Frequently asked questions about the Outer Hebrides

What are the Outer Hebrides


TThe Outer Hebrides is a crescent-shaped archipelago of 200 islands which lies around 65 kilometres (40 miles) off the northwestern coast of mainland Scotland.Stretching 210 kilometres (130 miles) from the Butt of Lewis in the north to Barra Head in the south.




What is the population of the Islands


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How many occupied islands are there?


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Is English the first language spoken there?


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What is the largest Island?





When is the best time to visit?





How do I get to the Outer Hebrides?


By plane, you can fly into three airports in the Outer Hebrides from four airports in the United Kingdom: from Glasgow to Barra from Glasgow or Inverness to Benbecula from Manchester, Edinburgh, Inverness, or Glasgow to Stornoway Direct flights from Scotland take only about an hour. The Barra Airport is the world’s only beach airport–flying there can be an experience in itself! By ferry, you can travel by sea from the Scottish mainland to the islands. Visitors are advised to book their ferry tickets early, especially if they’re planning to bring their car across.




How many hours of daylight are there in summer?


In the summer months from June to July, there are about eighteen hours of daylight in the Outer Hebrides. In the winter there are about five hours, usually in mid-January.




What is the weather like in the Outer Hebrides


The weather in the Outer Hebrides is variable. In any one day, the weather can change very quickly. In the winter months, there are frequent storms and gales and winds over seventy miles per hour. From Late April through to early August the weather can be mild and sunny and the occasional day of no wind. Rainfall varies from Island to Island, but the southern isles appear to have less rain than the northern islands. The best plan is to come prepared for all seasons.




What does the name Hebrides mean?


The name Hebrides is derived from the Norse word Havbredey, meaning the ‘isle on the edge of the sea’.




Will the midges be bad when I visit


Midges in the Outer Hebrides are common across all islands but tend to prefer more moorland, bracken type areas. They are smaller than a mosquito and do not carry any disease although you may be left with a red itchy mark from their bite. They can be a real nuisance on those calm, misty, warm nights usually from late summer into the Autumn. Some people get a reaction to them and come out in blotches, so it is always advisable to have some antihistamine. Midge nets are an excellent item to carry with you if out in moorlands on calm days. The stories of midges are worse than actual encounters, so do not be put off.





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