Virtual Hebrides

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Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides

MapThe Isle of Lewis (pictured left, click to enlarge) is in the Outer Hebrides / Western Isles. The Isle of Lewis together with the attached Isle of Harris is the largest island in the Hebrides. The island is about 45 miles long and 30 miles at its widest. It covers some 600 square miles, and has a population of approximately 20,000 (which appears to be in decline). The island is relatively flat, and much of it is covered by peat moor. The south of the island, heading towards Harris, is a mass of lochans and sea inlets, and is hillier than the north.

Tiumpan Head lighthouseThere are superb sandy beaches at Traigh Mhor and Port Geiraha, Port of Ness, Bosta on Great Bernera, Traigh na Berie and Uig Sands, where the famous Isle of Lewis Chess Set was found. Other particularly scenic places are the viewpoints from the cliffs and lighthouse at Butt of Lewis. Tiumpan Head lighthouse (pictured right, click to enlarge) on Point; Valtos; and North Lochs are also picturesque.

GearrannanAlso well worth a visit is the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village (click image for more details) which is a coastal crofting village situated in a secluded bay within the district of Carloway on the west coast of the island. The village has been fully renovated and offers accommodation. Also at Carloway is the famous Dun (pictured on the next page and more details here.

The LewsTales and Traditions of the Lews - by Donald MacDonald
This is a pot pourri of local history, myth and legend of the island, with essays on people, places and tradition from prehistoric times to the third millennium. Interspersed with tales of real people and traditions are those from the edge of history such as the Brahan Seer.

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BookLewis: the Story of an Island - by Christine MacDonald, Margaret Bennett
This publication is a reprint of an account of the history of the island, aimed at all tastes. It features a foreword by Margaret Bennett. Updated to take account of recent archaeological finds and new knowledge about the island.

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