Highland Village, Iona

#3 of 14 in Historic Sites in Cape Breton Island
Visit Highland Village, a living history museum spreading over 16 ha (40 ac) of property, which depicts the life of Gaelic settlers in Nova Scotia. Thousands of Scots settled into the area throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The village was established in 1959 and consists of 11 historic buildings. Visitors can find a blacksmith working in his forge, costumed animators demonstrating spinning weaving, and farmers working with traditional livestock. Plan your visit to Highland Village and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Iona trip planner .
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Highland Village Reviews
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262 reviews
  • As part of a bus tour of the island, we spent over an hour at the Highland Village, a trip back in time. You are immersed in Gaelic language and culture of the 18th and 19th centuries. The site is on ...  more »
  • Studded with eleven period buildings representing the Gaelic community in the 1700-1800s, it is a unique experience to visit and explore. However, there were so many tour buses there at the same time,...  more »
  • Three of us were on a cruise and our day-excursion visited the Highland Village. Very well done. This attraction involves examples of different styles of Scottish houses from before the Scottish left ...  more »
  • This museum has a unique collection of buildings and history with actors playing the parts of the people of the era they represent. Asking questions results in a well researched reply. Educational and informative. Located on a hill overlooking the Bras d'Or Lake it is worth visiting just for the view.
  • Despite being with on a tour with a tour bus group, I enjoyed spending time at the 'living' museum. Each character had a story to tell about the era they were living in, their way of life and living conditions, etc. I found it very interesting. I just wish I had had a bit more time for the visit but hope to be back there again one day.
  • Very educational. Good history lessons.
  • The village as a museum is actually fairly plain. The layout of the site takes visitors through a time period of the first wave of Cape Breton settlers to the early 20th century. There are some houses and artifacts, some animals and actors. What impressed me in my last visit were the events taking place throughout that were not there in a previous visit. Kids making simple make clay 'pots', fiddlers, and very reasonably priced $1 corn boil. Visit when there are scheduled events such as these and you will have a better time.
  • We stopped for a bathroom break. Never used any other facilities so I can't speak to their quality or the quality of educational programming that this museum offers. Managed to get to said bathroom facility before a bus full of seniors, with full bladders, got off. Five stars to the bathroom pre-seniors.

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