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Arnol Blackhouse

Outer Hebrides

One of Scotland’s most evocative historic buildings, the Arnol Blackhouse is not so much a museum as a perfectly preserved fragment of a lost world. Built in 1885, this traditional blackhouse – a combined byre, barn and home – was inhabited until 1964 and has not been changed since the last inhabitant moved out. The museum is about 3 miles west of Barvas.

The staff faithfully rekindle the central peat fire every morning so you can experience the distinctive peat-reek; there’s no chimney, and the smoke finds its own way out through the turf roof, windows and door – spend too long inside and you might feel like you’ve been kippered!

At nearby Bragar, a pair of whalebones forms an arch by the road, with the rusting harpoon that killed the whale dangling from the centre.

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