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Busy weekend of events ahead in "My Heart's In the Highlands" Homecoming programme

13th May 2014

Photograph of Busy weekend of events ahead in

Caithness medieval crafts, a journey through Sutherland's Mackay country, the great Lochaber outdoors, Skye family history, Highland music and games in Strathpeffer, and an intrepid Nairn explorer are all on the agenda this weekend thanks to the "My heart's in the Highlands" Homecoming 2014 project.

Venues in Caithness, Sutherland, Lochaber, Skye, Ross-shire and Nairn will all be hosting events this weekend encouraging local people and visitors to explore and celebrate what makes the Highland special to them.

* Strathnaver Museum in Bettyhill will be launching its new Homecoming 2014 exhibition on Saturday 17th May (10am - 5pm) entitled "A Mackay Journey". This new exhibition, which has been developed to accompany the roving "Needed on a Journey" exhibition funded by the "My heart's in the Highlands" project and also on view at the Museum just now, celebrates the heritage and culture of Mackay Country through the story of one family's journey from Totaig through the Strathnaver Clearances to the present day. "A Mackay Journey" will be in Strathnaver till 31st October.

* Caithness Horizons in Thurso will be holding a free children's medieval manuscripts craft workshop with artist Joanne B Kaar on Sunday (18th May), 1.30pm-3.30pm. Children will be able to learn about the links between medieval manuscripts and the Skinnet Stone and then create their own 3D version of a letter from an illuminated manuscript which will be displayed at the Museum.

* At Banavie, by Fort William, on Saturday (17th May), the National Trust for Scotland's Glenfinnan team will be running a fun activity called ‘My heart's in my mouth!' as part of the "Go Live" event taking place at the canal locks. The team will be recording people’s first impressions of wilderness - whether on water, at sea or on land, with local schools and families being invited to take part by taking photos or selfies in your favourite place, or showing your favourite Highland ‘thing’! Mini-songs, poems and stories (no more than four lines long) are also welcome.

* At the Museum of the Isles, Sleat, Skye, the focus will be on researching your family tree with an "It runs in the family", family history day taking place on Saturday (17th May). A morning workshop will provide tips to the inexperienced family historian on how to get started, where to look for information and where to go next. In the afternoon, there will be individual help and advice available for those who have already done some research. Participants will have access to the museum’s unique collection of estate papers, rental records and maps relating to Skye, as well as its database of several thousand Skye families.

* The Highland Museum of Childhood in Strathpeffer will be celebrating the very best of Scottish and Highland culture on Saturday (17th May) with local musicians and artists. Activities will include performances from the fabulous Fiddle Forte band and a have-a-go music workshop, a Highland Games themed puppet-making workshop, and, of course, the chance to take a closer look at children’s toys from the past in the museum’s living history sessions. Saturday 17th, 11am - 4pm

* Nairn Museum will be telling the amazing story of "The Exploits of James Augustus Grant", Nairn’s very own 19th century explorer on Saturday (17th May). During two free sessions (11am and 2pm), suitable for all ages, storyteller Bob Pegg will become Grant and describe his adventure searching for the source of the Nile.

Lorna Cruickshank, chair of the “My heart’s in the Highlands” steering group said: “This is our first busy weekend of events and we’re delighted to be able to offer such a range of things to enjoy. Over the coming months, there will be 80 events in total funded by the project and a further 200+ being run by project partners.”

For further details of this weekend’s events and the many other “Heart” events happening in the Highlands and Moray this year, visit

Skinnet stone drawing from Caithness Field Club Bulletin article
A survey by Tim Blackie and Colin Macaulay

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