Explore history at Laidhay Croft Museum
Visit Laidhay Croft Museum in Dunbeath
Laidhay Croft Museum is a historic thatched long house, which was home to the Bethune family from 1842 to 1968. Since 1974 it has been a public museum, which shows what life and work was like for a traditional crofter family in Caithness. Here, you can explore the house, stable, byre and detached buildings, all frozen in time. There is also a modern shed which displays the museum’s large collection of farming equipment.
Frozen in time
Laidhay Croft is located near Dunbeath on the North Sea coast, around a 30-minute drive from Mackays Hotel in Wick. It is a fascinating place to visit during your stay with us, especially for those interested in local history. Please note, the museum is only open in the summer season – check the website for dates.
We attended a function at Mackays to open the Mey Games 2019, the staff were superb and very attentive, the food (Buffet) was second to none, beautifully presented and fresh. Great choice of beers and whiskies, and very reasonably priced for a hotel, what more could we ask for? The Manager introduced himself and nothing was too much trouble – we’re looking forward to attending again next year.
Discover local Caithness history
The croft is laid out over 16 acres of arable land. The single-storey long house is typical of a 19th-century crofter’s dwelling. The main house is in the centre of the building, with the byre on the right and the stables on the left. There is a detached barn with an original cruck roof and a cart shed on the croft. A visit to Laidhay Croft Museum is like stepping back in time. The building remains as it was in the 1800s and 1900s, filled with old family furnishings and possessions.
Visiting the museum
How to get there
Laidhay Croft is just off the A9, about a mile northeast of Dunbeath village. Get directions. There is a small admission charge to visit the museum, and there is also a welcoming tea room on the croft.
Dunbeath village, Caithness
While visiting the Dunbeath area, you may also wish to stop at historical attractions such as Dunbeath Castle Gardens, Dunbeath Heritage Museum and the Clann Gunn Heritage Centre. Dunbeath has a rich history, stretching back to the Iron Age, and it is the birthplace of the influential novelist and writer, Neil M. Gunn.
Caithness history and heritage
Explore more local history with Mackays
Mackays Hotel is located in a historic area, with so much to discover during your stay with us. So, find more history and heritage sites in the far north of Scotland, and check out lots of other great things to do near Wick in our See and Do Guide.