The Outer Hebrides


For many of the UK’s population, we guess the name alone invokes an idea of barely-populated, tiny desolate islands in the North Atlantic, with a complete lack of services and civilisation.

Visit and find that nothing could be further from the truth.

The 27,250* population of the Outer Hebrides enjoys the best of modern facilities and a wonderful community spirit of hospitality and co-operation.  The islands are among the safest places in Britain, with crime almost non-existent, so you can relax totally and enjoy your visit.

Isle of Lewis and Isle of Harris

Together with its attached neighbour, Harris, the Isle of Lewis is actually the third largest landmass in the British Isles, and boasts beautiful shell sand beaches (see Luskentyre, pictured above), fascinating historical sites, a wealth of wildlife, majestic moorlands and a town that’s not totally given over to mainland multiples.


Travel south from Lewis, beyond the mountains and amazing beaches of Harris, and you can take a short ferry crossing to the line of islands known as the Uists. All of these islands, Berneray, North Uist, Grimsay, Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay, are joined by permanent causeways topped by proper metalled roads.

Visitors will regard the Uists as somewhat more remote than Lewis and Harris.  The population is smaller, so commercial enterprise is naturally on a smaller scale.  The natural environment is a mix of sandy shores to the west, rocky inlets to the east, with moorland and mountainous hills at the centre.  This is a birdwatcher’s haven.

Isle of Barra

A further 40 minute ferry journey from Eriskay brings you to the compact Isle of Barra.  By car, you could travel the length of every road on the island in a little over an hour, but there are so many fascinating things to see that you could spend several days discovering some of them.

If you’re planning a holiday here in the Outer Hebrides, we suggest you should take a look at the island-hopping holidays offered by our own Hebridean Hopscotch Holidays.  There are over 30 hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and inns to choose from and the holidays offered feature end-to-end touring with your own car, flydrive, cycling or public transport.

* Source: Comhairle nan Eilean Siar 2014