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Introduction to the Hebrides PDF Print E-mail
Once visted - never forgotten.

The hills of the HebridesThe Outer Hebrides are situated approximately 30 miles off the West Coat of Scotland. There are 11 inhabited Islands in the archipelago which is over 200km long. The island of Barra is at the southern end and Lewis at the northern end.

The Butt of Lewis (the one from the BBC shipping forecast) is the most north-western point in Europe. The main town is Stornoway, which is on Lewis. Barra has the famous 'Cockle Strand' which is the only official beach airport in the world.

The Islands contrast mountains with long deserted sandy beaches and vast tracts of open moorland. With the 'hills' of Harris providing a spectacular backdrop. And they have some of the most unspoiled and cleanest beaches in Europe!

With settlements dating back more than 8000 years, there is much history to entice the visitor. Lewis has the prehistoric standing stones at Callanish which are second in size and importance only to Stonehenge. Harris has the standing stones of Clach Michleoid (Macleod's Stone) and Clach Steinigrie (Stone of Steinigrie) these sentinels of the West Coast possibly date back to the same time as the Callanish stones. They were probably calendar stones using the length and position of the shadow but were also religious sites.

Later history includes the Clan Macleod's St Clements church at Roghadal in Harris, the church definitely is worth a visit.

Guide to the Outer HebridesA book worth looking at is The Outer Hebrides Handbook and Guide (You can buy by clicking on the title or the book cover)

The public transport system is excellent most of it being run by the Western Isles Council. An important thing for any visitor to the Outer Hebrides to remember is that on Sundays in the islands of Harris and Lewis there is no public transport. Engebertsons garage in Stornoway is open for fuel and basic supplies. There are however flights on and off Lewis from Stornoway.

Planning Your Adventure

Getting here - below are the web sites for the ferries, the airlines, the trains and the buses.

calmac (Caledonian Macbrayne Ferries sailing to the Scottish Islands)

Highland Airways (Highland Airways run a service from Inverness to Stornoway)

british-airways (British Regional Airlines fly to Scottish Airports)

scotrail (Scot Rail Scottish trains)

citylink (City Link Coaches

national express (National Express Coaches English operator)

BMI (British Midland Airline they run a daily service to Edinburgh)
Places to Stay

Visit the Western Isles Tourist Board site

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