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Suppose you are looking for a unique and memorable experience in the north of Scotland. In that case, you might want to consider visiting Strathnaver Museum, located in the picturesque coastal village of Bettyhill. This impressive community museum delves into the fascinating story of 8,000 years of human occupation in northwest Sutherland, from the ancient Picts and Vikings to the modern crofters and fishermen.

This year see the museum reopening after its biggest refurbishment ever, and it will certainly make it possibly the Best Museum North of Loch Ness; it is amazing and a Must.

One of the main attractions of Strathnaver Museum is its focus on the Highland Clearances, a tragic period in Scottish history when thousands of people were evicted from their homes and lands by landlords who wanted to make way for sheep farming. The museum tells the story of the people who suffered and resisted these brutal evictions, especially in Strathnaver, where in 1819, almost 1,300 people were cleared in ‘the year of the burnings’. You can learn about their culture, struggles, resilience and legacy through a rich collection of artefacts, documents, oral histories and artworks.

Another highlight of Strathnaver Museum is its connection to Clan Mackay, one of Scotland’s oldest and most powerful clans. The museum is located in the former Parish Church of Farr, which was built by Lord Reay, chief of Clan Mackay, in 1774. The church contains many memorabilia and relics related to the clan, such as banners, weapons, portraits and even a ship’s bell from HMS Mackay, a destroyer named after the clan. You can also explore the Mackay Centre on the first floor, which offers more information and resources about the clan’s history, genealogy and heritage.

 

 

Strathnaver Museum is not only a place to learn about the past but also a place to enjoy the present. The museum has recently undergone a £2m refurbishment, which has improved its facilities and accessibility and added new exhibits and interactive features. The museum also hosts regular events and exhibitions, such as workshops, talks, concerts and festivals, that celebrate the local culture and community. You can also visit the museum shop, which sells a range of souvenirs, books and crafts made by local artists.

Strathnaver Museum is open from Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, from 1st April to 31st October.

It will relaunch on 1st April 2023 after its refurbishment. The admission fee is £5 for adults, and those under 18’s will be Free.

The museum is easily accessible by car or public transport, and plenty of accommodation options are nearby.

So why visit Strathnaver Museum? Because it is a place where you can discover the vibrant culture inherited from Norse and Gaelic ancestors. It is a place where you can witness the heart-wrenching story of the Clearances and the inspiring story of Clan Mackay.

It is a place where you can immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of northwest Sutherland. It is a place where you can keep the blood of tradition pumping, sustaining and preserving it for future generations.

One visit and you will be glad you did.

 

 

 

 

 

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