They have also recently been designated as a Special Protection Area under the EC Directive (79/409) on the Conservation of Wild Birds.
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The archipelago lies, at its closest, 3 km west of Mull and extends along a northeast-southwest axis for a distance of 11 km.
The islands are uninhabited but that wasn’t always the case, hill forts, medieval chapels and castles prove that humans were once permanently living on these remote and unsheltered islands. Year-round occupation ended in 1824 when Donald Campbell and his family left the island.
So let us introduce you properly - as the locals say, fàilte gu Steòrnabhagh!
For many, Stornoway is the main entry point to Lewis and Harris, which together make up the largest island in the Outer Hebrides.The local council provides a good bus service between Mondays and Saturday, connecting Stornoway with many of the island's other settlements.Travel tip: Communities in Lewis and Harris follow a strong religious observance on Sundays, meaning that most shops and businesses are closed on that day.The port of Tarbert on Harris is linked to Uig on the Isle of Skye by daily ferries.The roads of Lewis and Harris are generally quiet and many of them are single track, with plenty of passing places.The islands, and Cairnburgh Castle in particular, had a strong strategic position well into the 1800s.