Bradt Travel Guide: 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, 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, bird-watchers, 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 15 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 wildfllowers in late spring and summer.
Whether visiting the Standing Stones of Callanish, the Uig peninsula, Barra's Castle Bay, 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.
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Natural history, History, Archaeology, Government and politics, 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, Travellers with disabilities, Travelling with children, Gay travellers, What to take, Money and budgeting , Getting around, Accommodation, Food and drink, Festivals, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Outdoor activities, Media and communications, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
PART TWO THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Lewis (Leòdhais)
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, What to see and do, Stornoway (Steòrnabhagh), Around Stornoway
Chapter 4 Harris (Na Hearadh)
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Shopping and activities, What to see and do, 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, North Uist (Uibhist a Tuath)
Chapter 7 Benbecula (Beinn na Faoghla)
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment, Shopping, sports and 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 (Bhatarsaight)
Barra, Vatersay (Bhatarsaigh) Sandray, Pabbay, Mingulay and Berneray
Appendix 1 Language and pronunciation
Appendix 2 Further reading
Index of advertisers
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.