Outer Hebrides, Scotland Scottish flag icon.

TheĀ Outer Hebrides, or Western Isles, are some of the most remote and untouched natural habitats in Europe, with sweeping white sandy beaches and the clear blue Atlantic waters. A wildlife haven with a fascinating history and heritage, the islands each have their own appeal. Caledonian MacBrayne operates regular ferry services to the islands and in the summer season (Apr-Sept) offers Mini-cruises with marine conservation charity ORCA in search of the sea life that lives in these waters.

For wildlife enthusiasts Barra has some of the rarest birds in Scotland, including the corncrake. On Benbecula you may see owls and eagles and Harris has a puffin colony. South Uist‘s nature reserve is one of the most important breeding areas for waders such as redshank, dunlin, lapwing, and ringed plover. Seals can be found be found basking on the rocks in Berneray and be seen from the ferry to North Uist, which has Europe’s largest breeding colony, with 9,000 pups born each year. Boat trips can be arranged from a number of the islands including Barra and Harris in search of common and grey seals, dolphins, basking sharks, mink and the occasional killer whale.

Some of the finest examples of the islands’ Neolithic heritage can be found on Lewis and North Uist in the Callanish Stones and Barpa Langass, a 5,000-year-old burial chamber.


Outer Hebrides Routes

Oban - Castlebay (Barra)

5h 35

Once a day (summer), 5 times a week (winter)

Ardmhor (Barra) - Eriskay

40 mins

Multiple crossings daily (summer) / Mon-Sat (winter)

Mallaig - Lochboisdale (South Uist)

3h 30

1-2 crossings a day

Berneray (North Uist) - Leverburgh (Harris)


Multiple crossings daily

Uig (Skye) - Lochmaddy (North Uist)

1h 45

1-2 crossings a day

Uig (Skye) - Tarbert (Harris)

1h 40

1-2 crossings a day

Ullapool - Stornoway (Lewis)

2h 30

Twice daily (summer)/ daily (winter)

Ferry travel red stamp illustration.
Ferry destinations across Scotland and the Scottish Isles.
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Nearby Destinations to Outer Hebrides

Callanish Stone Circle, Lewis (from Stornoway)30 mins45 mins1h 25x
Luskentyre Beach, Harris (from Tarbert)25 mins25 mins1hx
Barpa Langass, North Uist (from Lochmaddy)10 mins20 mins30 mins2h
Kildonan Museum, South Uist15 mins20 mins35 minsx
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