Welcome to Mallaig Heritage Centre
Welcome to the Mallaig Heritage Centre website, an essential stopping point for everyone who is interested in discovering the history and culture of the West Highlands of Scotland.
Once Europe's busiest herring port, it is still a major fishing centre, landing large catches of prawns and other shellfish and, as the most westerly harbour on the British mainland, it plays an important role as one of the most important lifeboat stations on the west coast of Scotland.
Opened in 1994, in a new building alongside Mallaig railway station, the Heritage Centre houses a range of displays and exhibits telling the story of the districts of Knoydart, Morar and Arisaig. Known in the Gaelic language as "An Garbh Chriochan" (The Rough Bounds), this area between Loch Hourn and Loch Sunart was, until the beginning of the 20th century, one of the least-visited areas of the British mainland, most of the settlements in the area being accessible only by sea or by an arduous trek through the glens. It is hardly surprising that this region is where the Jacobite claimant to the throne, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, took refuge after defeat at Culloden in 1746.
1500 years ago the area was a buffer zone between the kingdom of the Picts and the maritime kingdom of the Norsemen. Norse longships gave way to Highland galleys as the area became part of the Hebridean Lordship of the Isles, and did not come under the full control of the Scottish Crown until the 16th century.
Not surprisingly, the area still retains its unique character and visitors return again and again, to enjoy its spectacular mountain and coastal scenery, pure white sandy beaches and one of the most spectacular railway journeys in Europe.
Explore our Website for a taste of the history of this wild and beautiful area, and visit the Centre itself when you come to visit the Highlands. We promise you that it will be time well spent!