Top things to do in the Inner Hebrides

Sgùrr Alasdair, photo by Shandchem/flickr

Being part of the Hebrides, this archipelago is situated off the coast of Scotland. These beautiful and attractive islands are not that popular as other regions of Great Britain, thus not overcrowded during the season of holidays. The Inner Hebrides contain 79 islands, of which only 36 are inhabited. The largest and most popular islands are Skye, Islay, Jura, Mull and Rùm. With spectacular historical attractions, such as castles and monuments, impressive mountains and beautiful beaches, one or even more of these islands can be the perfect holiday destination for you and your family. The landscapes are breathtaking and the diversity of wildlife is amazing! There are so many things to see and to do in the Inner Hebrides that you will need a couple of weeks to spend on these islands and you still won’t be able to visit all of the attractions.

 

Sightseeing in the Inner Hebrides

 

There are numerous natural and cultural attractions on these islands. From castles to museums, from churches to historical monuments, from mountains and hills to ports, you will find a huge diversity of attractions here, whatever you prefer. The largest islands of the Inner Hebrides are home to some gorgeous and popular tourist destinations. For nature-lovers Sgùrr Alasdair is the perfect choice. It is the highest peak of the Black Cuillin, and the highest peak on the Isle of Skye which is excellent for mountaineering. Located on the Isle of Rùm, Kinloch Castle is one of the most spectacular castles of the Inner Hebrides. The construction of it began in 1897 and was completed in 1900. There is also a section at the rear of the castle which functions as a hostel for the visitors of the island. Situated on the Isle of Islay, in the town of Port Charlotte, the Museum Islay Life represents very realistic the island’s history. Another attraction of the island is the chapel of Kildaton with Kildaton Cross, located in Port Ellen. The main attraction of the Isle of Skye is the stone pinnacle called the Old Man of Storr which rises to a height of about 50 meters. The Paps of Jura are also very popular. These mountains dominate the skyline of the Isle of Jura and are very attractive for the lovers of nature and climbing.

 

Sgùrr Alasdair, photo by Shandchem/flickr

 

Visiting a festival

 

Several festivals and events are held annually on the Inner Hebrides. The Skye Festival is one of them. It takes place every July and August at one of the most beautiful locations in South Skye. If you love music, you must attend this event. The festival celebrates the Celtic and Gaelic music. There is another music festival which is held on the Isle of Islay. It is the Islay Jazz Festival. You will have the occasion to hear the best of jazz music in the whole of Scotland. During the three days jazz festival some great bands and musicians entertain the visitors with their performances. The Isle of Skye Highland Games is a vivid festival which takes place every August, in The Lump, a natural amphitheatre. The purpose of this event is to highlight the Scottish culture and lifestyle. Therefore, locals and participants from all over Scotland perform several activities, such as Highland dancing, athletics, piping and other field events.

 

Pipe band at Skye Festival, photo by conner395/flickr

Practicing outdoor activities

 

Do you love to practice outdoor activities? Than the Inner Hebrides are the perfect place to spend your holiday at! There are plenty of outdoor activities to explore here. The islands have some spectacular beaches, the landscapes being uniquely beautiful, simply perfect to make peaceful coastal walks. Watersports such as sailing, wind surfing, kayaking and fishing are also very popular here. The wildlife of the islands is of a great diversity. There are some rare species of birds living here, such as corncakes, choughs and golden eagles. Birdwatching is a very popular activity among the visitors. The mountainous areas are perfect for mountain biking, cycling, walking or trekking.

 

Boats at Isle of Islay, photo by Sarah.Marshall/flickr

Eating and shopping

 

If you are a fan of gastronomic delights, the best choice for you is Skye. The capital city, Portree is home to numerous restaurants, bistros and coffee shops. Some restaurants are specialized in seafood. If you love cheese, visit Islay! It is excellent! Delicious is also the salmon which can be purchased on any of the islands. The Hebrides are well-known for their whisky distilleries. If you like Scotch whisky, these islands are the right place for you. You can buy whisky at any distillery, Laphroaig being one of the most famous whisky produced on the Inner Hebrides. If you would like to buy some souvenirs, choose the traditional Hebrides handicrafts – knitwear and pottery is a very good choice!

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