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.
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.