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20 Surprising Facts About Lewis & Harris

Uncover the Hidden Gems of Lewis & Harris

Lewis & Harris, a land of enchanting landscapes and rich heritage, holds many captivating secrets waiting to be discovered. Here are 20 surprising facts that will ignite your wanderlust and inspire you to explore this breath-taking destination.

Scottish Gaelic Speakers: Approximately 52% of the population in Lewis & Harris speak Scottish Gaelic, making it a stronghold for the language in Scotland.

Impact of Clearances: The clearances, which took place in the 1700s and 1800s, had a profound impact on the Gaelic-speaking population of Lewis & Harris, potentially altering the linguistic landscape of the region.

a sign with a mountain in the background

Gaelic Road Signs: Notably, road signs in Lewis & Harris are in Gaelic first and then English, highlighting the significance of the Gaelic language in the area.

Connected Islands: Lewis and Harris are actually part of the same landmass, despite often being perceived as two separate islands. They form the largest part of the Outer Hebrides and are divided by a rugged mountain range.

Stunning Landscapes: Lewis & Harris boast diverse landscapes, including wild mountains, immense white beaches, rugged coastlines, and lunar landscapes, offering a wide array of natural beauty to explore.

Wildlife: The islands are home to various wildlife, including the golden eagle, red deer, seals, puffins, corncrakes, otters, butterflies, and more. Notably, Lewis is devoid of snakes, and the slowworm is the only reptile on the island.

Luskentyre Sands: Found on the west coast of South Harris, Luskentyre Sands offers miles of white sand and stunning green-blue water, creating a picturesque coastal landscape.

Gearrannan Blackhouse: This coastal crofting village on the Isle of Lewis provides cottage accommodation, historical activities, and fantastic walking opportunities, offering visitors a glimpse into the traditional island life.

Butt of Lewis: The northernmost point of the Isle of Lewis, the Butt of Lewis features rocks, cliffs up to 80 feet high, and a 121 ft high lighthouse, showcasing the rugged coastal beauty of the region.

a sandy beach next to a body of water

Historical Tragedy: The HMY Iolaire tragedy in 1919, where over 202 men lost their lives near Stornoway, is commemorated by a memorial in Lewis, reflecting the deep historical significance of the region.

Gaelic Words: Common Gaelic words used in Lewis include Leòdhas (Lewis), Barabhas (Barvas), Na Lochan (Lochs), Steòrnabhagh (Stornoway), Càrlabhagh(Carloway), and Siabost (West Side), showcasing the Gaelic heritage in place names and local designations.

Cultural Attractions: Lewis and Harris offer a rich tapestry of historic sites, incredible beauty, and great cultural attractions, providing visitors with a captivating Hebridean adventure.

Quiet Roads: The roads in Lewis & Harris are generally quiet, with many of them being single track, featuring plenty of passing places, creating a unique driving experience in the region.

Harris Tweed: Harris Tweed, a traditional fabric, is a must-buy when visiting Lewis & Harris, and it’s protected by law under the Harris Tweed Act 1993, ensuring its authenticity and quality.

Hebridean Way: The Hebridean Way, a 156-mile-long distance walking route stretching from Vatersay to Stornoway in Lewis, offers a challenging and immersive way to explore the natural beauty of the Outer Hebrides.

Black Pudding: Black pudding, a traditional Scottish dish containing blood, is popular in Scotland and may be found in Lewis & Harris, adding to the region’s culinary offerings.

Egg Honesty Boxes: Lewis & Harris feature numerous honesty boxes for eggs, reflecting the strong sense of community and trust among locals, providing visitors with a unique glimpse into island life.

Cottage Accommodation: The Gearrannan Blackhouse village on the Isle of Lewis provides cottage accommodation, offering visitors a chance to experience traditional island living and historical activities.

a bird flying over a body of water

White Tailed Sea Eagle: The islands are home to the white-tailed sea eagle, adding to the rich wildlife diversity of the region.

Cultural Immersion: Lewis & Harris provide a great opportunity for cultural immersion, with Gaelic language, traditional crafts, and historical sites contributing to a unique and enriching visitor experience.

Experience Lewis & Harris with Highland Experience Tours

Embark on a journey to uncover the hidden wonders of Lewis & Harris with Highland Experience Tours. Our expert guides will lead you through the enchanting landscapes, historical sites, and cultural treasures of the islands, providing an immersive experience that goes beyond the ordinary.

Book Your Adventure Today!

Let Highland Experience Tours be your gateway to the extraordinary world of Lewis & Harris. Join us in exploring the lesser-known wonders of these captivating islands and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Uncover the secrets of Lewis & Harris with us and embark on a journey of discovery! Contact us at 0131 226 1414 or email to book your tour and experience the magic of Lewis & Harris with Highland Experience.

a rocky island in the middle of a body of water