Islands on the Edge – The Outer Hebrides in Scotland

Some of you may have seen the recent great television series on the Hebrides.  For some reason, it was only available in Scotland but just found out that it is now to be shown on BBC2 starting on Thursday 11th July at 9 pm.  Dont miss it.  For those of you who were fortunate enough to have seen it, you will know that it was a wildlife documentary although the landscape did feature, but not as much as I would have liked, so I thought it was an opportune time to share some of my previously unpublished images from my trips to the Hebrides.
Whilst I have been fortunate enough to have visited the main islands within this group I still have many others on my list of trips to make.  To date, I have visited Lewis, Harris, Berneray, The Uists, Benbecula, Eriskay, Barra, Vatersay, Skye, Mull, Iona and Islay.  On this occasion, I will revisit the Outer Hebrides trip from 2008 and a short story of my journey can be seen in my review of that year. Although I have not visited since I am hoping to get there again one day and visit some of the places I did not manage to get to last time.
One of the most memorable days of that trip was on North Harris and the tortuous 14 mile drive along a single track road which reaches a magnificent conclusion at Hushinish and a spectacular walk along the coast overlooking the Isle of Scarp to Crabhadail Cottage, returning along Traigh Mheilein, the beach facing Scarp which you can see from the image below wasn’t exactly overcrowded.

Traigh Mheilein

On Lewis, I visited the Calanais Stones, also at a quiet time, although there was a workman tidying the ground around the stones.  I had to wait some time to capture this image just as he disappeared behind one of the stones.  Can you guess which one πŸ™‚

Calanais Stones

Nearby on the exposed Atlantic coast is Garenin or Na Gearrannan, a crofting township.  Today the village is most famous for the Blackhouse Village, which consists of 9 restored traditional thatched cottages.  These houses were the last group of blackhouses to be inhabited in the Western Isles.  Beyond the houses is a beautiful bay with wonderfully coloured stones, which yet again I had to myself with most visitors preferring to look round the museum and take a snack in the cafe.  Just the way I like it.

Garenin Bay

Moving on now to Pobull Fhinn, from the legendary hero Fionn MacCumhaill, the mythical hunter and warrior of Irish legend, a stone circle on the Isle of North Uist.  This Gaelic name can be translated into English as “Finn’s People,” “Fingal’s People,” or “the White People”.  It is sometimes known locally as “Sornach Coir’ Fhinn,” or “the ring of Fingal’s Furnace.”  The jagged shapes of the stones stand so prominently against Loch Langais, Loch Eport, and Eaval.  For once I did not have blue skies but for this location, the dramatic grey sky seems more appropriate.

Pobull Fhinn

And finally, on this virtual return visit to the Outer Hebrides, I am on South Uist at the very bottom of the island overlooking the Sound of Eriksay with Eriskay in the background and on reflection an area where I wish I had spent more time.  Certainly, a wonderful view which makes me want to go back there one day.  You would think that you were in the Caribbean not on the extreme edges of the British Isles.

Sound of Eriksay

I hope you have enjoyed my reminisces and you can find out more about experiencing “life on the edge” yourself at Visit Outer Hebrides.
Look out for my next revisit to the Hebrides, when I hope to have found some new images of the Inner Hebrides such as the Isles of Skye, Mull, Iona and Islay.
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