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Scotland: The Hebrides


  • Megalithic stone circle, Isle of Lewis and Harris, Outer Hebrides
  • Castle Bay on Barra, Outer Hebrides
  • Kisimul Castle, Castlebay, Isle of Barra, Western Isles, Scotland
  • Inner Hebrides, Scotland

The Hebrides can be divided into two main groups. The Inner Hebrides lie closer to mainland Scotland and include Islay, Jura, Skye, Mull, Raasay, and Staffa. There are 36 inhabited islands in this group. The Outer Hebrides is a chain of more than 100 islands located about 70 kilometres/43 miles west of mainland Scotland. There are 15 inhabited islands in this archipelago. The main islands include Barra, Benbecula, Berneray, Harris, Lewis, North Uist, South Uist, and St Kilda. Lewis and Harris are the largest islands in Scotland and the third and fourth largest in the UK.

These islands have a long history of occupation and the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive influences of Celtic, Norse, and English-speaking peoples. Today, the economy of the islands is dependent on crofting, fishing, tourism, the oil industry and renewable energy. The Hebrides have a significant presence of seals and seabirds.

The Isle of Skye can be reached by ferry or bridge. It is an island which has dramatic mountains in the middle surrounded by a coastline of peninsulas and bays with dramatic sea cliffs. As the saying goes, “In Skye, the lochs are deep and the mountains high”. In fact, Skye has some of the most stunning mountain scenery in Scotland. Apart from the scenery, there are castles, museums, cosy pubs, art galleries, and craft shops to visit. Dunvegan Castle has a 14th Century dungeon and Duntulm Castle is allegedly haunted.

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The Hebrides

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