Digital reconstruction of Raitts Township, Badenoch early 1700s. Image: Bob Marshall

A tourism-based project with interpretation at its core. Three years of research, training, HI planning and resource creation reaps rich rewards.

The Badenoch Great Place Project (BGPP) is a partnership made up of key local organisations involved in heritage across an area in the Cairngorms National Park called Badenoch. The project was granted £352,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with additional funding from Cairngorms National Park Authority, Transport Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Highland Council. Since starting in 2018, the BGPP has been researching Badenoch’s rich cultural heritage and the potential that exists to develop the area as a visitor destination in the Cairngorms National Park. A study into the wealth of historic sites and folklore in the area and a community consultation process to develop interpretive themes have led to the development of a new destination brand, ‘Badenoch: The Storylands’.

Over the three-year life of the project, it has also created new volunteering and training opportunities, undertaken new research into the area’s past and historic landscape, and commissioned marketing studies and the development of new promotional and exhibition materials. The project has also commissioned a photographer and illustrator to provide high-quality imagery for use in various media. It is currently working in partnership with Highlife Highland to utilise an existing digital archive called Ambaile.

It is hoped that a combination of these activities will help to promote Badenoch as a strong destination for heritage tourism in Scotland. The project will end in September 2021, but it is envisaged that a local organisation called Badenoch Heritage will continue to promote the area to visitors by marketing and holding an annual cultural heritage festival in the area.

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The historic area of Badenoch (from the Gaelic, Bàideanach, meaning ‘drowned land’) dates from medieval times. It now forms part of the Badenoch & Strathspey area of the Cairngorms National Park and The Highland Council. The area covers 36 miles from north to south and 15 miles from east to west and has a population of around 3,800. The ancient capital is the village of Kingussie (population: 1,400), and there are also important long-standing settlements at Newtonmore, Kincraig, Dalwhinnie, and Laggan.

Cairngorms National Park

Badenoch Storylands

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Jacquie MacIntyre lives in a village in the Highlands of Scotland. She has been a cartographer, graphic designer, interpretation officer, and visitor services officer. She is about to leave working for the Cairngorms National Park to embark on a new challenge as a self-employed interpretation consultant specialising in community heritage projects. Jacquie is IE’s Media Library Officer and she can be contacted at:

To cite this article: MacIntyre, Jacquie (2021) ‘Badenoch Heritage: Bringing the past to the 21st century’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 1-2021, 19.

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