Saturday, 3rd June, 2023

It was another amazingly sunny and warm day today. Our first stop was to be the Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore but I needed to go to the toilet so we took a short detour to the town of Blair Atholl which apart from a toilet (phew!), also has a castle and a very nice little park. We strolled down to the River Tilt and admired some carved animals in the park. We knew we didn't have time for an extra castle so we headed on towards the museum.

We spotted this castle as we drove and took a photo from the car. We are not sure what it is though!

This appeared to be a beacon but we weren't sure

A Golden Eagle

A Red Squirrel

A Pine Marten

The Highland Folk Museum was the first open-air museum in Britain, opening in 1941. It is similar to Sovereign Hill at Ballarat in that some of its buildings are original, some have been moved from other locations, and some are new buildings made to look old. The museum sets out to show what life was life for ordinary people from the 1700s until about 1930. There are over 30 buldings on the site. It is one mile from end to end so quite a lot of walking was involved.

MacPherson's Tailor's Shop - note the different sizes and shapes of the irons heating on the fire.

Craig Dhu Tweed Cottage

The Clockmaker's Workshop

The Joiners' Workshop

There were a number of carvings of local animals

Newtonmore Curling Cub Hut

Curling Stones

Curling "bottles". The idea was to slide one's "stone" on the ice of a frozen lake so that it would be the closest to one of these wooden "bottles". Curling is still a sport but they now use circular targets marked on the ice. There is a curling venue in Melbourne and I have tried curling.

The museum's curling pond, to use their own words, was in a "sorry state" but they hope to clear the weeds, line the pond and get it into "working" order.

"Baele Gean" Township consists of a number of buildings similar to this one. Houses similar to these were lived in from medieval times until the early 1800s. The museum chose the 1730s for this town.

There was no chimney so it was very smokey.

The Weaver's House

There were some "hands on" exhibits set up for "children". This one showed how oats could be ground into flour.

Some local inhabitants

This was my favourite of all the carvings (with the hedgehogs a close second!)

Leanach Church (built in 1924) has two organs! Note Satoshi's reflection in the photo above. I would like to say that this was cleverly arranged (but it wasn't). The church became redundant in 1980 and was moved to its present site soon after.

Knockbain School was built in 1925. It was re-erected at the museum in 1999.

The Blackhouse was one of the three original building in the museum. It was purpose-built in 1942.

Boleskine Shinty Pavilion

The Loom Shed

Lochanhully House was constructed in 1922

The Shepherd's Bothy. I was pleased to see that this particular shepherd knew how to have a good breakfast!

Aultlarie Farmhouse dates from the late 1800s. The living room is set up for late 1930s. Another room has been made into a 1930s "sweetie" shop. Some of its contents were for sale. I remember my father having a tobacco tin exactly like this one which was on display.

The signal box from Aultarie Station is set up as a waiting room.

Aultlarie Tin Cottage sits on its original site and would have been built around 1890.

There was a mother duck with no less than 12 ducklings!

Another local inhabitant

Our next adventure was a steam train ride at the Strathspey Railway.

Although it doesn't look like it is in steam in this photo, this locomotive was about to leave Aviemore Station on its way to Broomhill Station about 16 miles away.

The view from the window as the train neared Boat of Garten Station

The Boat of Garten Station

There was a very noisy (and smelly) diesel locomotive which was helping to pull the train. Apparently, there were concerns about fire risk so they didn't want the steam locomotive working too hard. (Heat! It was about 20°C!) It is difficult to hear the sound of the steam locomotive over the hideous din of the diesel but it can be discerned.

According to the website of "The Three Witches Carvery" pub in Inverness, they have a carvery every night so we decided to try it for dinner. On arrival, we found that "every night" meant only on Sundays! We stayed anyway and enjoyed a very pleasant meal. The end of another great day!

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