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Highland Life

The Scottish Highlands as a region is now world famous for its extraordinary landscape and its appeal for travellers as a place for fresh air, down-to-earth hospitality, and a wealth of outdoor pursuits – from hill-walking and golf to white-water rafting and mountain-biking. Inverness on the east coast, for example, is in 2010 the fastest growing city in the United Kingdom, as people flock to take advantage of the many benefits living in the Highlands has to offer.

The interest in the Highlands as a destination of choice for tourists and house-movers is a relatively recent one, however. It was not until the Victorian era, when Victoria and Albert made frequent trips to Balmoral and visits to the Highlands became fashionable among Victorian society, that the area as a whole received much attention from tourists from other parts of the UK and beyond.

The rugged landscape and geographical isolation of much of the Scottish Highlands made it a relatively inaccessible place for much of its political and cultural history. With this, however, came the evolution of its own very unique traditions, cultural life, and folklore. Choose an image and click ‘Read more’ for further details.


Appin Gun

Is this the Appin Gun? ‘The Appin Murder’ as it is called, was one of the most notorious and contentious murders in Scottish social and political history. After the 1745 Jacobite rising (see our Jacobite section), Colin Campbell of Glenure was the Crown factor (representative) appointed to manage the forfeited estate of Ardsheil. He received […]

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A Token Reminder: Charms and incantations have been in use for thousands of years to ward off evil and cure disease in both humans and animals. The West Highland Museum has a significant collection of these charms, including stones to ward of witches and cure nightmares, and brooches used to ward off evil from children. […]

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St Kilda Mail Carrier

A wave and a prayer: The island of St Kilda, some 40 miles west of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, is the remotest part of the British Isles. Its inhabitants lived extraordinarily frugal lives under conditions many would find unbearable. Until the early twentieth century, the St Kildans rented their land from a landlord from […]

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Ice Axe

A firm hold: The museum displays a selection of objects from the Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection, including wooden and metal ice axes. The first all metal ice axe was made by Hamish MacInnes in the late 1940s. It was known as ‘The Message’. “The decision to put metal designs into commercial production was taken in the […]

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