I’m sure for many of you reading this, there will have been countries or places that you have visited that have touched you in a way that you never forget. That place for me is The Outer Hebrides and in particular, The Isle of Lewis. If someone said to me, ‘Lottie, you have to move to an island and stay there for the rest of your life, where would it be?’ My answer, without a moment’s hesitation would be, ‘The Isle of Lewis’.
Although my love affair with The Outer Hebrides (or The Western Isles as they are also known) began as an adult over 20 years ago, I was by no means a stranger to Scotland. In my youth most of our summer holidays were spent in Scotland, as that is where my Mother and her siblings were brought up after evacuating from Holland during the war. I have a very clear memory of the long car journeys driving up there from Suffolk, the excitement of seeing the countryside turn from flat to hilly, to mountainous and of the biting midges welcome when at last we arrived 8/9 hours later. Whilst it may not be everyone’s idea of fun to be holed up in a remote, isolated Victorian hunting lodge in Caithness, soaked with driving rain while trampling across prickly grouse moors in Perthshire, or fishing in mosquito infested lochs in the Isles of Skye and Mull, my memories of those holidays are supremely happy, and never more so than when there were lots of other cousins around to share it with.
Later on as an adult with 5 young children of my own, I felt a burning desire to retrace some of the steps of my own childhood. In introducing my own brood to Scotland, I in turn discovered new parts of Scotland that I had always wanted to visit. The islands of The Outer Hebrides beckoned to me and I could not resist their call.
For the first time since I’ve been writing this blog, I have no photos of my own to post which feels very odd. I’ve done a couple of quick drawings but for really fabulous photos and a fantastic website that I discovered earlier on today, I suggest you click on the link below and all with be revealed. I liked this site so much that I wrote to the owners and told them. It’s definitely worth checking out if you have the time and may even inspire you to visit The Outer Hebrides yourself, you may also see for yourselves why I fell so madly in love with the place!
In my next post I shall be waxing lyrical about all the things to see and do there, plus some great tips on how not to lose your children, how to do the heimlich manoevre whilst driving at high speed on a motorway, swimming with seals and when’s the best time to go whale spotting, to name but a few….