The Outer Hebrides


Welcome to a place where stunning landscapes and culture blend with the best that modern life has to offer. Welcome to the Outer Hebrides. This is a lively and challenging place. It’s a place where community matters.


The Outer Hebrides are an isolated, peaceful and unspoilt chain of islands, with a wide variety of interesting species and habitats and beautiful landscapes in a relatively compact area. The environment is recognised internationally as being of global importance. A large percentage of land, areas of inland water and marine sites are designated for nature conservation purposes and the Islands are also home to a number of rare species.

Residents of the Outer Hebrides have a strong cultural identity, largely stemming from a unique and eventful history and a vibrant culture. The Islands are rich in archaeology and history.  Life in the Outer Hebrides relates directly to the physical environment and geography of the Islands, the crofting system and, specifically, the Gaelic language. The Gaelic culture in the Outer Hebrides is more prominent than in any other part of Scotland.

The Comhairle is responsible for delivering services throughout the Island chain from the Butt of Lewis to Barra, and we have offices in Stornoway, Tarbert, Balivanich and Castlebay. In Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, all our employees are part of the community we serve.  It is therefore in all our interests that we deliver high quality services which show consideration to all the people living and working throughout our communities.

Our vision is for:

  • a confident Outer Hebrides - that has at its heart a stable economy that offers new growth opportunities; that has strong communications links both within and outwith the Hebrides and that values its Gaelic, cultural and natural heritage
  • a confident community – that is safe, healthy, caring and protective of the vulnerable; with the ability to take greater action and responsibility for its own needs; where young people are highly valued and where the population is stable and moving towards growth
  • a confident Comhairle – that is responsive and plans proactively for the future; that provides a strong representative voice for the Outer Hebrides at Scottish, UK and European levels; that delivers first-class educational facilities and delivers a set of key services that are prioritised and focused on to deliver more for less.