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The Outer Hebrides are perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean with miles of sandy beaches that, as often as not, you can have all to yourself. They are known as Na h-eileanan an Iar or The Western Isles and they hold a variety of unique environments including a World Heritage Site.

The islands weave their spell over you from the moment you arrive. You enter a different pace of life. You begin to relax. The sense of the past is tangible everywhere with ancient monuments, traditional crafts and “ways of doing” very much part of the culture. The beauty of the place strikes you at every turn, there is always something to catch your eye, be it the colour of the old beached boat set against a shimmering sand and sky, the weathered texture of ancient standing stones with their myriad of colours or the bright white walls of a traditional crofters house.

The people of the Hebrides preserve a vibrant heritage of Gaelic traditions and culture which runs deep through every aspect of local life. These traditions assure the visitor of a warm welcome and a genuine desire to share not only the splendour of the confluence of sea, sky and land but every facet of the life and tradition of these beautiful islands.

The Outer Hebrides really are a jewel in the British crown often overlooked because of anecdotal and unfair assumptions about the weather and the isolation of the place. In fact, when the weather is good, there are few better places to be in the world with the miles of white shell sand beaches and the turquoise waters it rivals the best of beaches. When the weather changes the resulting scenes are both dramatic and atmospheric.

The Western Isles are also far from isolated - each of the three island airports are only an hour’s flight from Glasgow, Edinburgh or Inverness. There are also five ferry terminals on the islands that can be easily accessed from Ullapool, Uig on Skye, Mallaig or Oban on the mainland. For further details of travel arrangements see the ‘Visits’ section of this site or go to www.VisitHebrides.com.

The islands are a paradise for those interested in outdoor pursuits and yet it has peace and tranquillity in abundance for those of a less energetic inclination. The area also has a rich heritage stretching back over 6000 years, which has left the islands with many archaeological sites of interest. A major site of international importance is the Callanish Stones which is only second in importance to Stonehenge in Britain and third in archaeological importance in Europe.

Another particularly important visitor attraction, particularly for those with Scottish ancestry, is the Sellam Centre for genealogy in Northton on Harris where visitors can investigate their family history and find out where earlier island families and clan members migrated to worldwide.

There certainly is much to see and do in the islands and it is certain that one visit is never enough.

If you want further information on visitor attractions either go to www.VisitHebrides.com or view the Attractions Document.

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