Discovery Point and RRS Discovery across the water.
Scotland
United Kingdom
Scotland
United Kingdom

Discovery Point and RRS Discovery

Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines
  • Discovery Point And RRS Discovery in Aberdeen is one of the best Dundee Tourist Attractions.
  • Discover more about Captain Scott's Antarctic expedition, seeing quarters and the Officers Wardroom, as well as learning about the design features built into the first ship.
  • Learn more about the other journeys of the RSS Discovery as you climb aboard and explore the ship in person.
  • Grab a bite to eat or choose a souvenir to remember your excellent visit inside history.

Discovery Point museum and the RRS Discovery are an award-winning must-visit. With Recognised Collections of National Significance, being a 5-star accredited Visitor Attraction with VisitScotland, and being the only scientific vessel on the National Historic Ships Committee's UK Core Collections of important vessels, it's an experience you will never forget. If you're looking for other Scottish sites, you might also like the Mcmanus Art Gallery and Museum, and the V&A Dundee.

The award-winning Discovery Point museum is the home of the RRS Discovery and tells the story of its Dundee beginnings, the trip to Antarctica with Captain Scott, and the other voyages the ship went on afterwards. Discovery Point museum tells this story through shows, interactive exhibits, artefacts and galleries. It's currently cared for by the Dundee Heritage Trust due to the importance the site has for the Scottish national story. The RRS Discovery was created for Antarctic research and was launched in 1901, the last traditional wooden three-masted ship built in the UK. The first mission was carrying Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton, and their crew to Antarctica, on their first Discovery Expedition. The RRS Discovery became a merchant ship before and during the First World War, and then was used for other scientific research. It was even used for the quest in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Discovery Point museum focuses on the three biggest expeditions: the National Antarctic Expedition (1901–1904), the Discovery Oceanographic Expedition (1925–1927) and the BANZARE expedition (1929–31). Each of these is explored at Discovery Point through films, photographs and artefacts in a setting inspired by the era of history it comes from. Also on display is the pieces from Scott's subsequent Terra Nova expedition and Shackleton's Endurance expedition. The artefacts for exploration include games played by crew members, examples of fauna discovered, Captain Scott's rifle and pipe, and more. History is brought to life at Discovery Point museum. You'll begin at The Adventure Begins before moving into Specification and The Shipyard. Next is the Men of Discovery and The Last Place on Earth film room. Discover more about Scientific Research and Exploration. Learn about Heroes of the Ice and Discovery's Ocean Odyssey, before moving to Ship Ahoy! You'll then know it's time to move onto the RRS Discovery. Whether you spend hours exploring or even the full day, there'll always be something new to spot.

Discovery Point museum has a custom-built dock, opened in 1992; the RRS Discovery is one of the main features to experience at Discovery Point museum. Go through the boat from the bow to the wardroom and discover how each section aided in the exploration and research that the boat was used for by Captain Scott and many others. The bow at the front is 3.5 metres underwater, and the traditional Dundee Whaler design is used. On the boat, you'll see some sheep in a pen. Although seemingly a strange part of the attraction, the sheep would have been used as a food source. Go toward the helm to learn about the wheel and rudder. Can you figure out how the ship would have gone from point to point? You also might spot the compass that the captain of the ship would use when navigating. There are two cuddles on board, another name for the ship toilets. These two cuddles were for the 11 officers and the 36 crewmen; not an experience your family will want to recreate! Look up at the Crow's Nest, high above the ship. See the bridge, created in 1924, a great way to take in the whole of the ship. Below the bridge is the chart room, where the voyage would be plotted. Go below the decks to see the engine room; it's no longer the real engine, which was removed during World War II. The Boiler Room is also below deck, and the Coal Bunker. The Hold was the place for all of the food to be held so was an incredibly important part of the ship, as was The Galley, or ship's kitchen. Imagine what the experience of working in a ship like the RRS Discovery would be like, and the many hours spent preparing food. The Mess Deck was the place for the crew to sleep, and another brilliant experience. You can also see the Laboratory and Dark Room and the Ward Room.

After your brilliant day out, why not enjoy a bite to eat or a bit of shopping? Café at the Point serves hot and cold snacks and meals throughout the day, whether you need something to pick you up for the rest of the day or would like a proper lunch. There's also several coffees and teas, as well as baked goods that are freshly made. For souvenirs, the shop has everything you need from books to gin to Emma Penguin, the Discovery Point museum mascot. You'll want to spend hours browsing.

What to know before you go

  • Discovery Point museum and RRS Discovery opening times are Monday - Saturday, 10:00 - 16:30, and on Sunday, 11:00 - 16:30.
  • For wheelchairs, Discovery Point museum is fully accessible. The RRS Discovery is accessible on the main deck, but the Bridge and lower decks are not wheelchair accessible.
  • Wheelchairs are available for loan.
  • Accessible toilets are available.
  • Toilets and baby changing facilities are available.
  • Staff at Discovery Point will be able to advise guests with prams on the day.

Getting there

  • The Discovery Point museum and RRS Discovery is at Riverside Drive.
  • A Discovery car park is available at the side of the building. There's no specific disabled parking, but if you show your badge at the museum, you'll get your parking money back.
  • Discovery Point museum is around one and a half hours from Edinburgh and eight and a half hours from London by car.
  • The closest bus stop is the railway station bus stop. It's a two-minute walk and is served by the 42, 54, 77, 77A, 77B, 99, 99A, 99B, 99C, 99D, N99, X7 and X54.
  • The closest train station is Dundee Railway Station, served by Caledonian Sleeper, CrossCountry, LNER, and ScotRail. It's a two-minute walk from Discovery Point Museum.

Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Government Guidelines
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