Come and visit the Skye Museum of Island Life, the best place to see how the islanders of Scotland lived, worked, and built a life in the Outer Hebrides. The Museum of Island Life has been painstakingly created and maintained to resemble the old Highland village that once stood here. Guests to the Skye Museum of Island Life can look forward to seeing an expansive living museum with plenty of historical archives and cottages in a Highlands setting.
The museum was opened in 1965 and aims to capture the essence of a Highland township, with beautiful croft houses preserved for your viewing pleasure.
If you want to enjoy a unique experience on the Isle of Skye, learn about Bonnie Prince Charlie, and gain a true insight into Highland life, look no further than the Skye Museum of Island Life. Here are all the details you should know before you visit this Highland Museum:
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Important Details to Know
Before you step back in time, read through these important details! Firstly, the Skye Museum of Island Life is located on the Isle of Skye and can readily be reached by public transportation (which will be covered later). There is wheelchair-level access available on-site and public toilet facilities throughout.
Pet lovers will be happy to know that dogs are allowed on the premises, but it is recommended that you keep them on a leash if they’re prone to misbehaving.
How to Get There
The Skye Museum of Island Life is located on the northern point of the Isle of Skye but can easily be accessed from the main road of the Isle, A855. You can reach the museum via car or public transportation:
Those travelling by car should take the A87 toward Uig. Then, follow the A855 northwards until you see the brown road signs leading to the Skye Museum of Island Life. The museum should be on the right-hand side of the road.
The museum is only a 20-minute (6-mile) drive from Uig.
Several public transportation options exist to reach the Skye Museum of Island Life. For example, there is the 57C bus station from the Uig Police Station. The trip should take about 20 minutes to reach.
Skye Museum of Island Life Opening Hours
The Skye Museum of Island Life is open from Easter to September yearly, from Monday to Sunday. During these opening times, the museum is open from 10:00 – 17:00, with the last entry at 16:30.
Adult tickets cost £6.00 to enter the Museum of Island Life, and children under 5 enter for free.
Attractions to See
Once you’ve travelled through the Western Isles to the Skye Museum, pack a bottle of water, sunscreen, and your desire to learn about Scottish culture! Here are the top attractions to keep an eye out for while you’re at this famed island attraction:
Explored the Preserved Township
The highlight of visiting the Skye Museum of Island Life is walking through the preserved town, which offers visitors a unique experience of seeing how Highlanders on Skye once lived. There are seven thatched cottages within the museum, each focusing on an aspect of life taking place here. Here are some of the highlights:
Old Croft House
The Old Croft House is the largest family home and central cottage at the Skye Museum of Island Life and has a period-furnished Croft Kitchen and Croft Bedroom. You can see the peat fire that likely burned day and night to keep the family warm and the various cooking utensils and crockery that were often suspended over it.
Tons of little details point to the fascinating history of this 19th-century Croft house, including a Gaelic bible on the mantlepiece, a set of bagpipes, and the straw-filled mattress within the bedroom. Take a few minutes to explore and discover this central cottage’s minor details, and we bet you’ll find something fascinating that you didn’t know before.
During the 19th century, you’d find a smithy in every village you came across. Smithing is an art that has slowly petered out due to industrialisation, but take a step back in time, and you can visit the Old Smithy, which was once a hub of activity.
At the Skye Museum of Island Life, the smithy is working on creating horseshoes. These were the lifeblood of a smith’s income on the Outer Hebrides, especially during the spring and summer months. Make sure to stop by this unique visitor attraction and see the Old Smithy in person!
Along with smithing, weaving was a vital part of this Highland village. A weaver could always find business within a village by making garments and plaids, with tartans being an expert pattern many weavers learned. Within the Weaver’s House, you’ll see wooden weaver instruments that go back over 200 years!
A spinning maid would use these instruments to turn wool from sheep into practical and warm pieces of clothing dyed in various colours. Explore a vast array of fabrics and equipment displayed at the Weaver’s House, especially the mighty Saxony wheel centrepiece.
Learn about Flora MacDonald
The Skye Museum of Island Life isn’t the only fantastic attraction in the northernmost end of Trotternish, and the Kilmuir Graveyard sits only a few minutes away from the museum. At this historic graveyard, visitors can see the grave of Flora MacDonald!
The Skye Museum of Island Life has a quaint little gift shop for those who want to take home a little souvenir with them. The selection has several unique gifts to remember your trip, including authentic tartan fabrics, postcards, and other items exclusive to the Highlands and the Isle of Skye Musem of Island Life.
More Scottish Museums to Visit
- Black Watch Museum
- Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
- Edinburgh Writers Museum
- Glasgow Science Centre
- Highland Folk Museum
- Museum of Childhood
- Museum of Edinburgh
- Museum of the Isles
- Museum on the Mound
- National Mining Museum
- National Museum of Flight
- National War Museum
- People’s Palace
- Riverside Museum
- Royal Yacht Britannia
- Scottish Maritime Museum
- Shetland Museum & Archives
- St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art
- Surgeons’ Hall Museum
- V&A Dundee