Highland Archaeology Festival

Celebrating Highland Archaeology, History and Heritage

The festival is provided by the Highland Council and runs over 3 weeks each late September/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!

2021 Festival  25th Sept - 15th Oct

This year we invited organisations and museums to organise or publicise events, and the response has been huge, with walks, talks, workshops and games! These have been uploaded to the website in the Events Calendar, along with a list of displays and museum opening hours. An index by geographical region can help plan your days. For events which require booking, see the individual entries in the Event Calendar.

The brochure has been sent out to anyone who requested it (and copies can be downloaded from the Document Library). Any late entries will be listed below. All events are of course subject to change if Covid regulations change.

Unfortunately, it is still not possible this year to organise the popular Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Research conference in person. Instead, the Historic Environment Team have organised a series of  online lunchtime and evening talks which focus on recent fieldwork and research related to Highland heritage. Bookings for these talks are via Eventbrite, with links in the Events Calendar. Many of last year's online talks are available on the HAF YouTube channel, and many of this year's talks will be put up during late October 2021.


E16 Basics Finds Conservation. Monday 27th September, 1-4pm.This is now an online event which will be run by Gretel Evans, Conservation Manager at AOC archaeology. See the event details for booking information.

New resource launching: The Highland Pictish Trail will become live on 4th October. www.highlandpictishtrail.co.uk

New event: 9/10/21 Ousdale Broch Tour, Caithness, 12-2:30pm. See the event details for information.


  • E19 28th Sept. Small Finds Illustration Workshop at Nairn. The organisers hope to reschedule in the future.
  • E26 30th Sept  Exploring the Aird Peninsula
  • E34 2nd Oct. Metal detecting in Lochaber.
  • E38 2nd Oct. A Walk round Camuscross and Isle Ornsay. The organisers hope to reschedule in the future.
  • E39 2nd Oct. The Ord near Lairg
  • E48 5th Oct. Exporing the NoSAS Jim Bone Aerial Photo Collection. The organiser hopes to reschedule either in person or online in the future.
  • E55 8th Oct Benchmarking Recording Day



We welcome your feedback on the events. Feedback forms can be downloaded from the Document Library in the 2021 folder, and can be found in the Festival brochure. If you prefer, you can also provide feedback via an online survey.

Geocache and Self-guided Trails

The HAF geocache trail is still active, and there is also a list of self guided trails (many new this year).

Festival reports

The reports for the previous festivals are in the  Document Library


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


The 2021 Highland Archaeology Festival is organised by the Highland Council with support from Historic Environment Scotland.





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