Pretty Bunting, Drama, and the Tiger Who Went to Tea at Lyth Arts Centre

This weekend, Lyth Arts Centre here in Caithness held their very first family arts festival, and for two days, Scotland’s most northerly arts centre hosted a jam-packed programme of family fun. From an interactive outdoor performance to face painting, crafts and puppet theatre in a caravan, the event promised something for everyone. So when Charlotte from the centre asked us if we would like to go along and get involved we literally jumped at the chance!

Despite its proximity to our home, we had never actually been to Lyth Arts Centre and so the experience was all new to us. And we were not disappointed – I was struck by the charm of the place (and all the pretty bunting 😉 ) as soon as we arrived. The centre (once a village school with adjacent schoolhouse) retains a old-world character despite being converted into a modern, multi-purpose arts hub. The aged trees and traditional stone walls that surround the centre only add to the vintage, homely feel.

Picture of bunting on wall at Lyth Arts CentreFallen Apples on ground at Lyth Arts Centre

The activities on offer for the event were also utterly charming. My kids loved getting involved with the suffragette-inspired flag-making and other craft events running throughout the day. We enjoyed a wander round the ‘from wifey to wifie’ summer exhibition about the changing role of women in Caithness (and spotted a few familiar faces!) My youngest also loved getting his face painted Tiger-style by Lyth’s resident ‘artist-in-a-campervan’.

Pictures of Programmes from Lyth Arts Centre family weekendPhoto of flags made at Lyth Arts Centre with words 'rights' and 'love'Picture of VW Campervan with bunting at Lyth Arts Centre

The highlights of the day for us, though, were the two theatrical performances included in the ticket price. One of these – a puppet show staged in an actual caravan – was so charming we went to see it twice! The story of a lovesick weasel trying his hand at a sort of weasely equivalent of Tinder had us all giggling. We also loved being led on an exploratory mission by two hapless ‘experts’ to find an undiscovered species in a fantastic ‘Call of Nature’ outdoor event. Being part of these performances made us feel like we were getting a taste of events like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, or Belladrum – only right here in Caithness. I have to say it’s fantastic to see this sort of thing on offer so much closer to where we actually live!

Photo of Little Fawn Touring Puppet Theatre CaravanPhoto of actor in 'Call of Nature' outdoor theatre at Lyth Arts CentrePhoto of two actors and puppet in 'Call of Nature' outdoor theatre eventPicture of two boys dressed up as explorers at Lyth Arts Centre

And what would a family day out be without copius amounts of tea, coffee and home baking? Thankfully, Stacks Bistro were on hand with their ultra-cute travelling horsebox to attend to our every culinary need. I loved sitting out in the sun, taking in the lovely surroundings – and getting through my weekly quota of soya lattes 😉 .

Photo of Stacks Bistro, John O Groats, travelling horseboxPhoto inside Stacks Bistro's travelling horsebox

So well done Lyth Arts Centre on a fantastic inaugural family arts weekend. Just one final question though – same time, same place, next year?

Thankyou to Lyth Arts Centre who gifted us a family ticket to enjoy their wonderful festival. All thoughts and opinions are my own – and you know I love a bit of bunting, right?

You can find out lots more about Lyth Arts Centre here on their website. And do check out their fantastic programme for the forthcoming season too!