Free Exhibition

A Parliament for the People

Ceud mìle fàilte. A hundred thousand welcomes.

The Scottish Parliament welcomes visitors from Scotland and across the globe who want to learn about one of the youngest parliaments in the world.

A Parliament for the People is a new exhibition which will introduce you to the role of the Scottish Parliament and the ways in which you can get involved, and give you the opportunity to explore Scotland’s fascinating parliamentary history.

Getting Involved with Your Scottish Parliament

Do you know what powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament? Discover more about how Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) pass laws on matters which affect the lives of everyone in Scotland. The exhibition will also give you the chance to explore campaigns, petitions and the impact of changing laws on people’s lives through featuring campaign stories of people who have been actively involved with the Scottish Parliament.

The History of the Scottish Parliament

The earliest recorded Parliament took place in 1235, and Scotland continued to have its own Parliament until political union with England in 1707. Use our digital interactive timeline to learn about the Scottish Parliament’s history, from its original development and abolition through to devolution and the creation of the Scottish Parliament we know today.

Learn about the design and architecture of the Scottish Parliament building, including how Scotland’s natural landscape and political values inspired the building’s unusual architecture. You can discover more by booking onto one of our free tours.


The Scottish Parliament recently held #SeeingScotland; an Instagram competition, inspired by the Harry Benson : Seeing America exhibition. The competition looked for the best photos of people and life in modern Scotland and was judged by Harry Benson himself. You can see the winning photo exhibited in the Scottish Parliament Café, and many of the entries showcased in the exhibition.

You can find the exhibition in the Scottish Parliament main hall. It is free to visit: view the Scottish Parliament opening times.

Find out how to visit



#SeeingScotland on Instagram

The Scottish Parliament held  #SeeingScotland, an Instagram competition inspired by the Harry Benson : Seeing America exhibition, from the 23rd September to the 25th November. The competition was looking for the best photos of people and life in modern Scotland.

Harry Benson judged the Shortlist to select three finalists to go to a public vote on Instagram and Facebook on St Andrew’s Day.

After the vote closed the results were:Collage of the three photos in the #SeeingScotland final

1st place: @neo_dog’s photo of a boy and his dog on the Solway Coast.
A signed copy of New York, New York by Harry Benson, a framed print of their winning photo alongside Harry’s feedback. Their photo is currently exhibited in the Scottish Parliament café. These were presented to the winners by the Presiding Officer before a special tour of Parliament.

2nd place: @kristinatrick’s photo of her daughter on the shore of Loch Lomond.
A signed copy of Harry Benson : Photographs and Harry’s feedback framed.

3rd place: @natalya.k.vahey’s photo of people in a pub in Glasgow.
A signed copy of Harry Benson’s Glasgow.

Read the results News Release

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