|A number of ferry routes
from the mainland serves the Inner and Outer Hebrides. Many
islands are also reachable by air. Among the inner islands are Islay
which is an important whisky distilling location with six distilleries
open to visitors and Jura.
Iona is known
as Scotland’s Holy Island and first permanent British Christian
site, as well as burial site of many Scottish kings and chiefs.
A ferry from Oban serves Mull and the Western Isles.
Further from the mainland are Coll and Tiree, small
communities in the windswept Atlantic.
The Sound of Sleat and the Inner Sound separate world
known Skye from the mainland. There are ferries from Mallaig,
while the Skye Bridge crosses from Kyle of Lochalsh.
The Bright Water Visitor Centre on the Isle of Skye provides
information on the history of the island. The island ‘capital’
is Portree, while attractions include Talisker Distillery,
Armadale Castle, and seal-watching boat trips past the Cuillin
The Western Isles
Settled for some 5000 years, this chain stretches for 200km or 130
miles from north to south in a gentle arc. The northernmost, and
largest island is Lewis and Harris, the former containing
the Western Isles’ capital, Stornoway (Steornabhagh).
The well-known tweed cloth comes from Harris, at the mountainous
Across the Sound of Harris is North Uist (Uibhist
a Tuath), further to south are Benbecula (Beinn na Faoghua),
South Uist (Uibhist a Deas) and Barra, where the ‘airport’
is a sandy beach. Each island has its own character, and all have
good beaches. Attractions include the 5000-year-old Calanais
Standing Stones on Lewis; Barra’s Kisimul Castle
and the Seallam Visitor Centre, Taobh Tuath, Harris. For
further information contact the Tourist