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“Ample picture-taking opportunities”
Review of Highland Village

Highland Village
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Iona
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Experience the lifestyle of the Scots in Nova Scotia at the Village's Outdoor Pioneer Museum or look up your Cape Breton roots at the Genealogy and Family History Centre. The Highland Village is situated on a beautiful site overlooking the Bras d'Or Lakes and is open from May to mid October.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
64 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Ample picture-taking opportunities”
Reviewed February 16, 2013

The Highland Village was a planned detour on our way from Baddeck to Sydney. It's a lovely scenic drive from Baddeck, with a short trip on a cable ferry. We left Baddeck in the morning, and arrived at the Village in short order. The tour begins at the visitor center where we watched an informative overview movie, then we walked along the path to the various buildings that represent aspects of Nova Scotia settlement throughout periods of history. Each building is staffed with a costumed interpreter, and we had fun engaging each in conversation about their daily life, occupation, and historical events. The view of the Bras d’Or is just spectacular, and the various buildings provide ample opportunities for picture-taking. All in all, it's a well-executed living history site. Plan an outdoor walking experience, and budget about 3 hours at the Village. I would also suggest packing a lunch, because there aren't many places to eat on the drive from the Village toward Sydney.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Inge1854
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hviona, Public Relations Manager at Highland Village, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to visit us and agin for writing about your experience. The Highland Village is indeed a picture taking paradise! You may not be aware that you can see all four cape Breton Counties from the top of the hill.
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217 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A great reason to visit Iona.”
Reviewed February 16, 2013

The Highland Village gives you some feeling of what the first settlers from Scotland had to face as the lived through their first winters. By showing construction of newer homes as the years went by you get a feeling for how the culture developed . It's animated inside the homes and out, there are animals too- it's not to be missed-you can also check out your Scottish genealogy.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Betty1530
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hviona, Public Relations Manager at Highland Village, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thank you for the comments. I'm glad you mentioned that visitors can look into their Scottish genealogy. We have great resources in that area and you don't have to visit in person if you are interested. So many of us have ancestors who came to North America from Scotland. You can drop us a line if you want to know how to get started with your search. macleapl@gov.ns.ca
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Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Unique”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

There are many other period type villages but this one impressed me the most. It's different in as much as you feel like you are set back in time. There were stone masons working on a wall by the stone shielding. Everything from the drop down lamps in the church that had been transported there, to old fashioned store were realistic. The workers in period costume were great

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Swampnort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hviona, Public Relations Manager at Highland Village, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thank you very much for the kind comments. We work very hard to ensure that the items on display are authentic to the period. Also, our animators do a lot of research to accurately reflect the time period they are representing. Your comments are an indication that the work we are doing is both noticed and appreciated. Thanks again!
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Connecticut
Level Contributor
253 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“A quick trip through NS history”
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Very authentic. Travel from the earliest settlers of North America to the begining of the twentieth century. Really not kid orientated and the terrain may pose problems for the elderly. We went on a gray and misty day and that added to the charm of this venue. Not an all-day place, but plan on spending 2-3 hours at least. This place is not over-the-top and doesn't pretend to be; but you can learn something that doesn't translate well in text books. Would highly recommend if realism motivates you.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank LochnessConnecticut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hviona, Public Relations Manager at Highland Village, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to write about your experience at the Highland Village. We appreciate your feedback and comments on the job we are doing. We also appreciate your recommendation for others who are seeking an authentic experience to visit us.
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West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Not What I Was Expecting, But Truly Interesting”
Reviewed November 21, 2012

My friends and I thought that we were going on a shore excursion to see Gaelic dancing. We were wrong. Instead, we were taken to the Highland Village and were warned by the bus driver that the road was difficult and stony to walk down. He said that the pathways were gravel, and it was steep. He was right, but it was so worth it!

People who didn't think they could make it went into the visitors' center where they were served oat cakes and tea and saw the attraction by means of a video. Not the best way.

I chanced it and was so glad! The little homes started at the top of the hill, and as you came down, you saw how the first settlers lived and walked through history up until the early 20th century. Each house was furnished with the things that the people of the period used, and there was a school, a blacksmith shop, and a church. At each place, a docent told about life in Nova Scotia at the period.

The guide from the bus was especially friendly and watched out for me. I guess I was one of the older people who tried the walk.

Since the day was dry, there was no problem, and the views were breathtaking. It was the best shore excursion on the cruise. I'm sure if I did it again, I would see even more of interest.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank wpbpatfl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hviona, Manager at Highland Village, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
I'm so glad you didn't listen to that bus driver! Thank you for spending time with us at the Highland Village and taking the time to describe your experience. Isn't it interesting how we often have a great experience when we are surprised by what happens?
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