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Stone Circle on Isle of Lewis and Harris

Outer Hebrides

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The Outer Hebrides, also known as the Western Isles, consist of 119 islands in total. They are spread out over 130 miles off the northwest coast of the Scottish mainland on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

Out of all these isles, only five are inhabited. This includes the largest, Lewis and Harris. Although it has two names, they make up one single island with two distinct parts. Lewis, the flatter and more populated part, sits to the north. Harris makes up the more mountainous and secluded part to the south.

The other main inhabited isles are the Uists.

Owing to its historical isolation from the mainland, this remote region is home to over half of Scotland’s remaining Gaelic speakers and a culture that is markedly different from the mainland.

Here you’ll find pristine white sand beaches, ancient standing stone circles, and traditional thatched cottages, among much more. It’s also the place to be if you like traditional craftsmanship. Did you know the famous Harris Tweed has been hand-woven here for generations? Come discover all about it!

Although this region is separated from the mainland, the Outer Hebrides are accessible on a tour of Scotland. You could fly there or take a ferry to tour the islands by car.

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