highland_folk_museum_views

The Highland Folk Museum Review

We visited the Highland Folk museum on a sunny August afternoon. And honestly, I think it might be the best museum (anywhere) I’ve ever taken the kids to. Here’s our review.

Without a doubt, the Highland Folk Museum is the best museum I’ve ever taken my children to. We visited a couple of summers ago when our children were 2, 5 and 7. We were staying in nearby Aviemore on holiday and had the grandparents with us as well.

Everyone enjoyed it. There was something here for everyone and we were pretty much all absolutely stunned that this was a free entry museum (donations encouraged).

Here’s what you need to know:

VenueHighland Folk Museum
AddressAultlarie Croft, Kingussie Rd, Newtonmore PH20 1AY
PriceFree Entry
Kids’ Rating⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
My Rating⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

What is the Highland Folk Museum?

The Highland Folk museum is Britain’s first open air museum. It’s an absolutely massive site with lots of buildings showcasing Highland life from the 1700s right through to the 1950s.

And when I say “showcasing” I don’t mean in pictures. There are buildings, interactive exhibitions and it honestly feels like walking back through time. 

Facilities at the Highland Folk Museum

There’s a really reasonably priced cafe and gift shop plus plenty of toilets around the site.
highland_folk_museum_cafe_and_gift_shop
You can eat inside the cafe or you can bring your food out to the many picnic benches dotted about.
There’s also a playground near the entrance:

highland_folk_museum_playground

But in all honesty, the whole site is one giant educational playground for the kids, with plenty to explore.

Best Exhibitions at the Highland Folk Museum

My eldest was most taken with the old school building and classroom within:

highland_folk_museum_school_classroom

The attention to detail really is incredible and and actor plays the part of a strict 1930s teacher in the classroom too (gave my middle son a bit of a fright when he realised it wasn’t a plastic model 😂 ).

highland_folk_museum_school_1930s_40s

For my middle one, the final part we visited was his favourite – the old 1700s thatched roof style houses.

Actors again are creating dye in the way it would have been done and there’s a build your own house structure type setup too.

highland_folk_museum_thatched_roof_buildings

You can go inside most of these old buildings too and some even have the fires on, so you really get a feel for the smoky living conditions.

Highland_Folk_museum_house

It was just absolutely fascinating to wonder round here and you could very easily forget momentarily that you’re not actually wandering around a village some 300 years ago.

highland_folk_museum_houses

It’s just incredibly well put together.

Personally, I loved the 1940s to 50s houses, some of which really remind me of grandparents’ living rooms growing up (even though I’m definitely not that old).

The boys had fun exploring the transport areas.

children_at_the_highland_folk_museum

My youngest who was just 2 at the time just loved running around.

And I think that’s the main thing I loved about this being open air – is the freedom to roam at your own pace. If you have younger children or children who don’t like to spend too long indoors, you have plenty of scope for them running around. Not something you get as most museums!

What age would I recommend the Highland Folk Museum for?

I think it’s absolutely great for kids as soon as they’re walking around. The combination of outdoor space and buildings to explore makes this a really unique museum experience that caters basically for children as young as two and adults as well!

I’ll definitely go back next time in that area!

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