Islands on the Edge

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HEBRIDEAN WAY

Galson Farm Guest House is only nine miles from the northern end of the Hebridean Way, so an ideal spot to stop and treat yourself to a good nights rest, great food, and hospitality.  

BIRD WATCHING

It is only in recent years that many people have discovered the magic of the Outer Hebrides however, we have had visitors flying in from around the world for thousands of years. 

Arctic Turns, Whooper Swans, Teal, Widgeon and Tufted Ducks stop off to visit whilst from Africa the rare Corncrake comes to breed. Ah, not forgetting the raptors, Peregrine Falcons, Merlin, Sparrow Hawks, Golden Eagles and Sea Eagles also populate our islands.

Dunlin and Redshank  Corncrakes Fulmars, Shags, Gulls galore, Gannets and Terns diving for fish, Auks and Kittiwakes raise their chicks along the high cliffs. 

Forgive us for the many we have missed but the links below might fill in the large gaps in our knowledge.

For bird sightings in and around the islands:
Outer Hebrides Birds  
Bird Guides – Outer Hebrides

PHOTOGRAPHY

Big skies, abundant wildlife, archaeological sites, stunning landscapes and seascapes where the light dances on ever-changing scenery and the weather turns tranquil into dramatic in almost a heartbeat. This is a haven for photographers to explore their craft.  Amateur or professional, video, drone or camera whatever your passion you won’t be disappointed.  

Summer the wildflowers bloom, it’s easier to spot whales, dolphins, basking sharks and the ever popular puffins out at sea.  Along the shore are otters, seals and a host of wading birds.  A few of the estates on the island welcome photographers wishing to stalk with cameras, whether you are lucky or not the scenery is breathtaking.

Winter brings storms and great Atlantic rollers crashing against the huge cliff faces throwing great clouds of spray across the land.  This is also the season for spotting the Northern Lights on crisp clear evenings.  Dark skies are something we still enjoy in Galson although the term is a bit misleading as the skies on clear nights are full of stars, shooting stars are a common sight as are satellites and who knows what other mysteries are there for you to find.

 

 

AROUND GALSON FARM GUESTHOUSE

Just a few suggestions but by no means everything on offer.

WALKS

A few of the loop walks around Ness. Maps with route descriptions are available courtesy of Galson Estate Trust. Pick yours up at Galson Farm Guesthouse or most shops exhibits in Ness.

Ballantrushal – Upper Shader/Lower Shader loop –  5.69km
Cross/Eoropie –  5.92km
Borgh/Borve Loop  – 4.47km
Eoropie Loop – 4.47km
Galson Loop – 5.53km

PORT OF NESS

Port of Ness boasts a beautiful small harbour, stunning white sandy beach, galleries and cafes. It is from this little harbour that the Guga Hunters still make their annual trip to Sula Sgeir, a desolate island far out in the Atlantic.  The harbour was constructed in the early 19th century.  An enlargement was built in 1893, with a breakwater added the following year.

Ness is a stronghold for the Gaelic language and is still the mother tongue of most of the local people. 

The boathouse at the harbour features in the Peter May novels, The Blackhouse and The Lewis Man.

BUTT OF LEWIS LIGHTHOUSE

Constructed of red brick and unpainted the lighthouse was built in 1862 by David and Thomas Stevenson. The Stevensons said that to use “common brick” here at The Butt of Lewis would not be feasible as it would not withstand the exposure to the sea. There are 168 steps to the top of the 37-metre high tower.

ST MOLUAG’S CHAPEL

It is thought that the chapel dates back to the 12th Century, however by the 19th Century the chapel building had deteriorated and was restored in 1912.

St Moluag was a 6th Century Irish Saint, a contemporary of St Columba.  For anyone following the St Columba trail, St Moluags chapel is a must along with the Ui Church in Point and Rodel Church Harris.

Further Information
Undiscovered Scotland
Wikipedia: Teampull Mholuaidh
Wikipedia: Saint Moluag

SPORTNIS

Spòrsnis, features a large multi-purpose hall, fitness suite and sauna, soft-play area and community learning and resource areas. It also boasts the only 10-pin bowling alley in the Western Isles.

The facility currently operates 6 days a week from 9.00am to 10.00pm.

AUTHOR, PETER MAY - THE LEWIS TRILOGY

THE BLACKHOUSE TOUR

Guided tours of the various locations featured in the suspense novel ‘The Blackhouse’ – the first book in the Lewis trilogy by Scottish writer Peter May.  Check Sportnis The Blackhouse Tour

Want to see where The Blackhouse is set? Explore the real islands from the Lewis Trilogy books? Then follow this link for the very best inside information on all of Peter May’s Hebrides literary locations! Lots more information can be found on the Visit Outer Hebrides page

Peter May Website

“…one of the best-regarded crime series of recent years”
The Independent

“Peter May is an author I’d follow to the ends of the earth”
The New York Times

LOCAL NATURE RESERVE

Check out a list of flora and fauna and bird sightings at Loch Stiapabhat. 
Loch Stiapabhat 

EOROPIE PLAY PARK

Great outdoor playpark and a favourite place for all island kids. Beach close by to take a stroll and watch wading birds.

DÙN ÈISTEAN

This tiny island accessible via the bridge at Knockaird is traditionally known as the stronghold of the Clan Morrison.
The Dùn Èistean Archaeology Project

MUSEUM – ANCESTRY

Comunn Eachdraidh Nis ~ Ness Historical Society houses an enormous archive of photos, film, documents and interesting artefacts, it is also an excellent start for those wishing to trace their ancestry

CLACH AN TRUSHAL 

Clach an Trushal at Ballantrushal is said to be the tallest standing stone in Scotland and a few minutes drive from Galson Farm.

Oighreachd Ghabhsainn Logo

GALSON ESTATE TRUST

Galson Estate Trust (Tha Oighreachd Ghabhsainn) is a community-owned estate.

The Galson area’s way of life is about the intricate interaction between a crofting lifestyle, a panoramic landscape and a diverse natural environment. The area boasts fantastic coastal scenery and white sands; large Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas; a variety of flora and fauna including golden eagles, fulmars and gannets; excellent sea and freshwater fishing; and, most importantly, a kindly, ‘down-to-earth’ community that works together to bring about a better future for themselves and future generations.

The Galson area maintains strong links with the international Gaelic community and is at the forefront of progressing Gaelic culture and arts.

The Galson area incorporates over 56,000 acres of North West Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides.
Galson Estate Trust ~ Wiki Pages

Galson Estate Trust Website