Continuing our quest of visiting places we have neglected for much too long we realised that Inverness was one of those locations we always visit for practical stuff, but rarely for fun. Of course when you have a visitor your standards change a bit and fun becomes much more important - taking a guest along for your two-weekly shopping would be a bit naff after all.
So when a few weekends ago we dropped Qun, our Chinese friend, back to Inverness to catch her train it was obvious that we had to show her the fun side of the city too. For years we have driven past a very special place - 'Ship Space' or as it's more often referred to - 'the Titanic museum'. We had always said 'must go there!' but never stopped. Being a free attraction that combines an indoor exhibition with nautical artefacts and some boats in the outdoor space it seemed the perfect place to visit on a somewhat damp Sunday afternoon.
The good thing is that as soon as entering the place it's obvious this is not the 'do not touch' kind of museum. It's a place to be explored hands on (and partly on knees) by climbing onto and into 'ship spaces' to have a closer look and pretend to be the captain/trawler man/deckhand. The Guiding Star, a West Coast creel fishing boat was the first one we explored and what fun it was! Another attraction is the 10 1/2 ton steel wheelhouse of a fishing trawler.
After checking out a few of the boats it was time to look inside the museum, which turned out to be a real treasure cove. There is a lot about the Titanic but also plenty of other objects to admire - and play with. There is a dressing up box, a life raft you can sit in, and a rescue speedboat. For a bit of extra thrill there is a speedboat you can sit in whilst playing a speedboat video game on a big screen - all equipment including crash helmet provided. The boys and Qun had fun there whilst I had a chance to look at more of the Titanic information. After spending some time with all the treasures inside it was time to explore the rest of the outside space - we still had not seen one of the main attractions, the 1 10 scale model of the Titanic itself.
Stan Fraser, who created and runs the museum, built it himself over an 11-year period. You can go inside and explore the Parisian cafe, the bridge and the Marconi wireless room. And we all got a bit of a fright when finding a man sleeping in one if the cabins (a really good model! ;-) ). There was so much else to see - like a replica of the Nautile submarine, one of the mini submersibles that dived 3 miles down to the Titanic.
We were lucky to have it all to ourselves that afternoon which made it easier to shout our latest discoveries to each other and simply get excited over every new discovery. It was also the perfect place to explore during changeable weather. The sun had come out but if had still been drizzling it would have been very easy to shelter inside one of the boats or the inside exhibition area. Of course there was much more to see than we could fit into two hours, so we'll definitely be back for more. Entry is free so I think it will be a favourite place to visit for many years to come.
Written by Monika Strell on Saturday, 13 June 2015.
Posted in Scottish Highlands and Islands
Jennie Abell 24 June 2015 at 19 56 | # Gosh where abouts is this Monika? This looks like a must visit place. We usually have to go to Inverness to have the car looked at because one of the special lights has come on again on the dash board and the local garage can't work out what it means! Its always a costly trip so a bit of light relief would be a good call.
Monika Strell 25 June 2015 at 09 42 | # It's on the road that goes to Beauly, basically next to the canal/marina! If you know where Lidl is, the Co-op and Go Outdoors? Close to those - there is no parking outside so you have to park in the retail car parks anyway. And yes I think your boys would love it! -)