The Outer Hebrides stretch from the lighthouses of Barra Head in the south to the Butt of Lewis in the north. The string of islands in between includes iconic destinations such as Mingulay, Vatersay, Barra, Eriskay, the Uists, Harris and Lewis. Each has its own characteristic topography but they all have a true “edge of the world” feel as they provide a barrier against the waves of the Atlantic. To the west of the Outer Hebrides are the little-visited islands of St Kilda, Heisker and the Flannans and, closer in, Taransay and Scarp, which provide relatively sheltered anchorages. To the east are the Small Isles, Skye and the Minch.
Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis, is the largest town in the islands. It has good facilities and access and by starting and finishing some trips here we have a good base from which to explore the Outer Hebrides and the Atlantic islands. The white beaches of the west coast are huge, white and empty of people. The mountains of Harris provide a stunning backdrop to the white beaches of Luskentyre. The view of Harris from the top of Taransay is a favourite.
Further south, the anchorage of Loch Eport on North Uist has given us beautiful and long sunsets. Wizard Pool on South Uist had golden eagles circling the mast and, at the southern tip of the archipelago, Mingulay is memorable for both the dramatic bird cliffs on the west and the beautiful beach on the east, backed by the ruins of the village abandoned a hundred years ago and now home to puffins, arctic terns, a large seal colony and the occasional basking shark or Minke whale.