Na h-Innse Gall, the Outer Hebrides also known as the Western Isles, is an archipelago of 15 inhabited islands and over 100 smaller islands and skerries, situated 30-50 km off the west coast of Scotland. From the northern tip of the island of Lewis, it is over 200 km to the island of Mingulay in the south. There are also some remote, outlying Atlantic islands, including St Kilda, the Shiants, Sula Sgeir, and the Flannan Islands, which are part of Na h-Innse Gall.
This is an ancient land. The islands are mainly formed from Lewisian Gneiss, some of the oldest rocks in Europe, around 3000 million years old. In contrast the outlying islands of St Kilda and the Shiants are only 55 million years old created by more recent volcanic activity.
Shaped by the action of ice, wind and rain, and North Atlantic storms, these remote islands are known for their stunning landscapes. Each island has a distictive character from peatlands of Lewis, to the rugged, rocky uplands of Harris and the machair and white shell sand beaches of the Uists and Barra.