Gairloch Museum has been selected as a winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020, the most prestigious museum prize in the world. In a unique edition of the prize and in recognition of the unprecedented challenges that all museums face in 2020, five winning museums have been named.

In this short video, Dr Karen Buchanan and Roy MacIntyre talk about was makes Gairloch Museum special and what it means to be a winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020.

This beautiful re-imagining of the Gille Dubh folktale was created using artwork by Abe Locke (a young artist and fantasy writer who lives in Laide) and is narrated by actor, Sam Heughan. 

From Tuesday to Saturday the Museum is open to visitors between 10am and 5pm. In line with our current guidance we’d encourage you to book your visit by emailing or calling 01445 712287.

If you’ve visited Gairloch Museum in the past, we’d love to hear what you like or love or find most odd and intriguing about Gairloch Museum and our collection. You can share your experiences, thoughts and congratulations by emailing

We’d love to hear from you. 

Last weeks diary

Tuesday 13th Oct

11am: We’re all winners!

Karen Buchanan will take part in a Zoom webinar with the directors and representatives from all the winning museums.  This will be lead by Art Fund Director Jenny Waldman, produced in association with The Art Newspaper and led by art critic and podcast host Ben Luke.  You can get a link to the event by registering here

12pm: World Premier of the Ghille Dhu Animation

We will reveal a beautiful animation of the story of the Gille Dubh of Loch a Draing.  The artwork of Abe Locke was the inspiration for bringing to life this local folk tale.  The story is read by Outlander star Sam Heughan in English and broadcaster Roddy Maclean in Gaelic.  We will share this short film on our website and across our social media at midday on Tuesday.  There is also a ‘making of’ film to follow later in the week.

Wednesday 14th Oct

10am – 4pm: Archaeological Dig Day 1 

Archaeologist Tom Gardner will lead a live, public excavation on the Achtercairn Archaeology Trail . Over three days, together with some volunteers, he’ll be digging the roundhouse closest to the museum, which has not previously been studied. If you would like to help with the dig, email to volunteer.  


Visitors are welcome to walk the Achtercairn Archaeology Trail and observe the team at work. The dig will be taking place between 10am and 4pm. You are kindly reminded to adhere to current advice on social distancing outside:


You can meet people outside in a public space in groups of up to 6 people from no more than 2 households (not counting under-12s).

Limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

Thursday 15th Oct

We will be participating in an BBC event called #MuseumPassion on 15 October, as part of a season highlighting the work of museums which will feature on TV, radio and online. The BBC will host and highlight social media content throughout the day from museums, galleries and archives via the BBC Arts Website and across other BBC programmes and accounts.  Anyone can take part through their social media accounts. All you need to do is to use the hashtag #MuseumPassion when posting on your regular social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.) from 1000-1700 on 15 October.


10am – 4pm: Archaeological Dig Day 2

The dig continues between 10am and 4pm (see above).  We will be live streaming from the dig on our Facebook page at 11am and 3pm as part of BBC Arts #MuseumPassion day.  So if you can’t come in person, join us online.


7.30pm Online Illustrated talk with Jeremy Fenton 

Jeremy Fenton introduces his new book Escaping Isolation, which tells the story of how the Gairloch area was connected to the rest of the country by road over time, and the changes this brought to the area.  This talk will be live streamed via Zoom and recorded.  Please email to receive an invitation with a link to join.

Friday 16th Oct

10am – 4pm: Archaeological Dig Day 3

The dig continues (see above for details).  We will reinstate the ground and record our findings.


7-7.45pm: Curator, Dr Karen Buchanan, will be speaking to Tom Sutcliffe live on the Radio 4 programme Front Row.

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