Highland Archaeology Festival

Celebrating Highland Archaeology, History and Heritage

The festival is provided by the Highland Council and runs over two weeks each October to celebrate the heritage of the Highlands from earliest settlers to modern times, below ground and above. Whether you are a seasoned archaeologist or a complete beginner, the festival will let you explore an amazing range of places and collections.  There’s something to suit everyone and many of the events are free!

In 2019 the festival will run from 28th September - 18th October, with the last week including the school holidays. Events are now on the website, and a printed brochure is now available from libraries, service points, tourist information centres and many museums. . The conference will take place on 12th and 13th October at the Council Chamber in Inverness. It's not too late to contribute an event or exhibition - please get in touch!


There are over 100 events offered by organisations, museums and individuals. For details see the Events Calendar. Some events are specifically aimed at children: click here for a list.

This year's Launch Lecture will take place on Friday 27th September at Council HQ where Steven Birch will speak about Out of the Dark: Looking Beyond the High Pasture Cave Complex, Skye. This year's Keynote Talk on Friday 11th October will be Andy Heald talking about Living and Dying in Iron Age Caithness. Both speakers are well known for their work in the Highalnds. No booking required. Pick up a parking permit near the door.

New events added after the brochure went to press, or any changes are detailed in the News section of the website.

Museum Exhibitions and Opening Times

Sixteen special exhibitions are running during HAF. Click here to see descriptions, as well as a list of opening hours of many of the museums, archives and heritage centres.

HAF 2019 Conference

The annual conference on Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Research will take place this year at Council headquarters in Inverness on 12th and 13th October. Click here to see information about the conference and links to the booking form. As usual there is an exciting line up of speakers and display stands from groups and projects. PLEASE NOTE: this event is fully booked for Saturday 12th.

Other HAF activities

The geocache trail is still active, and we have added some new ones this year. A list of self guided trails is also available.


We welcome feedback on any events you attend. Feedback forms can be obtained from event organisers or downloaded from the Document Library (allowing you to fill in more than one event on one form), or you can fill in a short on-line form per event. Please send back all feedback by 25th October 2019.

Adopt an HER Record

Is there a Highland site or object that is special to you?

The Highland Historic Environment Record (HER) is the Council’s online database of all known heritage in the Highlands. We’re looking for help to keep it accurate and for photographs of many of the sites and finds included. Can you help?

We’re inviting you to adopt an HER record. This may be as simple as just sending us a good photograph. Or you could include descriptions of the present state, forward other out of copyright material which should be included or links to them, add a bibliography or send corrections if needed. Your work will be acknowledged in the record unless you request otherwise. Look out for a display of adopted records at the HAF conference.

Free workshops!

Not familiar with using the HER? If your organisation would like a workshop please contact us on her@highland.gov.uk





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