Outer Hebrides attractions & tourist information
Find places to visit and things to do in the Outer Hebrides with these visitor guides.
Arnol Blackhouse: Things to Do
The Arnol Blackhouse on the Isle of Lewis is a fine example of one of the traditional thatched stone-walled houses that served as home to both people and animals on Scotland’s west coast islands for hundreds of years. The restored building at Arnol – number 42 – sits in an idyllic setting on Lewis, surrounded by open fields and complete with authentic piles of cut peat and harvested crops.
Callanish Standing Stones: Things to Do
The Callanish Standing Stones are located on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. These huge granite stones (the largest is 16 feet tall) were erected 5,000 years ago in the late Neolithic era, possibly for ritual use. The site comprises a cross shape of monoliths around a central circle of 13 stones, with an avenue of a further 19 stones facing northeast.
Castlebay, Barra: Things to DoTag: Towns & Villages
Castlebay is the main settlement on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides. The village is a popular tourist destination, but it is perhaps best known for the ferry terminal which provides links to Oban on the mainland and the isles of Tiree and South Uist. Castlebay is a good base to explore Barra as it allows easy access to the A888 ring road and the Isle of Vatersay. The village also features a number of attractions including the famous Kisimul Castle.
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village: Things to Do
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village lies on the southwest edge of the Isle of Lewis, set within a deep cove that offers protection against the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The village comprises a number of restored blackhouses – traditional thatched stone-walled dwellings that served as home to both animals and people for hundreds of years.
Hushinish, Isle of Harris: Things to Do
Hushinish is a remote region of the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. It is accessed via a twisting 12-mile single-track road on the southwest of the island which presents stunning views of South Harris and the island of Taransay. Once at Hushinish, visitors can enjoy a white sand beach surrounded by a rugged coastline in addition to kayaking to the nearby island of Scarp.
Isle of Barra: Things to Do
The Isle of Barra is located on the southernmost point of the Outer Hebrides where it joins the Isle of Vatersay on its southern edge and faces the island of South Uist on its northern side. At only 23 square miles in total area, Barra isn’t exactly the largest island in the Hebrides but it’s undoubtedly one of the most interesting thanks to an array of attractions that include the fabulous Traigh Mhor beach – home of the world’s only beach commercial airfield – and Kisimul Castle which is situated on a small outcrop in the middle of Castlebay harbour.
Isle of Benbecula: Things to Do
The Isle of Benbecula is located between the islands of North and South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. Due to its location, Benbecula is an ideal base to explore the Uists but it has a number of attractions of its own including Reuval (the solitary hill in the middle of the island), and several large yet quiet beaches on its western side.
Isle of Eriskay: Things to Do
The Isle of Eriskay is situated to the immediate south of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides where it is connected to its much larger neighbour by a 1-mile causeway. In addition to its spectacular coastline, Eriskay is best known for its indigenous Eriskay ponies, of which only 400 are left on earth.
Isle of Harris: Things to Do
The Isle of Harris is situated in the Outer Hebrides where it borders the Isle of Lewis on its northern side and faces the isle of North Uist to the south. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland’s Western Isles, primarily because it’s home to some of the best beaches in the country and features a wild and rugged coastline that’s second to none for wildlife.
Isle of Lewis: Things to Do
The Isle of Lewis is the northern half of Lewis and Harris which is the northernmost island in the Outer Hebrides. Lewis covers an area of 683 square miles and has a landscape that’s much flatter than Harris, mostly comprising moorland surrounded by a rocky and sparsely populated coastline. Visitors to Lewis will find some of the best attractions in the Western Isles including the Callanish standing stones, the town of Stornoway, North and South Lochs and the Gearrannan Blackhouses.
Isle of North Uist: Things to Do
North Uist is an island in the Outer Hebrides, situated between the islands of Benbecula and Harris. At 117 square miles it is the 10th-largest island in Scotland and has a population of around 1,300 people, most of whom are employed in the fishing and crofting industries. The island is well known for its rugged coastline which is home to a wide variety of birds including corncrakes, terns and gannets as well as hen harriers and peregrines.
Isle of Scalpay: Things to Do
The Isle of Scalpay is located on the southeast corner of Harris and Lewis. At just 2.5 square miles in total, Scalpay is one of the smallest isles of the Outer Hebrides yet it has a thriving community of crofters, fishermen and artisanal crafters. Highlights of a visit to Scalpay include the stunning 14 miles of shoreline that is home to seals, otters, and eagles, and the circular walks through the wild machair and moorland to the historic Eilean Glas lighthouse that was built in 1824.
Isle of South Uist: Things to Do
At 124 square miles, South Uist is the second-largest island in the Outer Hebrides, yet it’s home to less than 2,000 people. Visitors to the island will quickly find themselves lost in a hauntingly beautiful landscape where nature thrives across mile after mile of white powder beaches to the west and thickets of purple heather to the east. The island is also home to many of Scotland’s most iconic animals such as the elusive corncrake and sea eagle as well as red deer which roam South Uist’s windswept uplands.
Isle of Vatersay: Things to Do
The Isle of Vatersay is the most southerly inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides with a population of around 90 permanent residents. Vatersay is best known for its two half-mile white sand beaches – Traigh Shiar and Traigh a Bhaigh – that are set within shallow bays in the middle of the island. The island is easily reached from the Isle of Barra by a causeway near Barra’s largest settlement Castlebay.
Kildonan Museum, South Uist: Things to DoTag: Museums & Galleries
Kildonan Museum is part of the cultural centre on the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. The Museum collection includes over 10,000 exhibits from South Uist’s past across a wide range of themes from religion to fishing, crafting, and everyday life. In addition to the museum, the centre has a cafe and a gift shop and is well placed on the A865 for pit stops for cyclists on the Hebridean Way.
Lews Castle: Things to Do
Lews Castle is a Victorian-era castle situated in the heart of historic Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. The castle is a popular tourist destination thanks to the extensive landscaped gardens as well as the on-site cafe and gift shop. The main point of interest though, is the museum which explores the history of Lewis, the people that live there, and the wildlife that call this remarkable island home.
Loch Druidibeg: Things to DoCategory: Uist, Outer Hebrides, Regions of ScotlandTag: Lochs & Rivers
Loch Druidibeg is part of a nature reserve situated within a beautiful moorland setting on the northern end of the Isle of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. The loch and surrounding area are managed by the RSPB which cares for the fragile habitats that are home to hen harriers, white-tailed eagles, and myriad insect species.
Luskentyre Beach: Things to Do
Luskentyre is located on the west coast of South Harris in the Outer Hebrides. This pristine golden sand beach is frequently voted among the top beaches in the UK thanks to its spectacular mountain backdrop and crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Pairc Peninsula, Lewis: Things to Do
The Pairc peninsula – also known as the Parish of Lochs – is situated on the southeast corner of the Isle of Lewis between Loch Eireasort and Loch Shiphoirt. This vast and almost entirely uninhabited area covers over 68,000 acres of rolling hills and rugged coastline, pockmarked by countless freshwater lochs. Visitors to Pairc will find one of the wildest places in the Outer Hebrides which appears hauntingly desolate at first glance but is, in fact, a haven for wildlife such as the enigmatic white-tailed eagle.
Reuval Hill, Benbecula: Things to DoTag: Mountains & Hills
The 124-metre summit of Reuval is the highest point on the Outer-Hebridean island of Benbecula. Though the walk up the hill is short it’s undeniably one of the highlights of a visit to this remarkable isle as the top offers gorgeous panoramic views of the surrounding sea, beaches, and mountains.
The Butt of Lewis: Things to Do
The Butt of Lewis is an area on the far-northern tip of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. In addition to being one of the windiest places in Britain, the ‘butt’ is home to a lighthouse built in 1862 that’s unusual because it’s unpainted rather than having the standard red and white colour scheme. The Butt of Lewis is also a prime wildlife-spotting site as the steep cliffs are a haven for seabirds.
Traigh Mhor Beach: Things to Do
Traigh Mhor on the Isle of Barra is one of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches. The pristine white sand of Traigh Mhor is flanked by long banks of flowering machair to the north, south, and west, while turquoise waters frame the scene to the east. This beach is also famous for being an airfield which can only be used when the tide is low – the only airfield of its type in the world.
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