“Fantastic place to visit, so much of interest brilliantly packed into such a small place.”
What to see
You can find out about the area’s amazing marine and wildlife here, and explore some of Arisaig’s surprising historical connections.
Our collection of objects and photos has been growing since 1999 when Arisaig’s former smiddy first opened to the public. The blacksmith’s original forge and bellows are still here, but the building where he worked has been completely refurbished and modernised. Today it’s a warm, light sanctuary where you can linger for as long as you like.
Our exhibitions have grown too and now cover a surprising range of subjects: from crofting, fishing and knitting to wartime espionage training!
Image right: Spinning wheel
The Smiddy display
Display of old domestic items
Arisaig has some spectacular land and marine wildlife and there’s no better place to start learning about it than here. You can borrow our binoculars to look for birds and otters in the bay, or spend some time in our Room with a View, browsing through natural history books and planning your wildlife walks.
For young wildlife enthusiasts, we’ve got bird-spotting charts and plenty of natural objects to handle.
Archaeology and local history
People have lived in and around Arisaig for thousands of years, leaving tantalising traces of their lives in buildings, monuments and everyday objects. Find out where they lived and how they made a living from the land and sea.
You’re also welcome to explore our expanding archive, which includes local history books, maps, emigration records, photographs, and articles about Arisaig.
View our Neolithic stone on display in the Centre before exploring the rugged Rhu peninsula where it was found. Rhu is steeped in archaeology and once had a bigger population than the village.
More than 3,000 agents were secretly trained here during world war two, learning how to jump safely off moving trains and how to kill silently. Our extensive collection of SOE (Special Operations Executive) material focuses on the people and places connected with Arisaig, and includes information on Czech agents who trained here.
It was said that Arisaig’s rough terrain was ideal for strengthening agents’ ankles before they parachuted into enemy territory.
Arts and Arisaig
Today the arts are an important part of Arisaig community life. Many local painters and musicians live here and there are regular live music events at the Astley Hall and the Arisaig Hotel. But creative people have always been drawn to Arisaig, from the finest Gaelic poet of the 18th century, who spent his final years here, to Philip Webb, one of the most influential architects of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Location, location, location… This area has seen the making of some iconic films. Don’t forget to ask us for directions to Ben’s beach (aka the Local Hero beach).
Our popular shop has a wide range of books and maps, locally made crafts, paintings, cards and gifts that you won’t see elsewhere. In summer we sell fresh produce from Arisaig’s vegetable plots.