Both archipelagos feature far-flung, sand-fringed edges where your footprints may be the only indent made all day on the fine substrate. Just 124m high, it rises abruptly from sea level to give extraordinary views up and down the Outer Hebrides. The wildlife, too, is breathtaking: deer to dolphins, otters to golden eagles are all easily spotted. Explore Outer Hebrides holidays and discover the best time and places to visit. Western Isles Council is responsible for four secondary schools across the islands: the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway (around 1,000 students), Sir E Scott School in Tarbert ( approx. The uniquely designed treehouse cabins are nestled amongst the forest with views out to long sandy beaches, Vallay island … The only place to start, this beauty is the highest point in the Western Isles and has been a bucket-lister for me for some time. Set sail on an island adventure to the Outer Hebrides. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. Cleaver, The Boathouse, HS1, Eleven and the Harbour Kitchen all serve stunning fish and seafood right in the heart of Stornoway. Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Outer Hebrides, The Hebrides on Tripadvisor: See and photos of Outer Hebrides tourist attractions. #6 Best Value of 215 places to stay in Outer Hebrides “ Very clean, very comfortable, very friendly, very helpful - the new owner is clearly starting as he means to go on. The island’s capital, Stornoway, is one of the best natural harbours in the Outer Hebrides. Which publication, if any, do you normally read? You can search for businesses that are open, and Good to Go with a Covid-19 risk assessment. The islands also enjoy extremes of weather (witness the Force 10 storm that blew an oil rig ashore on Lewis in 2016) and if you are in search of elemental, battered landscapes without heading to the ends of the earth, this is the place to come. Key attractions include beautiful Loch Euport and Trinity Temple the ruins of which could possibly be the site of Europe’s oldest university. We have reviews of the best places to see in Outer Hebrides. Rising sheer above the island is the crest of the 'Sgurr of Eigg' offering a great hike and stunning views across the waters of the Minch to the Outer Hebrides. In 1942, the SS Politican struck rocks to the north of the island. Read the reviews and book. You’ll find precious few Hebrides holidays outside the main season, but some do operate, for instance photography holidays around Islay and Jura in March allow you to capture the islands’ dramatic scenery at the cusp of spring. Of the 119 island of the Western Isles, or Outer Hebrides, there are only five main inhabited islands, Lewis and Harris - which, despite the two names, are actually two parts of the same island, North and South Uist, Barra and Benbecula. The Outer Hebrides / ˈ h ɛ b r ɪ d iː z / or Western Isles (Scottish Gaelic: Na h-Eileanan Siar [nə ˈhelanən ˈʃiəɾ] or Na h-Eileanan an Iar [nə ˈhelanən əˈɲiəɾ] (); Scots: Waster Isles), sometimes known as Innse Gall ("islands of the strangers") or the Long Isle/Long Island (Scottish Gaelic: An t-Eilean Fada), is an island chain off the west coast of mainland Scotland. The island pub, Am Politician, has two original whisky bottles from the ill-fated steamer behind the bar, though the whisky inside is sadly no longer palatable. Outer Hebrides Covid-19 Advice. This experience will take you to the incredible Uist Forest Retreat in the Outer Hebrides. Chris Denehy of Clearwater Paddling is a superb guide: half-day trips around Barra and neighbouring Vatersay £35; a week-long excursion with wild camping £735. One of the most unusual sights in all of Scotland, Barra Airport uses beaches at Cockle Shand (during low tide) as a runway; such is the pristine condition of this stretch of coastline. Explore our range of Outer Hebrides holidays here. You have been successfully subscribed to our newsletter. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. The fish has usually been caught the same morning by Steve. Be sure to make the most of your included visit to the Kildonan Museum. Offering an immersive and interactive experience, visitors to Lews Castle and Museum will be taken on a journey starting in the prehistoric period travelling right up to the present day. Take a kayak out on the waters around Barra at the southern end of the island chain. A return foot passenger ticket is a bargain at £6.90. The site dates back 5,000 years and its provenance remains uncertain, though most likely was tied to lunar activity. The Hebrides by MacGillivray is what happens when you love your home so much you want to share the very best pieces of it with everyone who isn’t lucky enough to live there. The island’s coastline is sliced and diced with countless inlets, bays and lochs and there are several uninhabited skerries on which to haul up and enjoy your own beach for a day and even camp overnight. The best time to go to the Hebrides is between April and October when the weather is most stable and mild, and almost all trips operate only in this window. Best 3 Star Hotels in Outer Hebrides on Tripadvisor: Find traveller reviews, candid photos, and prices for 8 three star hotels in Outer Hebrides, United Kingdom. Centre stage is given to six Lewis chessmen on long-term loan from the British Museum. Best 3 Star Hotels in Outer Hebrides on Tripadvisor: Find traveller reviews, candid photos, and prices for 8 three star hotels in Outer Hebrides, United Kingdom. This beautiful archipelago, where Scottish Gaelic is still spoken, is divided into the Inner and Outer Hebrides and stretches the length of Scotland's west coast. Here you will be able to learn more about the islands long past dating back to the Bronze Age, some 5000 years thanks to the museum’s insightful collection of archaeological exhibits. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. It was home to a medieval castle, once the stronghold of the MacLeods who were said to be descended from the 12th century Norseman, Olav the Black, King of Man and the Isles. Here Charles Edward Stuart or ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ landed on the beach in the summer of 1745 just before the ‘Forty-Five Jacobite Rising’. They’re an area of beautiful, isolated beaches where you can enjoy Robinson Crusoe moments, your footprints the only ones on the sand. Its Outer Hebrides Hopscotch trip costs from £645 per person, including a week's b&b (based on two sharing) and all ferry crossings. There’s a food trail, pointing you to the many small-scale outlets where you can enjoy salmon, chocolate cake or a dram of whisky produced with water from the island’s own hills. Accessible via a number of causeways skirted by water, the island is an archaeological gold mine. Immortalised thanks to the classic feature ‘Whisky Galore’ (based on the novel of the same name), perhaps the island’s best claim to fame is the SS Politican incident. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Whisking you back in time to the Iron Age period, the Norse Mill at Shawbost is a faithfully recreated slice of island life practised thousands of years ago. Must-see stops include Cromor for views across to Skye and Orinsay. Scotland is now operating a 5-level Covid-19 system on a local basis. Best known for its beautiful beaches that wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean, the island of Barra is the most southerly of the inhabited Outer Hebrides. New and shiny, the Museum nan Eilean, or island museum in the port of Stornoway hosts galleries and interactive displays about the past and present of the islands. Free Wifi Along with stunning footage of the islands’ natural wonders – which will whet your appetite to explore further – the museum humanises its stories of fishing, farming and song. Hidden in the sand for the best part of 300 years, they were revealed either by a storm or a cow rubbing its backside on a dune (there’s no correct answer, so take your pick). Once ruled by the Clan MacNeil, a visit to Barra would not be complete without exploring Kisimul Castle – the seat of the famous Scottish clan. Best known for the impressive Standing Stones of Callanish, alternative highlights to consider include the Norse Mill and Shawbost, Lews Castle and Museum and St Columba’s Church. Callanish is like Stonehenge without the crowds, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. Alternative points of interest to consider include Beinn Sciathan, the highest point on the island, and St Michael’s Catholic Church. Holding a crucial role in ancient rituals once performed at the site, the exact purpose of the stones are still shrouded in a degree of mystery to this day. The Outer Hebrides are is under Level 1 restrictions.. Find out more about Covid-19 restrictions and the latest Outer Hebrides Covid Advice to plan and book your trip. 187 students), Sgoil Lionacleit in Benbecula (approx. One of the biggest islands in the Scottish Western Isles, South Uist is the jewel in the Outer Hebrides crown. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Smaller than other ritual sites yet still a worthwhile stop, this Pictish landmark is one of the more mysterious in this remote part of Scotland. ... Hidden in the sand for the best … Look out for some great birds including Lapwings and Corn Buntings with wildlife flourishing on the islands thanks to its unusual blend of bogs, beaches and stretches of Machair fields. Placed thousands of years ago, the Standing Stones of Callanish Stones have stood since the Bronze Age – over three thousand years! The most visited and largest of the Western Isles is the brooding Isle of Skye, a short ferry ride or bridge away from the mainland. Hike the Cliseum horseshoe or climb An Cliseum itself, at 799 metres it is the highest point in the Outer Hebrides with incredible views of the Hebridean chain, Skye and beyond. One of the largest islands in the entire British Isles, Harris and Lewis can be an extremely rewarding visit, serving up a range of memorable and famous Scottish experiences. Steve Olley runs Croft 36, a kind of seaside shack serving crab ravioli, pasties and mouthwatering cakes. Connect to its neighbours via a series of causeways; North Uist is a beautiful, small island that offers stunning, relatively untouched beaches home to some fabulous wildlife found in the centre of the Western Isles archipelago. Read below for more weather and travel details. From the summit you’ll see why Benbecula is described locally as “more loch than rock” and the reason for the island’s Gaelic name, Beinn na Faoghla, which translates as “mountain of the fords”. “ Had a really nice evening meal. If you would like us to call you back when it's more convenient for you, simply complete the form below and Send, When is best to call you? Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Mark Rowe is the author of Outer Hebrides, The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra, published by Bradt. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Look out for porpoises, puffins, gannets, skuas and golden and white-tailed eagles. Sign up to our mailing list to receive exclusive offers, updates and promotions on all things Travel. Here’s a breakdown of the tour and a proper look at some of the best walks in the Outer Hebrides. ​Callanish is Stonehenge without the crowds or the timed ticket entry – or indeed any ticket whatsoever. One of the most unusual sights in all of Scotland, Barra Airport uses beaches at Cockle Shand (during low tide) as a runway; such is the pristine condition of this stretch of coastline. Dining in Outer Hebrides, The Hebrides: See 16,261 Tripadvisor traveller reviews of 127 Outer Hebrides restaurants and search by cuisine, price, location, and more. What’s more, it’s in a truly beautiful location in the township of Northton in South Harris overlooking dunes, sands and lagoons around Luskentyre that stretch northwards for more than 15 miles. If not, it definitely should be. The small chain of islands boasts some of the UK’s finest beaches, dramatic scenery, a variety of wildlife, wild mountain ranges as well as a rich history and unique Gaelic culture. MorningAfternoon. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. The North and South Lochs and the Pairc represent Lewis’s Empty Quarter, with some of the loneliest lanes in the UK. After being stuck at home for months, I was 100% in. ‘The gateway to the Uists’, Benbecula is beautiful, lying between bigger neighbours with its own airport bringing supplies to the island. The charming hill offers views of up to (depending on the weather) multiple nearby islands and is a true natural beauty spot. Steeped in tradition, South Uist is a great place to learn about loal culture and the perfect island to experience some great natural sights. Best Walks in the Outer Hebrides Clisham – North Harris. At the bottom of the Outer Hebridean islands lies Vatersay, the filming location used during the production of the film ‘Whisky Galore’. Find a place to stay in the Outer Hebrides Beautiful beaches and majestic peaks to climb, all accommodation in the Outer Hebrides is sure to give you amazing views. On route to America carrying thousands of cases of Whisky and Jamaican currency, islanders helped the crew to safety before saving some of the cargo. On the west coast of Lewis, it’s a haunting slender central monolith surrounded by a complex of stones perched on an elevated promontory. The Best Hiking in the Outer Hebrides. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. A small link on the chain of Outer Hebridean islands that includes Harris, Lewis and North and South Uist, Barra has many claims to fame. Inner Hebrides Tour – 6 Glorious Scottish islands visited, A wildlife paradise – 7 animals on Mull for ‘Eagle-eyed’ visitors to look out for. We are always interested in hearing from our visitors. Found between Barra and South Uist and connected via a causeway, the island of Eriskay has strong Norse routes. Follow us on Facebook or on Instagram @DCThomsonTravel. During your time on Eriskay, we thoroughly recommend visiting Prince Charlie’s Bay. Education: The Outer Hebrides has a close knit community of schools, with many being amongst the most remote in all of the UK. The CalMac ferry slaloms across the Sound of Harris between countless islets and the abandoned island of Pabbay. It’s hard to think of a more beautiful sea journey in the UK than the hour-long ferry from Leverburgh on Harris to Berneray. From neolithic stones, to historic castles, monuments and ruins you can learn more at the many museums in the Outer Hebrides. Land on Lewis, and explore these diverse and interconnected islands from Harris, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay to Barra. The Outer Hebrides are home to many artists and on a remote road by Loch Euphort on North Uist you’ll find Shoreline Stoneware, a studio run by the sculptor Louise Cook. This is perfect cycling territory with gently undulating roads exploring a coastline every bit as indented as Norway’s. A visit to Benbecula would not be complete without stopping by Gramsdale Standing Stones. Also found on the island is the invaluable RSPB reserve at Balranald, providing a crucial safe haven. I … The Outer Hebrides is surely on everyone’s list as a must see at some point in their lives? Isle of Lewis Food. Often referred to as the ‘Castle in the Sea’, the castle rests out on a rock in Castle Bay. South Uist’s population is relatively small, leaving vast portions of the land untouched and left to prosper under Mother Nature’s careful guidance. So here’s just a taster. At least a dozen satellite sites surround the central stones; two, Callanish II and Callanish III, are within easy walking distance of the main site. Afterwards munch on cake and enjoy a coffee at the Ravenspoint visitor centre in Kershadar. Inside the recently restored castle, notable decorations include beautiful murals and intricately created plaster ceilings. There’s a strong case to be made for the UK’s top 10 beaches all being located in the Outer Hebrides or Orkney. ---The Press and JournalThe CourierThe Sunday PostEvening ExpressEvening TelegraphMy WeeklyThe People's FriendThe Scots Magazinenone of the above, Would you like to receive our e-newsletter ? Got a travel suggestion or story you want to share, email us at Preserved where possible, the ruins offer the chance to observe grand ancient architecture in what is a crucial site on this remote island. The largest island in the Outer Hebrides hosts a troop of tantalising pubs, restaurants and local delicacies. It can also … Hillwalking, whale-watching excursions and boat trips to weird Fingal’s Cave on uninhabited Staffa are top activity choices. The retreat offers stunning self-catering accommodation on North Uist. The place is a bit tired and could do with an update which is probably on the cards, but… Lochmaddy is the main town on the island, home 300 people North Uist inhabited by humans as far back as the 3rd century. Feel free to provide any feedback you may have using the form below. Today, visitors can see one of the few remaining surviving bottles of whisky salvaged from the incident in Eriskay’s only pub. Outer Hebrides Tourism: Tripadvisor has 53,789 reviews of Outer Hebrides Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Outer Hebrides resource. Beautiful and sparsely populated, like many of the islands making our list, Eriskay has a strong fishing heritage with nearby waters offering rewarding fishing territory. The island has Iron Age forts, a 6 th century church, and turbulent clan history with a massacre of 395 MacDonalds in a sea-shore cave. Rising sheer above the island is the crest of the ‘Sgurr of Eigg’ offering a great hike and stunning views across the waters of the Minch to the Outer Hebrides. Eriskay actually translates in Norse to ‘Eric’s Island’. A wonderful natural habitat, be on the lookout for the island’s wide array of wildflowers that prosper on the island. And equally dazzling are the shell sand beaches. YesNo, Our Call Back facility is available 9am-5pm Monday - Friday. To name them all would be a bit of a mouthful. A few weeks ago, my friend, Vicky Flip Flop, messaged me to ask if I fancied a trip island-hopping in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. If you climb just one hill in the Outer Hebrides, make it Rueval on Benbecula. Best known for its beautiful beaches that wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean, the island of Barra is the most southerly of the inhabited Outer Hebrides. The site was originally chosen thanks to its close proximity to a stream with the original mill also housing a kiln used to dry out crops harvested from surrounding fields. There are 119 islands in total, of which the five main inhabited islands are Lewis and Harris (two parts of a single island, although often described as if they are separate islands), North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. Copyright © D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Setting off on an ultimate Scottish island-hopping adventure, here are 7 beautiful Outer Hebridean islands you need to experience. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Telephone: 01224 338000, ‘Scotland in Miniature’ – The Wonders of Arran. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. Two of the UK’s most westerly island communities are now among the best connected too – as new full fibre broadband networks go live in the Outer Hebrides/Na h-Eileanan Siar. On the coast, keep an eye out for otters with one of the UK’s rarest bird species – the corncrake – often spotted around the island. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. These include shells, rocks, seaweed, fishing nets and even washed-up glass – which gives a watery rockpool effect to her bowls. Grimsay is a tiny island roughly three miles long and half again in width, joined to North Uist and Benbecula by a causeway. Island life is a different pace to the mainland and the friendly locals are sure to embrace you the minute you arrive. based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The Outer Hebrides are islands of extremes: 119 islands (of which just 14 are inhabited) dangling in the far north-west corner of the map of the UK. The Outer Hebrides are islands of extremes: 119 islands (of which just 14 are inhabited) dangling in the far north-west corner of the map of the UK. The Lewis chessmen were discovered on a wild beach in Uig, located in the far south-west of Lewis. The enchanting holy island of Iona just offshore is another huge attraction, while Mull’s main town, Tobermory, with its row of colourful houses and excellent pub, is one of the Hebrides’ most characterful settlements. June 11th to September 16th. A journey through Lewis and Harris, the wild heart of Scotland's Outer Hebrides The Scottish island of Lewis and Harris, in the Outer Hebrides, is home to an unfathomable number of shades of blue, which extend from the sea to the sky. The best hotels in the Outer Hebrides, chosen by our expert, including luxury hotels, boutique hotels, budget hotels and Outer Hebrides hotel deals. Eriskay is best known for the novel Whisky Galore and the Ealing comedy of the same name. Uig sands are eye-poppingly beautiful and immense: the tidal range is more than a mile and at low tide you can barely pick out the sea on the horizon. Climbing the battlements, visitors can look out across the bay and surrounding landscape. Louise embellishes her eye-catching designs – such as ceramic baskets – with colours taken from the island shores. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in December. Thank you. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. Before I knew it Vicky had booked our ferries and a few places to stay and we were on our way up to Scotland. It will be an adventure made peaceful, an adventure made unspoiled, an adventure made spectacular. The island has Iron Age forts, a 6th-century church, and turbulent clan history with a massacre of 395 MacDonalds in a sea-shore cave. 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. And that’s where you’ll find the best hotels on the Outer Hebrides. Best Dining in Outer Hebrides, The Hebrides: See 15,599 Tripadvisor traveller reviews of 126 Outer Hebrides restaurants and search by cuisine, price, location, and more. Also on-site, take the time to admire a great recreation of a traditional crofter’s house mirroring homes once found across the island and carrying out a crucial role in island life. The best times to visit Outer Hebrides for ideal weather are. The Outer Hebrides have been, and continue to be, an area of great interest to archaeologists and have offered a vast amount of information about what Scotland was like throughout history. From a crowd-free ‘Stonehenge’ to local whisky, here's why Scotland’s Western Isles are an irresistible prospect, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Charting the history of the Outer Hebrides, the museum has a number of key exhibits including six of the famous Lewis Chessmen and a number of Gaelic-led exhibitions. #9 Best Value of 215 places to stay in Outer Hebrides “ There were 3 of us in our party and the booking was very last minute , the staff couldn't have been more helpful. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? #6 Best Value of 216 places to stay in Outer Hebrides “ The hosts Tom and Sue are just great.The atmosphere is so relaxed in the beautiful sitting room , and the view out to sea is amazing.

best island in outer hebrides

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