The collections at the Surgeons Hall Museums allow visitors to trace the history of medicine in the city from 1505, when the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh were incorporated, to the development of modern surgical techniques. One of the real curios is a pocketbook covered with the tanned skin of William Burke who, with William Hare, killed at least 16 Edinburgh citizens in 1827-28 and sold their bodies for dissection. Also of note are the John Menzies Campbell dentistry section and exhibits devoted to 'the real Sherlock Holmes': Joseph Bell, a former president of the college. (Arthur Conan Doyle attended lectures by Bell when studying medicine in the city.)
However, the main attraction is the celebrated pathology collection, the largest in the UK. The museum helpfully suggests that some people might find the pickled remains 'unsettling', and under-15s must be accompanied by an adult. Still, seeing the workings and failing of the human body is never less than fascinating.