Edinburgh museum upgraded to five star visitor attraction

The musuem has been upgraded. Picture; contributed
The musuem has been upgraded. Picture; contributed
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One of Scotland’s oldest museums has been upgraded to a five star visitor attraction by the national tourism body.


Surgeons’ Hall Museums, first opened in 1832, has been increased from a four to five star visitor attraction, the highest accolade in VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme.

Originally developed as a teaching museum for students of medicine, the museum explores Edinburgh’s unique contribution to surgical practice with collections including bone and tissue specimens, artefacts and works of art.

Owned by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the attraction consists of three collections – The Wohl Pathology Museum, the History of Surgery Museum and The Dental Collection.

The museum was renovated over an 18 month spell in 2014/15 before a grand reopening by HRH Prince Philip in September 2015.

During the visit a number of criteria was graded by the VisitScotland’s Quality and Tourism Advisor including the appearance and knowledge of staff, presentation and range of products and the layout of the shop floor. Surgeons’ Hall Museums was graded as exceptional for each.

Chris Henry, Director of Heritage at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, said: “It was always our intention to provide a first class visitor experience at Surgeons’ Hall Museums and this award recognises the hard work that all the staff put in to ensure that any visitor to the museum gets an enjoyable, enlightening visit.”

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “We are delighted to award Surgeons’ Hall Museums with our highest accolade for quality. The rating is testament to the brilliant work being done by the museums’ staff to create a wonderfully unique visitor experience which now joins a number of other fantastic five star attractions on offer in the capital.

“It is even more fitting, in the Year of History, Heritage and Archeology, that such an historically significant attraction has achieved a five star Quality Assurance award. From World Heritage sites to ancient monuments, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, the year-long programme will shine the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems.”

“Our Quality Assurance scheme is world-leading and provides a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. It is about much more than just a star rating – it is about the entire visitor experience and investing in the business to make it as economically sustainable, and profitable, as it can be.”

Developed and improved for over 30 years, the Quality Assurance scheme is delivered by a dedicated team of experts who offer valuable business advice and support. The scheme is not just about driving standards; it aims to help businesses reach their full potential so they can reap the benefits and secure their success. That in turn delivers benefits for the economy of their region and for Scotland’s tourism industry.

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