Nature and geography in the Outer Hebrides

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Lying 30 miles off the north western edge of the British Isles, the Outer Hebrides is an idyllic island chain boasting beautiful and diverse nature and geography. From gorgeous white sand beaches to rugged moors and jagged mountains, experience the region’s captivating landscape, which will leave you awestruck.

More than 200 islands make up this astonishing 130 mile long archipelago in the North Atlantic. As one of Britain’s last remaining wildernesses, this pristine paradise offers an irresistible mix of breathtaking scenery and amazing wildlife, along with a rich vibrant culture.

Journey around the region’s towns and villages and discover the unique character of each one or visit nature reserves bursting with birdlife and wildlife. Uncover  the beauty of the machair, the low-lying coastal plains which come alive during the height of summer when they are carpeted in colourful wildflowers, or revel in the peace and tranquility as you roam miles of white sand beaches with turquoise waters.

Explore  the mountain peaks of Harris, take a boat trip to St Kilda, a UNESCO dual World Heritage Site of natural and cultural importance, or see for yourself why these islands, the homeland of Scots Gaelic, inspire many local artists in their work.

Outdoor enthusiasts will also appreciate the great natural playground that the Outer Hebrides offers. From walking and cycling to watersports and golfing, the region’s diverse landscape provides many fantastic opportunities for outdoor activities and enjoyable family days out.

Embrace the Year of Natural Scotland and visit the Outer Hebrides, and you’ll be surprised how rejuvenating and inspiring these isles are.

  • Beach near Bornish, South Uist
    Beach near Bornish, South Uist
  • Loch Druidibeg, South Uist
    Loch Druidibeg, South Uist
  • A campervan passing Traigh Iar beach near Horgabost, Harris, Outer Hebrides
    A campervan passing Traigh Iar Beach near Horgabost, Harris
  • The Aurora Borealis seen from a vantage point at Middleton, Dundee & Angus © Fay Vincent.
    The Aurora Borealis seen from a vantage point at Middleton, Dundee & Angus © Fay Vincent.
Beach near Bornish, South Uist

Beaches

Visit the beautiful beaches of the Outer Hebrides, a group of islands which are blessed with incredible white sands.

A puffin on St Kilda Island, Outer Hebrides

Birdwatching

Find information about birdwatching in Outer Hebrides

Ponies at Loch Druidibeg, South Uist

Hides and reserves

Find hides and reserves across Outer Hebrides

A campervan passing Traigh Iar beach near Horgabost, Harris, Outer Hebrides

Hebridean hopping

You can explore the Outer Hebrides easily by boat, so why not discover what all the islands have to offer?

The Northern Lights in the night skies above Durness © Mo Thomson

Northern Lights

Experience the magnificent spectacle of the Northern Lights in Scotland.

Stornoway harbour

Towns and villages

Find out about the towns and villages of the Outer Hebrides. These small communities are the ideal place to stay on a break.

Beach near Bornish, South Uist

Landscape

With spectacular scenery, impressive mountain ranges, moorland, lochs, machair and miles of golden sandy beaches and turquoise seas, the Outer Hebrides is an area of unspoilt natural beauty.