The West Highland Museum is celebrating after welcoming its 56,000 visitor through the doors for 2018 – on the last day of the year.
The museum based in the centre of Fort William tells the story of the mountainous region and its people and also contains an abundance of Jacobite memorabilia.
The rise in visitor numbers has not been seen in this magnitude for over 40 years with numbers at the centre rising from 9,000 in 2011, when free entry was granted, to the new tally of 56,111 for 2018.
The lucky 56,000th visitor of the year was Sarah Dungey of Cornwall, who was visiting the area with her husband Mark.
Mrs Dungey said: “I was amazed to have been told I was the 56,000th visitor this year and it is quite an honour.
“We both loved the museum as there are so many different things to see and find out about. What a great asset to let people know about the history of the area. We will be back.”
The couple from the south of England have visited the north of Scotland for the festive period over the past decade, however, the monumental museum visit was the first time they have ventured north to Fort William.
Over the course of the past year, a number of book launches have taken place at the museum, with visitors venturing from afar to capture a small taste of the Scottish Highlands.
These have included Dutch Commandos, who were in the Lochaber area on an extensive training exercise at the beginning of November, along with Outlander groups, French school children and clan societies.
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West Highland Museum manager Colleen Barker said: “Despite all our great successes, we remain financially vulnerable with income from The Highland Council reduced by two thirds and we may not receive anything from them this year.
So we are now almost entirely dependent on local support and goodwill – and that of our visitor’s donations and purchases in the shop”.
The West Highland Museum relies heavily on volunteer support and already demands the help of a team of 40 generous souls who ensure the visitor experience and Highland hospitality is enhanced for visitors.