Lewis, Harris, The Outer Hebrides

The Hebridean archipelago stretches for 130 miles off the far western coast of the Scottish mainland, hence they are also known as The Western Isles.

Stornoway Harbour

Stornoway Harbour

The largest of the islands is Lewis which is land-bridged to Harris, although they are very different in landscape and culture.  Lewis is also linked by bridge to Great Bernera, Harris has a bridge across to Scalpay.  If you set off early enough it is possible to take in all the islands in a day however you wouldn’t have time for any stops, or to truly explore places.  That’s the beauty of having a campervan, you aren’t on a timetable, you can linger where you want.

Making the most of a visit to the islands depends on what it is you want to experience. There is an abundance of historical sites, world famous beaches, wildlife and sea life. We have included a few suggestions for the different islands, but this is by no means a complete list.

Looking for your ancestors?  Many visitors to the islands come in search of their roots, searching the past, trying to knit together the story of descendants who forever called the Hebrides home.  Times past when families were split, loved ones having emigrated in search of new horizons. Find your roots, go to the villages, park up and spend as much, or as little, time as you want, you might even want to stay over; And what’s to stop you?

Not so wild natives.

Red Highland Calf

Red Highland Calf

Photographers love the islands for the light, the scenery, beaches, wildlife and of course Highland Cattle.  Originally from the Western Isles ‘Kyloes’ as they were then known were black.  As time went on they were crossbred with the lowland red and now they come in five main colours most iconic being red.

Fact or Fiction?

Did you know that the origin of the word blackmail relates to rustling kyloes? A word that is now written into law in most English speaking countries.

Rob Roy MacGregor

Cattle owners paid Rob Roy “black rent” or “black meal” (the origin of the word) to have their cattle protected by Rob and his fellow MacGregors. Since they were often the cattle rustlers, paying to have them protect your cattle could be beneficial!

Canadian Boat Song

From the lone shieling of the misty island

Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas –

Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,

And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.

Anonymous

Uig, Isle of Lewis