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Highland museums celebrate reopening with May offers for locals

By Philip Murray

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Looking towards the Tarbat Discovery Centre in Portmahomack. Picture: Philip Murray.
Looking towards the Tarbat Discovery Centre in Portmahomack. Picture: Philip Murray.

MUSEUMS across the region are celebrating the easing of lockdown restrictions by offering free or reduced price entry to Highlanders.

Thirteen separate museums dotted all over the region will be taking part in MYseum May – in a bid to help locals rediscover the “history and heritage on their doorstep” and boost each site as they emerge from the pandemic.

Sites based in all parts of the Highlands are offering free or reduced entry in May – from ones in Caithness in the north to Glencoe in the south, and from Skye and Wester Ross in the west to Nairnshire in the east.

The initiative is being backed by XpoNorth Heritage, and Museums and Heritage Highland, which worked to support the museum sites during lockdown and help them produce engaging online content to stay connected to their communities – locally and internationally – while they were closed to visitors.

Nicola Henderson, at XpoNorth, said: ‘‘The independent museum sector has been hard hit during the pandemic. However, with support from organisations such as XpoNorth and Museums and Heritage Highland, all have been very agile in finding new ways to engage online and through collaborating with each other on activities such as the beautiful Highland Threads exhibition, showcasing 14 costumes from across the region through video and photography.

“Now they are ready to welcome back visitors and they want to start with their local community. Staff, volunteers and visitors will all be nervous as we adjust to visiting venues again, so their invitation to the community is to say thank you and welcome back, allowing them to engage with their exhibitions and new objects on display first and to help build confidence for all in this new world.”

Museums taking part at various dates in May include Timespan in Helmsdale, Historylinks Dornoch, the Tarbat Discovery Centre in Portmahomack, the Highland Museum of Childhood in Strathpeffer, Dingwall Museum, Gairloch Museum, Ullapool Museum, Groam House Museum in Rosemarkie, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Cromarty Courthouse Museum, Grantown Museum and the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore.

The Castlehill Heritage Centre in Thurso, Brora Heritage Centre, Wick Heritage Museum, Tain Museum, and Nairn Museum will open in June.

For price details and dates visit museumsandheritagehighland.org.uk.

Related news: Highlanders' Museum at Fort George celebrated after winning a Travellers' Choice Award from Tripadvisor

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