As one of Europe’s last untouched natural habitats, the Outer Hebrides offer visitors an experience they will never forget. Whether strolling across white sand beaches or among the shadows of 5000-year-old standing stones, the history of the islands is a constant presence.
The beauty of the area is world-renowned as evident by Wanderlust travel magazine featuring the Outer Hebrides as one of the top 100 Greatest Travel Experiences – the only area in Britain to make the list.
The Outer Hebrides have a diverse, fascinating history and heritage and something to interest everybody. The archipelago is entirely unique – a place where traditional heritage meets contemporary culture to offer an insight into the way of life on the islands over thousands of years.
Each of the islands in the chain has its own unique personality and is deserving of time and in-depth exploration. To the north you have the Isle of Lewis with its wonderful and distinctive archaeology, extensive peat bogs and myriad of Lochs and Lochans. Travel south and you cross the majestic and very rugged hills of North Harris before descending towards the shores of West Loch Tarbert. The southwest of Harris by total contrast is dominated by magnificent white shell sand beaches and flower cover machair.
Crossing the sound of Harris you arrive on the Isle of Berneray which has a mix of rocky little bays on the east coast and extensive machair and sandy beaches on the west.
A short drive across the causeway and you arrive on North Uist. Seen from the air North Uist appears to be more water than land, but a journey around the north and west of the island reveals a wonderful mix of machair, sands and active crofting. The more rugged east coast of the island has many intriguing archaeological sites and is heavily indented with very scenic sea lochs and sheltered natural harbours.
The Isle of Benbecula is by contrast a very flat island and home to the majority of the Uists population and businesses. It is also home to a great deal of birdlife on the machair and croftland.
South Uist is a long narrow island with some very rugged hills on the east and almost continuous machair and beach on the west. The different religious traditions on the southern isles are apparent almost as soon as you drive over the causeway from Benbecula and this continues to be evident on the Isles of Eriskay, Barra and Vatersay. Eriskay is reached by a causeway from South Uist and is a rocky little island with a strong fishing tradition.
Barra is often referred to as the jewel of the Outer Hebrides and certainly has a delightful blend of rugged hills, rocky coves and flower covered machair. Vatersay is the full stop at the south of the chain and is a beautiful little island dominated by machair and wonderful shell sand beaches.
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Our holiday operator partner, Hebridean Hopscotch Holidays, is a fully bonded operator with many years experience in providing individually arranged holidays in the Outer Hebrides. Their holiday advisers live locally and they can discuss your plans, offer advice, submit a firm holiday quotation and, if acceptable, arrange all your sea or air travel, accommodation and activities to suit your requirements. Use our expertise to get the most out of your holiday.