Free things to do in the Outer Hebrides

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  • Looking out over the Calanais Standing Stones, Calanais, Isle of Lewis
    The Calanais Standing Stones, Calanais, Isle of Lewis
  • Rugged coastline, the Isle of Lewis
    The rugged coastline is the ultimate challenge for climbing enthusiasts

30 miles off the north west coast of Scotland, this idyllic chain of islands promises a wealth of exciting experiences, with inspiring sights to see around every corner. You can explore the Outer Hebrides on a budget, with numerous free activities and attractions available throughout the year.

Free attractions

Standing for thousands of years, the iconic Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis are a must-see on your travels across these islands. Find yourself standing beside giant monoliths, which form one of the most complete stone circles in Britain and are a truly awe-inspiring sight.

In the charming village of Lochmaddy, embrace the creative spirit of the islands at the community-led arts centre Taigh Chearsabhagh, which showcases stunning photography, local art and a sculpture trail on North Uist.

Please note that although entry to these attractions is free, there may be small charges for special exhibitions taking place.

Uig Sands, Lewis
Uig Sands, Lewis

Free places to go

With towering clifftops and turquoise blue seas, the Outer Hebrides boast some of the most striking coastlines in Scotland.

Take a trip to the hilly wilderness of Uig and spend the day wandering along the golden beaches of Uig Sands. Explore Tangasdale Beach on Barra, a favourite with Hebridean locals, with its sparkling sands and miles of shoreline.

The islands are a hotspot for wildlife, with numerous nature reserves across the islands. Visit the St Kilda NNR for sightings of springtime puffins and guillemots. On the Monach Isles, you can witness one of the biggest colonies of breeding grey seals in the world and a plethora of blossoming machair flowers in the summer months.

A family cycling at Hosta Beach or Traigh stir, North Uist, Outer Hebrides.
Hosta Beach or Traigh Stir, North Uist, Outer Hebrides

Free outdoor activities

Breathe in fresh island air and walk in the footsteps of ancient ancestors. Take in the clifftops, stacks and bays between An Gearrannan and Bragar, as you walk along the Lewis West Side Coastal Walk.

You can cover a great distance across the islands by exploring the magical landscape by bike. The Hebridean Trail will take you across seven islands; through charming towns and villages, past iconic landmarks and over challenging terrain. It is an exhilarating route for experienced mountain bikers. Be inspired to give it a go by watching the inspirational Wilderness Episodes video.

See the majestic beauty of the islands with other fantastic cycling routes in the Outer Hebrides, including the 162 mile Barra to Butt of Lewis Route and the picturesque Tarbert to Stornoway Route.