Each year, the Scottish Highlands draw more and more visitors, eager to learn about the history, culture, geography, natural history, and folklore of the area. There are many different museums in which to do this, ranging from the tiny to the truly giant, with all manner of artefacts and information contained within. Here is our handy guide to eight of the best.
Perhaps the best place to start, this museum sits right in the very centre of the Highlands’ capital, Inverness. Spread over several floors, the visitor moves forward through time as they walk through the exhibits. These range from geological marvels, through ancient prehistory, right up to the special collection of Jacobite artefacts and more modern displays. There is also an attached gallery and an ever-changing list of different talks and temporary exhibits. If you are in Inverness, this is a must-visit.
Highland Museum of Childhood
A little way north of Inverness is the Highland Museum of Childhood, housed in a former railway station and containing an extraordinary collection of material. Situated in the small Highland village of Strathpeffer, on the edge of the wild places further west, this museum began as a home for a collection of dolls and toys curated by a local resident. As the years progressed it has added to this, with more toys, games, clothing and textiles, comics, photographs and anything relating to childhood. If you wish to be transported back to your childhood, this is the place to do it!
Laidhay Croft Museum
If you are heading along the North Coast 500, this is an excellent place to stop. The building itself is a two hundred year old thatched croft house, filled almost to bursting point with the many and varied items used by the people who worked the land and sea. From the tiny, such as old buttons, to the large, including a barn full of farming equipment from days now passed; you will need more time to explore the exhibits than you might think. To make things even more tempting, there’s a deservedly popular tearoom next door too!
Housed in the Old Town Hall, Caithness Horizons is another museum that is on the route of the North Coast 500. Close to where the ferry to Orkney leaves from Scrabster, this is also worth a peek if you have time to spare before or after the boat journey. With everything from unique carved Pictish stones, Viking artefacts, a famous herbarium, and items relating to the nearby Dounreay nuclear reactor, there is much to see. The buildings themselves have been wonderfully restored and add to the experience.
Wick Heritage Centre
A treasure trove of material relating to the social history and culture of Caithness, this museum is packed to the rafters with treasures. Akin to Aladdin’s Cave, most of the artefacts and displays are related to the days when Wick was a bustling herring port, full of sailors and fishermen and with so many boats in the harbour it was possible to walk across it! There are also knowledgeable volunteers on hand to answer any questions you may have, broadening your knowledge and understanding.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.