Heritage > Counties > Scotland

The Western Isles, Scotland

The Western Isles Based generally around the Outer and Inner Hebrides this region covers an area of 1,120 square miles.

The Western Isles form part of the old county of Ross and Cromarty which was also known as Easter and Wester Ross.

The administrative centre for the Isles is found at Stornoway with Lewis, Harris, North and South Uist and Barra being other main islands in the region.

As one may expect with a dominantly island area the main source of commerce comes from fishing, crofting, sheep and cattle farming, the famous Harris Tweed, industry and tourism. Crofting is still the backbone of the Western Isles economy, being compos ed of multi-purpose land use, including small scale farming: sea fishing: tweed loom operation and (increasingly) tourism.

As to be expected the Islands have a fairly small population of about 31,000 inhabitants.

The region is divided from the Scottish mainland by the Minch.

The Standing Stones of Callanish, dating back to the Stone Age are to be found on the island of Lewis.

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