Maritime Museum in Irvine

Fancy learning more about the history and heritage of Scotland’s maritime life? Why not come along and visit the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine! Plan your trip now and set sail on a journey through a history full of stories and tales from the past!

Why should I visit the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine?

The Maritime Museum in Irvine is home to Scotland's national maritime collection! The award-winning museum is a great day out with loads to see and do!

Explore Scotland’s cathedral of engineering at the museum! The Museum is built upon the former Linthouse shipyard building! Discover historically iconic vessels such as the MV Spartanm Scotland’s last Scottish built puffer, the harbour tug Garnock, and SY Carola, a steam yacht built in the 1890s!

Learn about the ins and outs of Scotland’s importance to maritime history and about the people who crafted and sailed Scottish ships all around the globe!

There are guided tours available normally but are currently restricted to screenings of the tour. The tour will start off in the Linthouse and last about 75 minutes. Guests will visit the 1920s Tenement Flat to step back through history into a typical shipyard worker’s home. If the weather is acceptable they can experience life at sea on board the MV Kyles, the oldest Clyde-Built vessel still afloat in the UK, on the pontoons.

  • Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm
  • Kids 16 and under gain free entry
  • Adults aged 17 and over £8.50 admission
  • Concessions £6.50 admission
  • Assistance dogs are welcome

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What's on in South Ayrshire

Sea Monsters!

8 - 21 August, 2022
The family-friendly blockbuster exhibition ‘Sea Monsters!’ celebrates the fantastical and mythical sea creatures of Scottish legend and maritime mythology across the world. A host of ‘Come and Sea Us’ events featuring sea monsters, mermaids and fun activities for all ages also run from June to September. In the ‘Sea Monsters!' exhibition, everyone can ponder on Scotland’s most famous mysterious sea creature, the Loch Ness Monster, and the ‘Sea Monk’, the half man, half fish ‘monster’ appearing in naturalist reports across Europe during the 16th century. Are they real or fake? The exhibition also features platysaurus fossils, a shark’s jaw and wet specimens on loan from The Huntarian at the University of Glasgow. Art on show includes sculptor Andy Scott’s early sketches of his 30 metre high Kelpies and two of his three metre high steel scale models or ‘maquettes’. ‘Sea Monsters!' also features original artwork from French-born and now Glasgow-based illustrator and designer Axel Gutapfel and Irvine artist Maree Hughes’ interpretation of the legend of the Selkies or ‘seal people’ from the Northern Isles. The ‘Come and Sea Us’ events, which have been made possible by the support of the Museum and Galleries Scotland (MGS) Museums Recovery Fund, include an opening day for ‘Sea Monsters!’ featuring sea monster surprises and traditional funfair stalls across the Museum Courtyard. A second family event takes place during the Making Waves festival on Irvine Harbourside and Beach Park on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July. The ‘Come and Sea Us’ programme also includes Arts Award family days, sketching, storytelling, music, poetry, performance art workshops, Magic Carpet storytelling and singing sessions for under 5s and their carers, ‘Make and Take’ craft sessions for older children, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) activities and special ‘screamings’ of sea monster-themed films throughout the summer.

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