Waterlines Heritage Centre, situated at the picturesque harbour of Lybster, is a small museum showcasing the history of the local area, namely the 'herring boom' of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The restored buildings house a visitor centre, which includes exhibitions and hands-on activities, as well as a cafe and visitor facilities.
Waterlines Heritage Centre celebrates the history of the small harbour in which it is based: the now-quiet Lybster Harbour was once an important centre for the herring fishing industry, with over 100 boats mooring in the port during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, the old buildings have been restored and house Waterlines, a visitor centre with displays and exhibits, as well as a cafe and small shop. Local fishing boats are now the primary users of the harbour, from where they lay creels and fish along the Caithness coasts for lobster, crab, prawn, and fish.
In front of Waterlines Heritage Centre, overlooking the pebbly shoreline, is a timeline depicting the harbour at the height of the herring fishing bonanza, where it was used to offload, clean, and preserve the fish that was then exported abroad.
The Heritage Centre is open from May to September, although opening times may vary - check their website if you plan to visit!
While now a quiet port, Lybster Harbour regularly accommodated over 100 herring boats in its heyday!