of Scotland, The Outer Hebrides
Outer Hebrides stretch in a chain 130 miles long, and act as a
break against Atlantic storms heading for the Inner Hebrides and
the Western Highlands. The rugged landscape of moorlands, mountains,
deep sea lochs, splashing rivers and huge skies is as dramatic
as any on the mainland. Against this background lies a wealth
of prehistoric standing stones, graves and brochs.
tigh dubh, or black house on Lewis with 6ft thick walls
and thatched roof tied down with rope and weighted with stones,
now houses folk museum. Crofters' furniture includes straw-filled
paths lead through Hebridean marsh, machair and along North Uist
shoreline, offering chance to see birds such as corncrakes, red-necked
phalaropes, oystercatchers and mute swans that visit and nest
dating from 1120 and restored in 1930s, home to the piratic MacNeils
of Barra. A thou-sand species of wild flower have been identified
Hill, 408ft high, gives views of whole of Benbecula, North and
South Uist and neigh-bouring islands. On southern slope of hill
is cave where Bonnie Prince Charlie waited for Flora MacDonald
to bring suitable clothing for him to travel disguised as her
maid to Skye. Good beaches at Culls though sea is cold.
stones erected on Lewis about 4000 years ago. A 270ft avenue of
19 stones leads off from circle of 13 stones, with other avenues
heading east, west and south. Inside the circle is a small chambered
tomb. Reasons for its construction not known.
Church of St Barr and restored Chapel of St Mary once formed part
of Barra's medieval monastery. Carved stone in graveyard has Celtic
cross on one side and Norse runes on other.
Age stone fort, built on Lewis 1700 years ago, still has 30ft
high walls standing. Courtyard, 25ft across, is surrounded by
double walls, between which are chambers, galleries and stairs.
of 'love lilt' and setting of novel Whisky Galore, which
was based on 1941 event when SS Politician foundered off
coast with 243, 000 bottles of whisky. Pink sea convolvulus flowers
supposed to have been planted by Bonnie Prince Charlie when he
landed on island on way to Scotland.
Age stone circle on Lewis comprising stone slab surrounded by
ring of boulders, in turn surrounded by ring of upright stone
slabs; tallest is 9ft.
pier opposite Scarp, walk leads north-east over Harris hills to
beach. Inland lies Loch na Cleavag. Hushinish road passes near
19th-century Amhuinnsuidhe Castle and salmon leap at Loch Beag.
forts, ruins and standing stones are everywhere on island. Stone
group 3 miles north-west of Lochmaddy is called Na Fir Breighe,
'The False Men', said to be either wife deserters turned to stone
or gravestones of spies buried alive.
Clement's Church, built on Harris 1500 and restored in 18th and
19th centuries, finest example of church architecture in Hebrides.
Contains monuments to members of Macleod family.
sand dunes sheltering hamlet are populated by rabbits and sea
birds. Carpets of bright flowers emerge in early summer.
Museum, housed in disused Lewis church, illustrates old methods
of fishing, croft farming and weaving. Restored 19th-century water
reserve at Loch Druidibeg is breeding ground of greylag goose.
Statue of Madonna and Child, 3Oft high, carved by Hew Lorimer
in 1957. Birthplace of Flora Macdonald now just a tumble of stones
Castle, built 1844, now a technical college surrounded by largest
wooded park in Hebrides. Ruin of 14th-century Ui Chapel at Point
peninsula. Gaelic culture celebrated at An Lanntair Gallery.
countryside offers opportunities for walking. Otters, red deer,
golden eagles and swans in area. Scenic route runs eastwards from
village to Kyles Scalpay. Cairns on road to Luskentyre mark prehistoric
of medieval college and monastery on North Uist founded in early
13th century. Theologian Duns Scotus studied there. Beside it
is Teampull Clan A'Phiocair, chapel of the MacVicars.