This article is sponsored by Visit Outer Hebrides.
- Emma Simmonds
- January 26, 2022
These striking Scottish islands offer something for everyone
If you’re looking for a destination that will take your breath away and help you relax, recharge and rejuvenate, Scotland’s stunning Outer Hebrides has it all. This diverse chain of interconnected and easily accessible islands is located on the Atlantic rim of Europe. Located in an exceptional natural environment rich in fauna and heritage, each island has its own character and way of life.
Whether you are looking for peace and quiet or a more active, thrill-seeking adventure, the Outer Hebrides will meet your expectations. They offer a wide variety of physical activities, as well as an exceptional Gaelic culture – the islands are one of the parts of Scotland with a strong Gaelic heritage, where the language is still spoken as part of everyday life.
Offering the opportunity to connect with nature, free your mind and breathe in some of that clean, detoxifying Hebrian air, the islands – which include Lewis, Uist, Barra and St Kilda, as well as the more famous Harris – are increasingly known as an ideal destination for those looking to improve their well-being. If you want to soak up the region’s spectacular sea and bird life, for example, why not take a regular or specially chartered boat trip?
World-class music, craftsmanship and mouth-watering food and drink are sure to be enhanced by a friendly Hebridean welcome to a place where community really means something. Those looking for cultural gems should visit Lewis’s An Lanntair, an award-winning multi-arts venue, or Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Center on North Uist, a thriving center for heritage and contemporary art.
Hospitality highlights include the Hebridean Jewelery Café in South Uist, which offers delicious dining options and makes its jewelry by hand on site, and the Dark Island Hotel on Benbecula Island, whose menu combines traditional and contemporary dishes that feature the finest produce from the Hebrides. Then there’s Harris’ Scarista House where they make their own bread, biscuits, cakes and ice cream, or the Royal Hotel’s Boatshed Restaurant overlooking Stornoway Harbor and Lews Castle. Or if you can’t decide, you’ll want to check out the Eat Drink Hebrides Trail, the official food and drink trail of the Outer Hebrides, which will take you on a journey through the best the islands have to offer.
Everyone will appreciate the idyllic beaches of the islands, with their turquoise water and white sand, and those who look beyond the popular beaches will certainly discover more serene places. The more adventurous among you will find plenty of water sports options to satisfy your kicking appetite. Barra Surf and Coastal Adventures makes the most of the area’s unspoilt beaches, offering activities like surfing, sea kayaking and even snorkelling with seals in amazing sheltered lagoons. While the Scaladale center on the Isle of Harris offers other activities including coasteering, gorge walking, rock climbing and abseiling, mountain biking, raft building, archery and the dinghy.
Fishing enthusiasts will appreciate the possibilities offered by a landscape that has more than 4,000 lochs and lochans. And those who want to learn more about local traditions can learn about modern methods of micro-farming, exploring the history of this traditional farming system by visiting micro-enterprise-themed attractions, such as Gearrannan Blackhouse Village on the Isle of Lewis.
The islands are accessible by ferry and plane and can be easily explored by car, on foot or by bicycle. And if you want an absolutely unforgettable adventure, The Hebridean Way is a fantastic way to discover the region, from Vatersay to Butt of Lewis. This iconic experience spans nearly 200 miles and 10 incredible islands, encompassing rugged hills, stunning Atlantic coastlines and many wondrous wildlife and heritage species, with plenty of pit stops to rest and refuel along the way. road.
So whether you’re eager to find a space to relax, connect with nature in a place where dolphins swim and eagles soar, wonder about the history and mysteries of a unique landscape, or simply disconnect of your devices and being together, then a trip to the Outer Hebrides will give you all of that and more.
For many more ideas to help you plan your Outer Hebrides adventure go to visitouterhebrides.co.uk/wellbeing