Outer HebridesThe Callanish Stones
The Outer Hebrides is a chain of islands over 100 miles long, (the Inner hebrides are islands between the Outer Hebrides and the mainland of Scotland). They have west coast beaches that rival the Caribbean - as highlighted in the Sunday Times when Luskentrye beach on Harris was considered to be in the top 10 of beaches in the world. There are also many sites of international archaeological significance such as the Callinish Stones on Lewis which are over 5000 years old and some believe older and more relevant than Stonehenge. The Outer Hebrides are the last bastion of the old Highland life. Though newer industries such as fish farming have been introduced, the traditional occupations of crofting, fishing and weaving still dominate, and outside Stornoway on Lewis (the largest town within the islands) life is very much a traditional one, revolving around the seasons and the tides.
Within the Outer Hebrides area is the UNESCO world heritage site of St Kilda which has the worlds largest gannet colony, a dramatic landscape of sheer cliffs and sea stacks and is rated one of the top sports diving locations in the world. However the whole Outer Hebrides archipelago is about the beauty of wilderness and its connection to the sea. Indeed the whole of South Uist, North Uist and Harris are listed as National scenic areas. Thus there is little need for designated areas to be highlighted as being especially beautiful, but we list the nature reserves in addition to St Kilda for your information: Rona and Sula Sgeir are tiny remote islands and protected birdlife breeding grounds and The Monach Islands, an island group west of North Uist.
The outer Hebrides is a magnet for artists and there are consequently some fine art galleries around. Private House stays has links to 2 below and has also identified The Harbour View Gallery on Lewis. There are also a number of small museums dotted around the islands that explain the culture that grew up in the lifestyles of the inhabitants of the various islands. There are links below to some of the bigger, the smaller ones are: The Kinloch Museum, The Lewis Loom Centre, The Lewis Visitor Centre, The Lionacleit Museum, The Lochmaddy Museum, The Ness Heritage Centre, The Pairc Museum, The Shawbost Folk Museum and The Uig Heritage Centre
Apart from the Nature reserves listed in the beauty spots section, there are also 2 Nature reserves that are particularly identified for the rariety of their migrant and resident species at Balranald Nature Reserve and Loch Druidibeg Nature Reserve
There are Neolithic, Pictish, Norse, iron-age and bronze-age settlement remains throughout the islands. The sites that have been developed for tourism are linked below but there are other sites that are still atmospheric and interesting at: Barpa Langass, Bornish Standing Stone, The Bosta Iron-Age House, Clach An Truiseil, Clach Mhicleoid (Macleods Stone), Pobull Fhinn, Shawbost Norse Mill and Steinacleit
There are a couple of ancient castles worth visiting, the best of which is Lewis Castle that has lovely gardens, the ruined Ormacleit Castle and Scolpaig Tower. Other places to visit include Trinity Temple, The Church of St. Moluag, The Old South Uist Church of Scotland and St Clement&amp;amp;#39;s Church
There are excellent wind-surfing opportunities throughout the Outer Hebrides. Uig Sands on Lewis is a recognised windsurfing spot, as are some of the more sheltered waters around the southern isle of Vatersay. Kite surfing and power kiting have also grown in popularity
Cnoc-na-Uamha, a homely B&B situated on the peaceful Isle of Scalpay. Only 6 miles from the Tarbert Ferry Terminal and a one hour drive from Stornoway. - Find out more
Two Harbours Guest House
Nestled between the North and South Harbours on the pretty Isle of Scalpay, Harris, we offer peaceful, coastal accommodation with stunning scenery and a warm welcome. - Find out more
Rockvilla bed and breakfast
Rockvilla is a Bed and breakfast located in Barvas on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, 18 km from Stornoway, with outstanding views over the sea - Find out more
Ard Na Mara Bed and Breakfast
Situated on the peaceful island of South Uist, Ard Na Mara is a picturesque Bed & Breakfast guest house boasting five rooms - Find out more
Comfortable, elegant small hotel in a remote location with lovely views of the Atlantic Ocean, heather-covered mountains and a three-mile long sandy beach. - Find out more