The Outer Hebrides are a stronghold for the Gaelic language, once suppressed and neglected, which is rooted in the landscape. For instance, there are 80 different words for hill or mountain alone in Gaelic.
This Gaelic culture also boasts one of the richest singing traditions in Europe with Gaelic songs for all sorts of work activities and social occasions. For a chance to hear Gaelic singing as well as foot-stomping traditional music during your trip to the Outer Hebrides, check out some of the great live music festivals taking place across the islands, such as the Hebridean Celtic Music Festival in July.
Known affectionately as HebCelt, the festival welcomes locals and visitors from around the world, whether it be to intimate gigs of traditional music at the heart of small island communities to open air concerts at the large arena set in the grounds of Stornoway Castle.
You don’t necessarily need to visit in July to experience this colourful atmosphere. Traditional music is plays a large part of community social life and is enjoyed in in pubs and bars, not just in the Outer Hebrides, but in most corners of Scotland.