We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Food, museum and atmosphere”

Timespan Museum and Arts Centre
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Helmsdale
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Bathgate, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
255 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Food, museum and atmosphere”
Reviewed 8 February 2014

A great place to visit just for coffee, meal or to visit the museum. Visited the area in August 13 when the Translocation Festival was on. Had a great time attending several of the events in the programme, learnt a lot and met some lovely people. A good meeting place that is used by both locals and tourists alike. Would recommend the centre, well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Purplehazze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

80 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Everything a museum should be - and more..”
Reviewed 17 October 2013

A gem in the Highlands..Tells the story of the area, shows great art in the airy, spacious gallery
and there's lots to buy in the shop. Then enjoy a refreshing drink and homebakes in the cafe.
Lovely views over the river too
We always make a point of visiting when we're passing through and we're always entertained and never fail to find something new to see and enjoy there. Free entry.

Visited May 2013
Thank ScotlandCyclops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Not as good as it was..”
Reviewed 12 October 2013

Like another reviewer came here back in the mid 90's - it was much bigger then with references to the recent & long since past history of the area...I remember a "homage" to a certain romantic novelist who had a home in the area (just think lots of pink).
Had been looking forward to going back & I knew that it had been "revamped". So now it seems very obsessed with the "Highland Clearance" time with a very new & quite ill making film/audio experience which "takes you into the village" - it's interesting and does tell the story. Exhibits were interesting and clearly a lot of effort has been put in.
Upstairs area is given over to some more community focused displays and there is a strong use of the facility by the community which is good to see.
Cafe area & shop lovely - very tasty lunch was had.

Visited October 2013
3 Thank ecofi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Lights are still flickering”
Reviewed 2 October 2013 via mobile

We too were told that the lighting was a temporary issue and it did somewhat spoil our experience as we could not view a substantial part of the exhibits. The film was excellent as were some of other exhibits.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank Laura C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Armadale, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Smaller than I remember...”
Reviewed 1 September 2013

I last came here sometime in the early to mid '90s. I seem to remember it being bigger, but then it didn't have a café or gallery back then, as I recall. It now focuses on more recent history (last 300 years), although there is still some information taking it back to viking times as I recalled from before. These days it seems to concentrate on the 18th century and the Highland Clearances, which they put in quotation marks. (This to me smacks of revisionist history, along with another new term I'd never heard before "Translocation" - I think that's a euphemism for having your house burnt to the ground and the occupants left homeless and forced to move away simply in order to survive. I'm told it was meant to be a more neutral term, and yes, some people did eventually make a good start for themselves in the New World triggered by them being forced from their home. Many more died!).

Taking the politics of history out of it, the museum was still very interesting, but a lot smaller. I remember being able to walk round it with the exhibits forming a story throughout history, now there is just 3 mock exhibits, an interactive video room (which cleverly uses a Kinect Sensor bar from the XBOX 360 to control it), and a room with some smaller exhibits.

There is a gallery upstairs along with some form of community room. The gallery had a fascinating exhibit showing the journey of a parcel from London to the Western Isles.

On the whole the entrance charge wasn't expensive. The museum is still interesting, and has a more community feel to it. They have areas where you can share your own story.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Colin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Timespan Museum and Arts Centre also viewed

Helmsdale, Caithness and Sutherland
Golspie, Caithness and Sutherland
Golspie, Caithness and Sutherland
Whaligoe, Caithness and Sutherland

Been to Timespan Museum and Arts Centre? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing