Holidays in Glenlivet

Visitor Guide

Museums and Galleries

Museums and Galleries

 in Glenlivet and the Cairngorms, Aberdeenshire, Grampian,

Moray, Nairn and Inverness-shire


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The following are mostly stand alone museums and galleries of regional or national interest.

Local Heritage Museums, including some of great merit, are detailed in the Towns and Villages Section.  Details of museums, galleries and heritage centres that form part of other attractions are mentioned elsewhere in the guide.  Commercial galleries are in the section on Leisure Shopping.


Highland Folk Museum  (Kingussie and Newtonmore)

A working croft, school, and township with shops

Opening times


Apr-Aug Mon-Sat 10-5

Sep-Oct Mon-Fri 10-4


Mon-Sun 10.30-5.30

Sep Mon-Sun 11-4.30

Oct Mon-Fri 11-4.30

The following websites give you some further information on the villages of Newtonmore and Kingussie and on the nearby ruins of Ruthven Barracks

(the buildings on the mound to the right of the A9 as you turn to cross the

Spey at Kingussie) put to the torch by Bonnie Prince Charlie, but still a very

substantial structure and worth having a look at if you’re in the area.


The Clan Macpherson Museum is also in Newtonmore

Open times

Apr-Oct Mon-Sat 10-5 Sun 12-5

Admission Free but donations welcome.



Inverness Museum & Art Gallery  (Inverness)

Exhibitions cover geology and natural history, the archaeological heritage

and more recent history and general life of the Highlands.  Although some people might wish more information on certain items, the level of interpretation was very consistent throughout the whole museum and made you want to look at everything.  Certainly worth a visit - we thoroughly enjoyed ours.


Open Mon-Sat 10.00-5.00

Admission free




Hugh Miller Museum & Birthplace Cottage  (Cromarty)

National Trust

Hugh Miller ( was a stonemason who gained international renown as a geologist, writer and church reformer.  The museum comprises

an elegant three-storey Georgian villa housing six rooms of exhibits covering

Hugh Miller's life and work along with the thatched 18th century cottage

next door where he was born in 1802. Outstanding display of fossils along

with Miller’s tools and manuscripts

Opening times

31 March to 30 Sep, daily 12.30-4.30

1 to 31 Oct, Sun-Wed 12.30-4.30.



Cromarty Courthouse Museum  (Cromarty)

Audio-visual presentations of townspeople and town history.

The admission charge includes an audio tour of the town.  We haven’t visited

the Museum or made use of the audio guide, but found Cromarty a fascinating place to wander around.

Apparently, your ticket also gets you a discount at a couple of local eating


Open Apr-Oct Mon-Sun 10-5



Moray Motor Museum  (Elgin)

Moray Motor Museum Website

An acclaimed collection of cars and motor cycles housed in an old mil

building. Includes Maserati, SS Jaguar, Tojeiro, Daimler, Rolls Royce and

Bentley.  A relatively small, but very good collection of cars, but what

makes this really well worth a visit is the enthusiasm and knowledge of the

curator – make sure you ask him questions.  Even if you thought you had no interest in cars, he’ll convert you!

Open daily from Easter to October 11am - 5pm but phone to check

Contact 01343 544933




Aberdeenshire Farming Museum  (Mintlaw west of Peterhead)

Interpretation of north east farming life over the past 200 years with

audiovisual programmes and guided tours.

Open May to September plus a few weekends either side



Macduff Marine Aquarium  (Macduff)

Hundreds of fish and invertebrates native to the Moray Firth and a webcam

link to the Troup Head Bird Sanctuary.

Open daily from 10am to 5pm (last entry 4.15)



Fraserburgh Heritage Centre  (Fraserburgh)

I found this a fascinating museum – don’t miss it if you happen to visit the neighbouring Lighthouse Museum or anywhere else in Fraserburgh.  Nothing particularly unusual about the content, much as you’d expect from any local heritage museum, but the enthusiasm of the volunteers from the Fraserburgh Heritage Society who run and man it lift it well above the average, and it fully deserves all the awards that it has received.

Open Apr-Oct Mon-Sat 11.00-5.00 Sundays 1.00-5.00




Museum of Scottish Lighthouses   (Fraserburgh)

Historic Scotland

The Museum consists of the first lighthouse built on mainland Scotland and a purpose-built museum with displays of glass lenses, lighting technology and

social history artefacts covering the lives of the men and families who guarded Scotland’s coastline for over two hundred years.  I personally wasn’t much bothered about all the technical stuff on lenses, but the guided tour of the

Kinnaird Head Lighthouse (converted from the sixteenth century castle keep

in 1787) by a former lighthouseman was absolutely fascinating – some years

ago, so don’t know if he’s still there to impart his first hand knowledge.  Café.

Opening times

April-June Mon - Sat 11am - 5pm Sundays 12pm - 5pm

July-August Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm  Sundays 11am - 6pm

September-October Mon - Sat 11am - 5pm  Sundays 12pm - 5pm

November-March Mon - Sat 11am - 4pm  Sundays 12pm - 4pm




The Grampian Toy Museum  (near Kemnay)

Emily Innes opened up her Little Treasures Shop in 1990 to sell Dolls Houses

and everything to go with them.  The Shop is fascinating enough, but then she bought a dolls house for herself and started collecting – she now has a

museum with 350 dolls houses, mostly furnished, with some dating back well

into the nineteenth century. There are also model farms, forts, garages etc

along with lots of dolls and other figures, model cars and other old toys.   Even

if you don’t think you’d be interested in dolls houses, this is well worth a visit

if you are in the area – it will bring back lots of memories.  More likely to be

of interest to adults than children.

July, August and December open daily, otherwise Friday to Monday only

10-5 (Sundays 1-5 only)

Contact 01467 642 332






Grampian Transport Museum  (Alford)

There are lots of interesting vehicles to look at here, but the real focus is on their role in the history of travel and transport in the North East of Scotland.  You can climb aboard many of the vehicles, and there are displays, working exhibits and DVD presentations.

Make sure that you see the Mortier Dance Organ working - a magnificent structure that was transported around the country to provide music at temporary venues

Check their website for special events.

Open daily 10am-5pm Apr-Sep and 10am-4pm in October

Reopens on 28th March 2010

Contact 019755 622292


The following website gives information about Alford




Aberdeen Art Gallery  (Aberdeen)

Aberdeen Art Gallery Website

An excellent collection of 19th and 20th century art with a strong representation of Scottish artists as well as works by Landseer, Turner, Millais, Lowry, Monet, Renoir, Lautrec, etc.  James Guthrie's "To Pastures New" (with the geese) is here.

Not to be missed if you are in Aberdeen.  You can view the collection on their website, but be aware that not everything is on display.

Open Tues-Sat 10-5 Sun 2-5

No admission charge




Provost Skene’s House  (Aberdeen)

Webpage for Provost Skene's House

A 16th century townhouse containing a series of rooms furnished to reflect life in earlier times - a suite of 17th century rooms, a Regency Parlour and an Edwardian Nursery.  Perhaps more could be done in the way of interpretation - it probably needs a guided tour to get the most out of it, but check their website and make your own mind up.  The top floors, which presumably included the costume gallery, were closed at the end of 2009.


Open Mon-Sat 10-5

No admission charge




The Tolbooth   (Aberdeen)

Webpage for the Tolbooth Museum

The Tolbooth is one of the oldest buildings in Aberdeen and one of the best preserved 17th century Scottish gaols.  The museum focuses on the history of crime and punishment within the city.

Open mid July to mid Sept Tues-Sat 10 to 12.30 and 1 to 5 pm Sun 12.30-3.30

Check to see if there is an admission charge





Gordon Highlanders Museum   (Aberdeen)

Housed in the former home of Sir George Reid, a prominent nineteenth century artist and portrait painter. As well as all the maps, models, flags, uniforms, medals and weapons you’d expect to see, the museum highlights the real life experiences of the men who served in this famous regiment with a collection of personal testimonies back through the 200 years of its existence.

The Museum creates a new exhibit each year to encourage people to make return visits.  In 2009, this highlights the experiences of soldiers in Afghanistan both in the nineteenth century and during the most recent conflict.

Even if you're not that bothered with militaria, this place is worth visiting just for the atmosphere created by the volunteer staff: the following link will give you some idea of the input and commitment that they make.

Museum Gallery Scotland Webpage for Gordon Highlanders Museum

The Tea Room is excellent - good food, bright and friendly

The gardens are also worth a visit - beautifully tended, unfussy and relaxed but also a very moving place with plantings dedicated to former soldiers and their families.

Opening times

1st Tues April- last Sun October: Tues-Sat 10.30-4.30 Sundays 12.30-4.30

Nov, Feb and Mar: Tues-Sat 10am to 4pm

Contact 01224 311200




Aberdeen Maritime Museum  (Aberdeen)

Webpage for Aberdeen Maritime Museum

The Museum is housed in an interesting series of linked buildings - a sixteenth century townhouse and a nineteenth century church linked by a modern construction in steel and glass that makes room for a nine metre high model of the Murchison Oil Platform.  In addition to all the displays about the port's history and trading, shipbuilding, fishing, the environment, etc, there are lots of fascinating exhibits covering the North Sea oil industry.


Tues-Sat 10.00-5.00 Sundays 12.00-3.00

Entrance free

Contact 01224 337700





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