Western Scottish magical islands - Isle of Lewis

Western Scottish magical islands - Isle of Lewis

2 minutes to read

Scotland is a popular destination many people choose when they want to find unique landscapes. However, there are plenty of remote places and islands in Scotland not many people know about, and I want to share some of them with you. The magical region of Scotland has over 790 offshore islands, most of which are divided into four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, and the Hebrides, sub-divided into the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides. Visiting these islands is a very unique experience not everyone gets to have, as the culture of the islands have been affected by the successive influences of Norse, Celtic and English speaking people, which are reflected in the name of the islands and which make them incredibly interesting. 

Most of the Hebrides have names with Scots Gaelic derivations, whereas those of the Northern Isles tend to be derived from the Viking names – this is the case with the Shetland Islands which I have already written about, and which were conquered by the Vikings 1200 ago and were part of Norway until the 15th Century, so you can still feel and notice the Viking heritage.

The Hebrides Islands include a scattering of over 50 inhabited islands that take in the stirring mountains of Skye amongst other incredible natural features. In this story, I am going to tell you about The Outer Hebrides in the western part of Scotland and its main and remote island – the northern half is called Lewis and its southern half is called Harris. This is a spectacular island that offers wonderful coastal scenery and is popular due to the ancient stone monuments in Lewis.

Picture credit © iStock/Manel Vinuesa
Picture credit © iStock/Manel Vinuesa

The Isle of Lewis and its ancient stones

The remote Island of Lewis is the most northerly of the Outer Hebrides, and is rich in prehistoric remains. Its visitors do not lack fascinating things to see or outdoor activities to do. The 5000 year old magnificent Standing Stones of Callanish (or Calanais, which is the Gaelic version) are famous worldwide. These ancient stones have an enigmatic, magical aspect that never fails to move people, no matter what the weather is like and how many visitors are present. Whatever inspired their construction, people who see them agree that the experience of visiting the Standing Stones of Callanish is not to be missed.

Picture credit © iStock/Swen_Stroop
Picture credit © iStock/Swen_Stroop
Callanish stones
Callanish stones
Callanish, Isle of Lewis HS2 9DY, UK

There is also a visitor centre beside the world-famous Callanish Standing Stones which is home to an exhibition, café and gift shop. The 'Interactive Story of the Stones' exhibition explores how the standing stones were built and used and what they meant to people through the centuries. Explore this attraction which in a way reminds me of Stonehenge and enjoy this unique experience, exploring the amazing natural features on the Isle of Lewis and its beaches.

Picture credit © iStock/Thomas Zander
Picture credit © iStock/Thomas Zander

Cover picture credit © iStock/Swen_Stroop

The author

Helena Guerrero Gonzalez

Helena Guerrero Gonzalez

I’m a seeker of energy and life, currently living in Spain, although I have lived in the UK too. Travelling, exploring, making new friends along the way and sharing my personal experiences are essential parts of my life.

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