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This festival has been supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players.

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For more info just choose an event


Friday 2nd September    7.30pm - 9.30pm

Stories around the (virtual) Campfire: Festival Launch

Free event - drop in or reserve

A fun evening sharing stories round a virtual campfire to get the Gairloch Museum festival of stories off to a warm and welcoming start. Hot chocolate, marshmallows and toasting sticks provided!

Share an anecdote, recount a memory, or tell a whole tale if you like. The Campfire Leader will be on hand with a few suggestions to get those storytelling juices flowing. And, if you are a little shy, just sit back and enjoy listening. To reserve your spot by the fire, email us at, or simply drop round on the night.


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Saturday 3rd September     Walk 1: 11.00am - 12.30pm      Walk 2:  2.30pm - 4.00pm

Blàthan & Beul-aithris

Dualchas Gàidhlig air Aghaidh na Tìre - Cuairtean le Ruairidh MacIlleathain

Flowers & Folklore

Gaelic Heritage in the Landscape - Walks with Roddy Maclean

Gairloch Museum is delighted to welcome storyteller, journalist and broadcaster, Roddy Maclean (Ruairidh MacIlleathain), to lead two walks into the Gairloch hillside behind the Museum. The morning walk is for fluent Gaelic speakers. The afternoon walk is for Gaelic learners. Enjoy using Gaelic as you walk and talk aboutplants and placenames and hear traditional stories from the local area with the beautiful backdrop of Gairloch as you go.

• Each walk begins and ends at Gairloch Museum.

• The walk is moderately strenuous, so stout footwear is required.

   Walkers should come prepared for variable weather conditions.

• Unfortunately, the path is not wheelchair accessible.

• Places are limited to 15 walkers per session. 


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Tuesday 6th September    11.00am - 12.00 noon

Free event - drop in or reserve

A Gairloch Fairy Tale -The Gille Dubh: The Last of the Fairies

Meet Abe Locke, who's drawings inspired the animation artwork

We are delighted to welcome artist and writer Abe Locke to the Museum to chat with us about his drawings that were used to create the short animation The Gille Dubh: The Last of the Fairies, in 2020. The story has come down through the Gaelic oral tradition and many people in the area still claimed to have seen the Gille Dubh. Have you?


There will be a showing of the 3 minute film narrated by Sam Heughan, and Abe’s own film about how he went about making the illustrations. Drawing is a great way to get involved in a story so we will have sketch pads on hand if you feel like creating your own illustrations of the mysterious Gille Dubh.

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Image Credit: @ Ralph Creative Ltd

Gille Dubh rescues young Jessie MacRae, who is lost in the woods. Years later she returns the favour when she hears that Gille is to be hunted by the Laird of Gairloch in his own forest.

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Tuesday 6th September    2.00pm - 4.00pm

Stitching Stories 

Free event - drop in or reserve

Meet the local stitchers working on Spirit Journey, a Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands

Spirit Journey: A Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands is a huge community arts project, perhaps the most extensive and inclusive ever to take place in the region. Its purpose is to create an embroidered tapestry exploring the spirit of the Highlands and Islands told in tapestry panels, to be stitched collaboratively by local volunteer stitchers from across the Highlands and Islands area. To date 500 stitchers have volunteered. Their completed work will be displayed in the newly renovated Inverness Castle and in cultural hubs across the region. Come along and meet some of our local stitchers and chat to them about this unique project.


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Wednesday 7th September    4.00 - 6.00pm & 6.30 - 8.00pm

Our Story - Our Nature - Our Songs    

Free events - drop in or reserve (refreshments provided)

Songs of Wester Ross           6.30pm - 8.00pm

This event will spotlight the Aultbea Stories Project, a community-led project that has been gathering stories of connections with nature,landscape and community. We’ll be presenting some of those stories and sharing ideas of how these connections can help communities. There will also be a special performance of the song written during the project.


Aultbea Stories                         4.00pm - 6.00pm

Join us for an informal sharing of songs about our area, from the traditional to the contemporary. Grab your granny and bring them along to this opportunity for us to listen to and -if you're up for it - to sing about the area we call home.

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Friday 9th September    7.30pm - 9.30pm

Witchbird Tales

Free event - around Gairloch today

In-character Storytelling from Jenny Neesham

Look out for seaboard fishwife and traveller Mary Ealasaidh Vass around Gairloch today. She’ll tell you a tale or two of strange and uncanny happenings from across the Highlands!

Let us know if you have an encounter!


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Friday 9th September    4.00pm - 5.30pm

Witchbird Tales Performance: There was a Boy……

Hidden in the bush, the boy could barely breathe. “If I told all your fortunes,” the druid said to the young men, “I would be here until the moon rose and set again. But I will read the future for the boy who becomes a man today.” “The boy who takes valour today,” he said, “Will be the greatest warrior the four corners of the green earth will ever know. His name will be spoken, and tales of his deeds told for two thousand years. But the price he will pay for this is high; he will not live to see a single grey hair grow on his head.”


Two thousand years have passed. Join the Witchbird at Gairloch Museum to learn the boy’s name, and to hear the stories of his great adventures.


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Saturday 10th September    2.00pm - 3.00pm

Travel in Time: In W.S. Thomson’s footsteps 

Book tickets £3.00

For about 40 years, William Sutherland Thomson MBE (1906 –1967) explored Scotland to picture his beloved country. As a landscape photographer, he produced two pictorial books Highlands in Colourand Colourful Scotland, 20 booklets in his Let’s Seeseries, other publications, calendars and postcards. His photographs depict the characteristic Scottish landscape of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

Photographer and history researcher Estelle Slegers Helsen wanders in W.S. Thomson’s footsteps remaking a selection of his pictures from precisely the same locations. In this talk, Estelle reveals the results of her trips to Wester Ross and Lochaber in autumn 2021 and the spring and summer of 2022.

The Lochaber series is made supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund and the West Highland Museum (Fort William).

Travel in Time Facebook page.


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Saturday 10th September    5.30pm - 8.00pm (performance 7.00pm - 8.00pm)

Book  tickets 

5.30pm – 8.00pm    Supper Ticket & performance £25.00*

7.00pm – 8.00pm    Performance Ticket (only) £3.00

A Necklace of Stories: The magical folklore of Otta Swire 

A performance by Heather Yule

Be transported to the magical Hebridean Islands and the Highlands of Scotland through stories and legends collected by folklorist Otta Swire, who captured the spirit and traditions of a bygone era. Through story, music and imagery, storyteller Heather Yule will explore the captivating tales of these lands, and the people and strange creatures who dwelt there.


*A supper ticket includes supper (excluding drinks) in the Am Bard café and the performance.


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Monday 12th September    12.00 - 1.00pm

Delving into Dixon with Dr Karen Buchanan

Gairloch and Guide to Loch Maree by J.H. Dixon

Free event - please reserve

John Henry Dixon was born in Yorkshire in 1838. For health reasons he was compelled to seek 'a country life'. A visit to Ross-shire in 1868 led him to settle in the Gairloch area, where he remained for many years. In 1886 he published a book which is still regarded as a model of what a parish history should be. Dixon committed to paper many of the legends and tales that had been passed down through the oral tradition from time immemorial. Museum Curator Karen Buchanan delves into 'Dixon's Gairloch' to unpick the historical details within these tales. This session will be the first in a series that will run through the autumn and winter, exploring this wonderful publication in more depth in the style of a book group.

If you would like to attend this discussion of Dixon, please use the link below to email the events team.


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Monday 12th September    2.00pm - 3.30pm

Reading  Aloud Together at the Museum (for adults) with Jen Shaw

Free event - drop in or reserve

Reading aloud is an activity that many of us take for granted but rarely do. Reading storybooks to children and grandchildren can be an incredibly enjoyable experience. But reading aloud is not only for children, as adults we can enjoy it too! Listening to someone read can bring profound comfort and joy. As part of the stories festival, we will be having our very first Read Aloud Adult Readers Group. We’d love you to come along. Jen will be reading a selection of stories, historic tales, comic anecdotes, mini biographies and newspaper articles.  Sit back in the comfort of our Room for Stories and listen with a cuppa or bring along something that you would like to read out. If you would like to attend this session, please email the events team using the link below or simply drop in on the day.


Photos by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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Tuesday 13th September    11.00am - 3.00pm

Spirit of the Highlands: Interactive Stories

Free event - drop in or reserve

The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project showcases the unique and diverse natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands through innovative digital assets. People from across the region have contributed stories embodying what the ‘spirit’ of the Highlands and Islands means to them. The VR headsets take you on an immersive tour of places inspired by these stories. The immersive films feature stunning landscapes, travel by boat and air, and cheeky local wildlife!


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Tuesday 13th September    7.30pm - 8.30pm

A Story in Stitches: The Great Tapestry of Scotland 

Book tickets £3.00

A talk by Andrew Crummy

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is an outstanding celebration of Scottish history and achievement from the end of the Ice Age to the 21st century. More than 1,000 volunteer stitchers worked for 55,000 hours using 300 miles of wool to create the 160 panels of this extraordinary work of art.


We are delighted to welcome Andrew Crummy to tell us about how a suggestion from the author Alexander McCall Smith led him to team up with Alistair Moffat to design the panels for this remarkable story of the people of Scotland. Andrew will also be discussing his latest project Spirit Journey: A Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands which aims to involve over 500 stitchers, and will reveal some of the proposed panels.



We’ll be closing our festival with some hot chocolate as the virtual campfire dies down    8.30-9.00pm


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