Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides (Scottish Gaelic: Na h-Eileanan Siar, English: Outer Hebrides) are a group of islands off the west coast of Scotland that are part of the Hebrides. They are separated from the Inner Hebrides and Scotland by the Minch, the Little Minch and the Hebridean Sea. The archipelago has an area of ​​3,059 km² with approximately 26,000 islanders.


The main islands are listed below from north to south, in their local name; the English name is stated in brackets.

  • Lewis (Scottish Gaelic: Leòdhas) and Harris (Scottish Gaelic: Na Hearadh): This is one island. Leòdhas refers to the flat north, while Na Hearadh refers to the mountainous southern part of the island.
  • Tarasaigh (Taransay)
  • Uibhist a Tuath (North Uist)
  • Beinn na Faoghla (Benbecula)
  • Uibhist a Deas (South Uist)
  • Barraigh (Barra)
  • Saint Kilda (western)
  • and many small islands: Beàrnaraigh (Berneray), Bhalaigh (Vallay), Vatersay (Bhatarsaigh), Boraraigh (Boreray), Campaigh (Campay), Coppay, Flodday, Floday, Great Bernera, Gilsay, Heisgeir (Heisker), Hermetray, Kirkibost, Lingeigh (Lingay), Little Bernera, Little Shillay, Mealasta, Mingulay, Opsay, Orosaigh (Oronsay), Pabaigh Mòr, Pabaigh (Pabbay), Sanndraigh (Sandray), Sgarabhaigh (Scaraway), Scarp, Shiant Islands, Siolaigh ( Shillay), Soay Beag, Soay Mòr, Stockay, Sursay, Tahay, Vacsay, Wiay, and many more.
Standing Stones on Isle of Lewis

To the west of this are a few small uninhabited islands, the Monach Islands, Flannan Isles and, furthest to the northwest, Rockall.

It can be said that the Outer Hebrides consist of two main areas, namely the Isle of Lewis and Harris and the southern Uist Islands. The construction of various dams (causeways) has made the islands of North Uist, South Uist, Eriskay, Benbecula, Grimsay, Baleshare, and Berneray a whole.


  • From Ulapul (Ullapool) a ferry sails twice a day to Steòrnabhagh (Stornoway) on Leòdhas.
  • From Uig on Skye one can go to Tairbeart (Tarbert) on Na Hearadh and to Loch na Madadh (Lochmaddy) on Uibhist a Tuath.
  • From Mallaig one can go to Loch Baghasdail (Lochboisdale) on Uibhist a Deas and to Bagh a ‘Chaisteil (Castlebay) on Barraigh.
  • From Oban one can also go to Uibhist a Deas and Barraigh.


In Stornoway, the capital, there is an airport where planes land from Glasgow and Inverness. Furthermore, there is a landing site on Barraigh’s Traigh Mhòr beach, and a small airport near Baile Mhanaich (Balivanich) on Beinn na Faoghla.


Portree (Scottish Gaelic: Port Rìgh) is the largest town on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Portree is located on the east side of the island, flanked by high cliffs. The place has about 4000 inhabitants. The city is on the A87, also known as Road to the Isles (is a road which is the main link on Skye and the ferry on the Outer Hebrides.). connecting the place to the mainland via the Skye Bridge. Portree is a tourist center on Skye, and several bus services connect Portree to the rest of the island.

Portree harbour/port

Portree has several shopping streets, a harbor, a tourist office and a hospital. The island’s only high school is located in Portree.


In the 18th century, the city was a popular starting point for traveling to America. Many Scots left their lands here to build a better life and escape poverty. During a major food shortage in 1846 (Highland Potato Famine), the city began to export fish, which greatly increased the local economy. The harbor was often used as a resting place to travel further to the Outer Hebrides.

Until its closure in 1976, Portree had the UK’s last manual telephone exchange.

Skye Bridge

The Skye Bridge is a bridge in Scotland that connects the Isle of Skye to the mainland. At the place where the bridge is located, the distance between the mainland and the Isle of Skye is the smallest: approximately 500 meters. The bridge has two carriageways, a footpath and a bicycle path.

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There was a spring in this place since about 1600. Since the late 19th century, there were plans to build a bridge to the Isle of Skye. The possibilities were there, but the small population on Skye and the remote location did not outweigh the costs of the bridge. However, increasing prosperity and emerging tourism brought more and more people to Skye, resulting in long queues at the ferry. This led to renewed attention for a bridge.

The first concrete plans were started in 1989. The Scottish-German group Miller-Dywidag became responsible for the implementation. Work started in 1992. The bridge surface rests on two pillars placed on caissons. The span between the pillars is 250 meters, the length between the pillars and the land is 125 meters on both sides. On October 16, 1995, the bridge was opened to traffic. Subsequently, there was a lot of protest, because a very high toll was levied, while the alternative, the ferry connection, was canceled when the bridge was opened. An action group started an intensive campaign to end tolls, and in December 2004 the bridge became toll-free. As a result, the Scottish government had to pay the remaining £ 27 million.