Outer Hebrides

by Mark Rowe

Outer Hebrides

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About this book

This new, thoroughly updated second edition of Bradt's Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra by experienced writer and journalist Mark Rowe is the only full-size guide to focus solely on the islands of Lewis, Harris, St Kilda, Berneray, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay, Barra and Vatersay. Masses of background information is included, from geography and geology to art and architecture, with significant coverage of wildlife, too, as well as all the practical details you could need: when to visit, suggested itineraries, public holidays and festivals, local culture, plus accommodation and where to eat and drink. Walkers, birdwatchers, wildlife photographers, beach lovers and genealogists are all catered for, and this is an ideal guide for those who travel simply with curious minds to discover far-flung places of great cultural, historical and wildlife interest.
The Outer Hebrides is an archipelago of 14 inhabited islands and more than 50 others that are free of human footprint. Huge variations in landscape are found across the islands, from Lewisian gneiss, which dates back almost three billion years, to rugged Harris with its magnificent sands running down its western flanks and the windswept, undulating flatness and jagged sea lochs of the Uists. This is a land where Gaelic is increasingly spoken and ancient monuments abound, where stunning seabird colonies and birds of prey can be watched, and where the grassy coastal zones known as the machair are transformed into glorious carpets of wildflowers in late spring and summer.
Whether visiting the Standing Stones of Callanish, the Uig peninsula, Barra's Castlebay, or historic St Kilda, or if you just want to experience the romance of the Sound of Harris, one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world, Bradt's Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra has all the information you need.

About the author

Mark Rowe is an environmental and outdoors journalist and writer who first visited the Outer Hebrides in 1990 when using up the last few days of an Inter-Rail ticket. He has been in love with the islands ever since, and visited every year for the past decade. He has written about family holidays on the Outer Hebrides for National Geographic Traveller, and about food and drink on the islands for several magazines. His perfect Hebridean day would involve buying smoked salmon from Loch Carnan on South Uist, taking the ferry across the Sound of Harris to Leverburgh, and having a picnic below Horgabost campsite overlooking Luskentyre on South Harris.

Reviews Contents


Press reviews

'This guide is certainly comprehensive, has been compiled by an enthusiast and makes an independent judgement on what to see and do, where to eat and stay and on that all important factor, getting around. Here's a book for car-pocket, rucksack or cycle-pannier.'
Scottish Islands Explorer

'A good all-round guide'
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
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Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Natural history,
History, Archaeology, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Culture
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators and guides, Tourist information,
Red tape, Consulates and embassies, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Travelling with a disability, Travelling with children, LGBT+ travellers, What to take, Money and budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Festivals and events, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Outdoor activities, Media and communications, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively

Chapter 3 Lewis (Leòdhais)
Highlights, History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Festivals and events, Tour operators and activities, Stornoway (Steòrnabhagh), Around Stornoway
Chapter 4 Harris (Na Hearadh)
Highlights, History, Getting there and away,
Getting around, Tourist information, Festivals and events, Shopping, Sports and activities,
Other practicalties, North Harris (Ceann a Tuath na Hearadh), Tarbert (An Tairbeart), Scalpay (Sgalpaigh), South Harris (Ceann a Deas na Hearadh)
Chapter 5 St Kilda
History, Getting there and away, Where to stay, Shopping, What to see and do
Chapter 6 Berneray (Beàrnaraigh) and North Uist (Uibhist a Tuath)
Berneray (Beàrnaraigh), North Uist (Uibhist a Tuath)
Chapter 7 Benbecula (Beinn na Faoghla)
Highlights, History, Getting there and away,
Getting around, Tourist information, Festivals and events, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Shopping, Activities, Other practicalities, What to see and do
Chapter 8 South Uist (Uibhist a Deas) and Eriskay (Eirisgeidh)
South Uist (Uibhist a Deas), Eriskay (Eirisgeidh)
Chapter 9 Barra (Bharraigh) and Vatersay (Bhatarsaigh)
Barra (Bharraigh), Vatersay (Bhatarsaigh), Sandray, Pabbay, Mingulay and Berneray
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Further Reading