Lewis is renowned for its historic landmarks and chief among them are the Calanais Standing Stones. These magnificent monoliths are around 5,000 years old. That’s older than Stonehenge.
Numerous cairns and brochs are scattered around the Outer Hebrides. Dun Carloway Broch on Lewis is one of Britain’s best-preserved Iron Age forts, while North Uist’s Barpa Langass is an impressively preserved chambered cairn.
The Bosta Iron Age House on Bernera is a painstaking reconstruction of an Iron Age village that was uncovered by chance following a storm in the 1990s.
Kisimul Castle - set on a rocky islet off Castlebay in Barra - is the seat of the Clan MacLeod and can be visited on the briefest of boat trips.
It was in the sixth century that St Columba brought Christianity to these islands. The Vikings arrived in the ninth century and traces of Norse influence remain, especially in the naming of settlements.
At the start of the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, Bonnie Prince Charlie landed on Eriskay from France. Following his defeat at Culloden the following year, the Prince hid out in the Outer Hebrides to avoid capture by government troops.
The tale of the 19th century concerns the infamous Clearances when landowners evicted islanders from their homes, sparking a flood of emigrants to the New World.