Museum nan Eilean Lionacleit is on the Isle of Benbecula and is part of the Heritage Service operated by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the local authority for the Outer Hebrides. This is a sister museum of Museum nan Eilean, Stornoway which is on the Isle of Lewis.
On the page below, you can find the information you need to help plan your visit to Museum nan Eilean, Lionacleit.
During your Visit: Accessibility, Admission, Children, CCTV, Eating & Drinking, Exhibitions, Holidays/closures, Library, Museum Office, Opening Times, Opening Outside hours, Our Staff, Photography/ Filming, Toilets
Museum nan Eilean is approximately 10 minute drive from Balivanich and is located within Sgoil Lionacleit the community secondary school, which is next door to the Dark Island Hotel.
The address for satnav is: Museum nan Eilean, Sgoil Lionacleit, Lionacleit, Isle of Benbecula, HS7 5PJ
Travel to Benbecula
There are direct flights to Benbecula Airport from Glasgow and Stornoway with Loganair.
All the islands in the Uist chain from Eriskay to Berneray are connected by causeways. Therefore by ferry there are a number of options for visiting Benbecula all with Calmac.
- From mainland Scotland – Uig (Skye) to Lochmaddy (North Uist), or Mallaig to Lochboisdale (South Uist), or Oban to Lochboisdale
- From Lewis or Harris – Leverburgh (Harris) to Berneray
- From Barra – Ardmhor (Barra) to Eriskay
Summer months are particularly busy so advance booking of ferries or flights is essential.
Cross the causeway from North Uist/ Grimsay onto the island of Benbecula. When you reach the T junction at Gramsdale keep heading south (which is straight on) for another 4.5 miles. You will pass a petrol station on your left and then just ahead you will see a signpost for Lionacleit (B892) which is a right turn. Keep going for approximately another mile and you will see the Dark Island Hotel on your left and Sgoil Lionacleit is the large building beside it. The main door is directly in front of the cattlegrid & bus shelter. During school hours you will need to sign in at reception before you enter the museum. The museum is located past the library.
Head south taking the east road towards Nunton. Keep going for another 3 miles after Nunton until you see Otter’s Edge Campsite on your right. Carry on another few hundred yards and you will see UHI Campus on your right and Sgoil Lionacleit. The main door is directly in front of the cattlegrid & bus shelter which is at the second entrance into the carpark. During school hours you will need to sign in at reception before you enter the museum. The museum is located past the library.
Cross the causeway from South Uist over to the island of Benbecula. Carryon past the Creagorry Coop store which will be on your left and keep going for another half a mile until you reach the T junction signposted for Lionacleit (B892) , turn left there and continue for another mile. You will see the Dark Island Hotel on your left and Sgoil Lionacleit is the large building beside it. The main door is directly in front of the cattlegrid & bus shelter. During school hours you will need to sign in at reception before you enter the museum. The museum is located past the library.
The museum is located within the Sgoil Lionacleit community school and therefore car parking is within the school grounds.
- During school opening hours – please do not park within the bus parking area as buses will require access. Please park within the dedicated carpark areas
- Evening / weekends/ school holidays – you can park within the bus park areas and also within the other car parking areas.
- Disabled parking – there are 2 marked spaces nearest to the main school/ museum entrance. Please ensure you display your Blue Badge.
During Your Visit
Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean acknowledges that every user will have different needs and we are committed to reducing barriers to both physical and intellectual access to our collections.
When museum staff are not present library staff will be on hand to offer assistance. If you would like to discuss your access needs prior to your visit please contact us.
- Accessible Toilets – A female accessible toilet is available adjacent to the female toilets which is located from the front door past the stairs and down the corridor to the left. Unfortunately at present we do not have a dedicated adult changing area.
- Assistance Animals – Working guide and assistance animals are welcome at the museum. They should be appropriately trained, supervised and kept with you at all times, ideally wearing the appropriate tabard or harness.
- Interpretation – Hearing & Visual Aids – Due to the nature of the changing exhibitions it is not possible to guarantee the level of interpretation that will be available but we aim to have a range of interpretation – available in Gaelic and English – including text panels, handheld information boards, audio visual films, audio systems, interactive games and artefacts. A magnifying frame is available on request for anyone who needs to use it. Please ask a member of staff.
- Quiet Time – If you would prefer to visit when it is quieter please contact us in advance so we can advise the best time of day.
- Seating – There are lightweight transportable stools that you can use throughout the galleries.
- Wheelchairs – The museum is on the ground floor and is all on one level and is fully wheelchair accessible.
Entry to the museum is by donation. Suggested donation £5 per person. We greatly appreciate all donations.
All the money you give will be spent on special projects, new acquisitions and conservation of our collections.
Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult (outside of school times).
You will find more about activities and things to see and do in the museum with Families & Young People.
Closed Circuit Television
CCTV is in use throughout Museum nan Eilean; images are recorded for the purpose of public safety and crime prevention, in line with Data Protection legislation.
Eating & Drinking
To protect collections no food or drink is allowed in the gallery. Please finish up before you enter the museum.
The school canteen is open to the public during school holidays.
The museum does not have a permanent exhibition. Instead, the gallery is used for an exhibitions programme which changes a number of times per year. Exhibitions range from in-house curated shows, national touring exhibitions, highlight objects, project interpretation and local community displays. Each of these gives us the opportunity to incorporate the Museum nan Eilean collections so that a changing selection is available to see or study. You can see what our latest exhibition is in our What’s On section.
Holidays | Closures
Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean is closed annually on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 1st January and 2nd January and the three working days between. We are also closed on Good Friday and the three summer public holidays which are usually during the 3rd week of July.
Any other closures will be advertised here and on our facebook page.
The museum is adjacent to Western Isles Library, which is open to the public during the same hours as the museum. There is an adjoining door through from the library to the museum as well as the corridor entrance.
The museum office is within the museum space but is not always staffed. As well as curating exhibitions in the museum the staff also care for the museum collection stored at our facility in Torlum, work with our sister museum in Stornoway, run workshops for schools and other audiences and give advice to Comainn Eachdraidh (local historical societies)/ independent museums. If museum staff are not in the office and you have a query please contact us.
- Monday | Closed
- Tuesday, Thursday and Friday | 10am – 1pm | 2pm – 5pm
- Wednesday | 10am – 1pm
- Saturday | 10 am – 3.30 pm
- Sunday | Closed
Opening Outside Hours
If you would like to enquire about opening for a group outwith these hours please contact us for a quote
Our staff are identifiable from their CnES badges.
We will not tolerate any abuse or violence towards any visitors, contractor or any of our staff.
If museum staff are not available due to working off-site then you can leave enquiries by contacting us here
Photography | Filming
Visitors are permitted to use hand-held cameras within the museum for private and non-commercial purposes, but must not:
- Use cameras in any areas where video or photography is restricted (this will always be clearly signed)
- Make any recording or take any photograph of any person without the authorisation of that person.
Non-private or commercial use of cameras/recording devices, and the use of tripods or lighting, is only allowed by prior arrangement. Please see media enquiries.
We will always let visitors know if filming or photography is taking place in the museum during their visit.
Public toilets are available within the school.