Scalpay / Scalpaigh - A Virtual Guide
The Isle of Scalpay, Harris
Scalpay (also known as Scalpaigh & Scalpa) is a beautiful island just off the coast of the Isle of Harris in the Western Isles / Outer Hebrides of Scotland. This part of the Virtual Hebrides was originally developed by Scalpay Digital and was onlines as Scalpay.com until they ceased trading as a company in 2001. Copyright and ownership of Scalpay.com then transferred to the Virtual Hebrides.
Much of the information which appears in the Isle of Scalpay section was submitted by local people and visitors to the site. Dr. Bernard Blain has given us permission to display some of his photographs which he took in the mid 1960's which you can see by visiting Scalpay Photographs. The photo's were mainly taken around Outend.
The Isle of Scalpay is a beautiful little island which was connected to the Isle of Harris by a bridge which first took traffic on December 16th 1997. It was officially opened by the then Prime Minister Mr. Tony Blair some nine months later. Although Scalpay is now part of Harris it very much remains an island.
One of the most beautiful parts of the island is a fair walk away across rough moorland but it is well worth the effort to get there. Eilean Glas Lighthouse was the first lighthouse in the Western Isles. Sadly the buildings are in need of some love and attention but the lighthouse still works today.
You can learn much about the character of the island by listening to some of the many songs and poems about Scalpay, such as "Return To Scalpay" by Norman MacCaig, but there is no substitute for a real visit so please take a look at some of the accommodation on offer, Scalpay can be an excellent base for your vacation in the Western Isles.
For those of you who like to sail - The island is an ideal place to berth for the night. Both the North (left) and South harbours are well sheltered and the island has many amenities including showers in the community hall (below) . You will find the Scalpachs (a person from the island is called a Scalpach) most friendly and helpful.
One of the most popular aspects of the site remains the Gallery of old photographs where there are over 400 old photos. If you are researching your family tree, looking for a photo of a family member or just interested in old photos you will find this part of our history section most interesting. We can offer high resolution copies of the photographs which appear here but only to those depicted in the image requested or a family member. Please do not contact us asking permission if you are not related.