the collection and create your own artworks. Bags of Art is at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – Modern One on the third Sunday of each month, 2-4pm.
  • Storytelling – Each month, enjoy a magical storytelling session to help bring our portraits and their stories to life. Storytelling is at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery every fourth Sunday of the month, 2-4pm.
  • Family Trails – Our trails are just as much fun for adults as for children and a great souvenir of your visit to take away.
  • Head To Toe – At the Scottish National Gallery collect this colourful, free activity trail from the main information desk and begin your journey of discovery! Pencil cases filled with coloured pencils can be borrowed for a small deposit.
  • Faces, Features and Creatures – includes handling bag. At the Scottish National Portrait Gallery pick up this exciting trail at the main information desk. Have fun and get creative with things to spot and things to draw; delve into the handling bag and find mysterious objects to help you find out more about our portraits. A small deposit is required to borrow the handling bag.

All information on this site is provided to the best of our knowledge but please call the organisation involved for more details.

VOCAL Carers Centre, 8-13 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW. Tel 0131 622 6666 Email centre@vocal.org.uk.  Scottish Charity: SC020755 Company registration: SC183050. Accessibility | Copyright & image credits | Privacy statement | Complaints policy | Disclaimer | Site map