14 Visitor Centres to check out in the Highlands

Posted by True Highlands in Kit and Caboodle | 4 comments

Educational, fun and a great way to spend some time when the weather is less than ideal, Highland visitor centres offer entertainment, history and a great introduction to the natural world.



Caithness NE Sutherland, Orkney & Shetland

Tomb of the Eagles

This chambered cairn is one of Orkney’s top archaeological sites. The Stone Age tomb housed an amazing collection of bones and artefacts, placed here some 5,000 years ago, some of which you can handle at the visitor centre.


Scottish Dolphin Centre

Entry is free and you can learn all about dolphins and basking sharks and spot them if you are lucky. An audio-visual installation, shot in and around the bay, reveals the exciting and beautiful life both above and below the water.

Wester Ross & Outer Hebrides

Callanish Visitor Centre

The “Story of the Stones” exhibition explores how these world famous Standing Stones were built and used and what they have meant to people through the centuries. There is also fascinating audio-visual walk-through display with graphic panels and models.

Inverness & Nairn

Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre

One of the many highlights here is the Culloden battlefield guide where you immerse yourself in the story of a momentous day as you visit the site of the last pitched battle on British soil. With specially written audio and supporting illustrations and video, the portable guide’s compelling content is triggered automatically as you explore Culloden Moor at your own pace.

Skye & Lochalsh

Clan Donald Centre

Explore the historic gardens and woodland trails around Armadale Castle and learn about Highland history in the fascinating, award-winning Museum of the Isles.

Mid and East Sutherland


Explore the virtual world in the storytelling room, trace your roots in the archive and learn about the past in the museum. There is also a Clearance Trail App you can download to help you explore the surrounding landscape.

Black Isle, Mid & Easter Ross

Tarbat Discovery Centre

This is a museum, learning and activity centre dedicated to displaying and preserving the heritage of the Tarbat peninsula. It is the site of the only Pictish monastic settlement excavated in Scotland to date and displays many of the artefacts uncovered during its extensive archaeological investigations along with local exhibitions, parish records, photographic archives and more.

Ardnamurchan & Mull

Ardnamurchan Natural History Visitor Centre

The Living Building is designed to attract a variety of wildlife to enable visitors to watch the birds and animals at close quarters. Children’s activities include a Wildcat Den to crawl through and a short audio-visual presentation recorded by local musicians encapsulates the mood and mystery of the area.

Fort William & Lochaber

Glencoe Visitor Centre

Nestling into the landscape at the foot of the glen is this award-winning eco-friendly visitor centre. It features an exhibition, viewing platform, cafe, shop and ranger information point. The Ranger service has a varied events programme throughout the year with guided walks, Landrover safaris and children’s events.

Loch Ness

Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition

This 5 star visitor attraction was opened by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and takes visitors through seven themed areas and 500 million years of history, natural mystery and legend revealing the unique environment of Loch Ness and the famous Nessie legend

Aviemore & the Cairngorms

Glenmore Visitor Centre

In the heart of the Forest Park, the visitor centre is an ideal place to start your visit. Find out more about this wonderful forest, choose from a range of trails and relax in the popular café. You can go on a quest to a magical lochan, or stretch your legs to get to one of the best views in the area.

Argyll, Arran, Jura & Islay

Cruchan Visitor Centre

The exciting exhibition shows how the power station works, with lots of information of renewable electricity.  There are interactive touchscreens, displays of old memorabilia and a working model of a turbine generator. There is also an interactive house where children can play and learn all about renewable energy and local wildlife – with drawing activities, quizzes and even the opportunity to dress up as an engineer.

North West Sutherland

North West Highlands Geopark Visitor Centre

Come along and enjoy superb views, local arts and crafts and an exhibition about the rocks and landscape of the North West Highlands.

Other Islands

Slate Islands Heritage Centre

This centre houses a fascinating collection of photographs, artefacts and genealogical records related to the social and industrial life of the islands and the slate industry.

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Comments (4)
  1. Claire Mackenzie says:

    Catherine., Thank you for sharing this list.
    Our guests have a copy this day and will be putting this information to good use.
    Much appreciated

    • True Highlands says:

      Glad it’s of use and thanks for sharing!

  2. D. Lakner says:

    Glencoe is an absolutely wonderful visitor centre, a perfect place to stop when heading up into the Highlands. Nice, friendly cafe for lunch, indoors or out and wonderful views of Glencoe.

  3. Lee Allen says:

    I can heartily recommend the Folk Museum on the Isle of Easdale, Slate Islands and the Interpretive Centre on the Isle of Fetlar, Shetland Islands. Two small Heritage Centre’s but packed full of information on each island and its story through the ages. Both had knowledgeable staff who were happy to let you touch some of the artefacts and were able to answer any questions I had. Each is a must see on a visit to Easdale or Fetlar.

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