Arisaig - the Safe Place. So thought Vikings, early Christian Saints, Catholic Priests. Bonnie Prince Charlie, Special Operations Executives during their World War II training.
Arisaig has provided shelter and safety to all, as well as to a wonderful variety of birds and wildlife. The village lies where na Garbh Criochan (the Rough Bounds) meet the calm waters of Loch nan Ceall (Loch of the Cells). Arisaig has always been a community of self-reliant people with a strong bond to their birthplace. They have prospered despite meagre resources and hardship.
The Land, Sea and Islands Visitor Centre opened in July 1999 on the site of a derelict smiddy in a stunning situation in the heart of Arisaig village.
A community project, it houses an exhibition that celebrates the social and natural history of the area old and new with photographic displays and artifacts.
Crofting, fishing, church history and marine life, the SOE and the films made here - 'Local Hero' being one of the most famous - are amongst the contents. The old forge has been renovated and forms a focal part of the display.
A small shop at the Centre sells local and island crafts and cards, as well as books on natural and local history, and provides information for visitors on what to see and where to stay in the area. And don't forgot to visit our Gallery of local photographs and prints!
74 pages, laminated covers, comb-bound. Author: David Harrison.
Published in 2000.
On sale exclusively at the Centre and available nowhere else!
Price £10 (+ £2.75 P&P)
For mail order, cheques should be made payable to 'Land, Sea and Islands Centre'
and posted to Alison Stewart, Land, Sea & Islands Centre, Arisaig PH39 4NJ
The Arisaig area played an important part in the para-military training of about 3000 secret agents. The vicinity was ideal as there was only one road to seal off, there was railway access and it was remote and a long way from Germany. The locals had to have passes for movement into or out of the protected area. The agents spent 4 - 5 weeks at one of several houses that were requisitioned by the War Office including Arisaig House, Meoble Lodge, Traigh House, Rhubana Lodge, Inverie House, Garramor, Camusdarach and Glasnacardoch. The agents then went to Ringway (Manchester) for parachute training before being split between either wireless training at Thame Park in Oxfordshire or learning to be an organiser or courier at Beaulieu House in Hampshire. Finally, the agents were parachuted into enemy territory on moonlit nights from Tempsford airfield in Bedfordshire or landed by Lysander from Tangmere in Sussex.
The Church of Scotland, Arisaig
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Church of Scotland in the parish of Arisaig. this historical account was commissioned and printed in 2011. Beautifully printed with 28 pages of text written by Elizabeth MacDonald of Arisaig, it also contains a number of photos, mostly in colour.
On sale at the Centre price £7.50.
Also available by post at £7.50 + £1.50 p &p. Please make out a cheque to Parish of North West Lochaber and send to Mrs E Fleming, Tigh na Creag, Arisaig PH39 4NH.
A small display of The Works of Jemima Blackburn
Jemima Blackburn was a watercolourist of outstanding technical ability whose keen observation gives us an evocative picture of her life in the 19th century. Youngest daughter of James Wedderburn, Solicitor General for Scotland, Jemima was a friend and pupil of John Ruskin and Sir Edwin Landseer, both of whom praised her work highly. She married Professor Hugh Blackburn and they bought the Roshven estate in 1854. Her Roshven home became the focus of visits from some of the most celebrated figures of the century, including John Ruskin, Sir John Everet Millais, Anthony Trollope and Benjamin Disraeli, The very best of Jemima's work is to be found among her paintings of Roshven, its animals and birds. She became one of the leading bird painters of the day. Some examples of her work and some information about her life are on display at the Centre, and on sale are copies of her book and prints of her work.
West Highland Emigration in the late 18th Century
Includes the passenger lists of the Jane and the Lucy which left Druimindarroch in 1790, together with lists from other ships and articles on life in Prince Edward Island.
Arisaig is considered to be the Gateway to the Small Isles and in the summer months a daily passenger service operates day trips to the Isles of Eigg, Muck and Rum.
For further information about the The Land, Sea and Islands Visitor Centre
New for 2012: FREE ADMISSION - Donations welcome
Road to the Isles homepage
West Word: monthly news from the area