Find Scotland Tours that feature Highland Folk Museum.
|Address:||Kingussie Road, Newtonmore,PH20 1AY Tel:01540 673551|
|Operated by:||Highland Museums|
|Opening Hours:||3 April - August: Open daily from 10:30 - 17:30, |
September - October: Open daily from 11:00 - 16:30
|Admission:||Free, but donations are welcome and it is worth buying a guidebook to help find your way around as it is a large site.|
|Parking:||Ample parking for cars and coaches|
|Languages:||Information boards in English|
|Accessibility:||This is an open air museum covering a large area with lots of walking involved. The different buildings are connected by paths that are suitable for wheelchairs, but some of the older buildings are unsuitable for wheelchair access. Transportation around the site by eletric buggy car can be arranged.|
|Toilets:||Yes, in the visitor centre and at various locations around the site.|
|Shop:||Yes, the visitor centre has a gift shop.|
|Cafe/Restaurant:||Yes, there is a simple cafe upstairs at the visitor centre.It has ramp access for wheelchair users.|
The Highland Folk Museum is located on the A86 just to the north of Newtonmore and is easy to find. The museum has a collection of buildings that represent life in the Highlands during the early 1700's and in the period around the 1930's.
The majority of the buildings are related to the 1930 era and some of the buildings, such as the farm, were on this site before the museum. However, most of the wooden buildings were relocated to the museum to insure their preservation as they are becoming increasingly rare in the Highlands. The various buildings are furnished so that they look as if their occupants just stepped out and, if your memory goes back to the 1930's (or even just the 1960's as I recognised some of the books in the school house), you'll find it all very nostalgic. In addition to the farmhouse, which is complete with old agricultural machinery, you have a village shop, a shepherd's bothy, a school house, sports pavilion, church, tailor's shop, clocksmith's workshop, sawmill and many other examples of traditional buildings constructed from the timber and corrugated steel materials that were once so common in the Highlands. Some of the buildings, such as the schoolhouse and village sweet shop, have actors in them and you can actually buy some sweets so be sure to bring change with you.
Out of sight at the other end of the museum park, and accessed via a pleasant walk through tall pine trees, is the 1700's village. This is a collection of very basic "black houses" re-constructed using the same building methods that would have been applied in the past. Actors are on hand to explain, in the character of an 18th century Highland crofter, what the purpose of each building was. The recreated village is very authentic with peat fires burning inside the "blackhouses" so you can sample just how unpleasant it would have been to live in them with all the acrid smoke. The only obvious ommission is the smell of the animals that would have been living in the byres next door, but there are free range chickens strutting their stuff around the place.
If the weather is dry, you will easily spend 2 or more hours wandering around the Highland Folk Museum taking in all the exhibits and reading the information boards that explain the history of each building. Well worth the short detour from the busy A9 main road.
Fans of the "Outlander" TV series, and Diana Gabaldon's books, might be interested to know that some of the filming in the TV show took place at the Black House village in the Highland Folk Museum.