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Outer Hebrides Visitor Information Guide

Situated on Europe’s Atlantic edge, the Scottish Western Isles of the Outer Hebrides are a diverse chain of inter-connected islands, each of the islands in the chain has its own unique personality and is deserving of time and in-depth exploration.

The largest island of the Outer Hebrides is Lewis and Harris, and the other large islands are North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, and Barra, with several smaller islands surround the main islands, and about 40 miles north west of the main chain is the St. Kilda island group, there are 15 inhabited islands

They form part of the archipelago of the Hebrides, these include Islay, Jura, Mull, and Skye, to the south Argyll and Bute, separated from the Scottish mainland and from the Inner Hebrides by the waters of the Minch, the Little Minch, and the Sea of the Hebrides. Scottish Gaelic is the predominant spoken language, although in a few areas English speakers form a majority.

  • Outer Hebrides Geolocation Latitude 57.760757° N Longitude -7.0266447° E
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  • Outer Hebrides Tracks & Routes

To the north you have Stornoway, the largest settlement and administrative centre of the Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis, the airport is situated close to the town of Stornoway and is only a ten minute drive into the town centre, fly direct with Logan air to your Outer Hebrides holidays in the Western Isles, with flights from Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Benbecula making the Outer Hebrides easily accessible by air,

Bring your own car or motorbike on Calmac Ferries they offer a fantastic range of island hopping tickets which allow you to plan your own trip and visit the beautiful west coast islands at your own pace, with up to 30 options to choose from throughout the year, they can be used in either direction on your chosen route for your Outer Hebrides, Scottish island hopping trip to explore and discover at your own pace.

  • The ferry port is from Stornoway to Ullapool on the mainland.

The Outer Hebrides have stunning views for miles in every direction, beautiful, inspiring, a truly stunning region of ancient landscapes, Beautiful scenery, wildlife and fishing on one of the many lochs and lochans.

Wildlife watching offers a glimpse into a time almost forgotten by the rest of the world, where the white-tailed eagle soars over the rugged coastline as red deer roam proudly over the peaty moorlands, with the islands enjoying one of the last untouched natural landscapes in Europe, wildlife in the Western Isles is some of the finest in the world, with Outer Hebrides animals and plants all at home in their surrounding without fear of poaching, pollution or disturbance, look out for owls and eagles and otters swimming in the many sea lochs and the road signs reminding drivers to watch out for otters as they cross over the road from Loch to Loch, the Western Isles are the summer home to two thirds of the elusive British corncrake population from April to September.

Neolithic stone structures, medieval churches and even mummies have all been found on the archipelago and many archaeological sites are open to the visitor to explore, a number of prehistoric stone circles have been found on the Outer Hebrides, the Lewis chessmen were discovered on a wild beach in Uig, located in the far south-west of Lewis, hidden in the sand for the best part of 300 years, the work is still continuing today to try and uncover some of the mysteries surrounding the first inhabitants of the Outer Hebrides, waiting for more ancient discoveries to be made.

The North and South Lochs, have some of the loneliest lanes in the UK.

This is perfect cycling territory with gently undulating roads exploring a coastline on a clear day from Cromor you have views across to Skye and Orinsay.

Eriskay is best known for the novel Whisky Galore and the Ealing comedy of the same name. Both were based on the true travails of opportunistic islanders who indulged in some low-level law-breaking after the SS Politician, laden with 260,000 bottles of whisky, sunk nearby in 1941.

Take a kayak out on the waters around Barra at the southern end of the island chain. The island’s offering countless inlets, bays and lochs, the beaches are magnificent, with some of the remotest and most spectacular beaches on the planet, so vast at times you feel you are the only person standing, here there are great views across to the Island and some of the highest sand dunes in Britain, camping and caravanning allows you to get closer to the heart of the Hebrides and really immerse yourself in our unique island environment, there are camping and caravanning sites located across the islands, from the dunes and machair grasses overlooking the clear waters of the Atlantic ocean, to the rugged croft land plots offering a taste of traditional Hebridean hospitality or the unrivalled experience of camping on a long-since-abandoned outlying island.

The Outer Hebrides are home to a unique traditional culture.

Locals have produced their own foods since the islands were first settled and that tradition remains today.

The traditional crofting way of life on the islands developed a unique range of food items, each smoke house dotted through the islands puts their own unique Hebridean twist, surrounded by the deep clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Outer Hebrides are famed worldwide for the vast array of fresh seafood caught off the islands’ shores, Hebridean salmon and scallops.

The Hebridean Brewing Company offers a wide selection of cask ales and filtered beer, many of which have won regional and national brewery awards.

The brewery is situated in Stornoway town centre and the ales are sold in many outlets throughout the islands, as the only brewery on Lewis, and indeed in the Outer Hebrides,

Abhainn Dearg is a ‘must have’ for any collector. Also known for being the western-most distillery in Scotland.

The Isle of Harris Distillery is situated in the centre of Tarbert, visible to everyone arriving by land or sea, the distillery is open to the public Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm, a working distillery, producing spirit for our forthcoming ‘Hearach’ whisky as well as our Isle of Harris gin, dark peats are still cut for fuel and small crofts are worked by experienced hands producing raw wool that is transformed into Harris Tweed by skilled weavers.

Bowmore The second oldest distillery in Scotland and the oldest on the wind blown Island of Islay, Bowmore was started in 1779, its single malt range has won more awards than any other Scotch at major international events.

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