We at HEB Magazine do our best to let the world know exactly what our islands have to offer, and where exactly to find what you're interested in. HEB is printed once a year and thousands of copies are distributed across the Islands.
And the on-line edition - below! - is updated throughout the year with new reports, photographs and information from all across the Islands.
So, just click the download button, or go to our page-turning version, and enjoy learning about the beautiful Scottish Hebrides, and, if you aren’t here already, make sure to plan a visit sometime soon!
By Iain A MacSween
Testament to just how accessible the remote archipelago of St Kilda has become is that many of its visitors each year are Australian.
“We’re finding that we are getting more and more bookings from people who have made the connection between this St Kilda and the St Kilda in Melbourne,” says Seumas Morrison, proprietor of Sea Harris. The Australian suburb which is called St Kilda takes its name from the schooner ‘Lady of
St Kilda’, which was wrecked off Tahiti in 1844.
“The Australian passengers are usually on holiday in Scotland and when they hear there is a St Kilda here they want to go and check it out,” said Seumas.
Sea Harris operates a 16.5 metre Stormforce 1650 vessel, ‘Enchanted Isle’, custom-built for the St.Kilda day trip by Redbay Boats in Northern Ireland. The large air-conditioned cabin has comfy aircraft style seating for 12 passengers, arranged in pairs down each side of the cabin, plus toilet facilities.
The dashboard has Cummins engine instrumentation plus a wide range of Garmin electronic navigation instruments, and with safety of passengers being paramount there is also a video camera to keep a watchful eye on any that are out on the aft deck. Visibility is excellent through the large windows when alongside the gargantuan sea-stacs of St Kilda. This installation gives a top speed of 27 knots, and an economical cruising speed of 22 knots.
By Eilidh Whiteford
In 2015, Susan and Austen Dancey brought Benbecula's old Post Office building back to life, transforming the well-known premises at Creagorry into Puffin Studio Crafts gift shop and gallery.
And since opening its doors in November 2015, the 'new shop' has proved a hit with both the local community and visitors to the isles.
“We had a lot of support locally when we were refurbishing and we feel like we've been well accepted and we're getting a lot of the local community coming in, they like the product lines that we carry,” said Austen.
By Eilidh Whiteford
Celebrating 15 years of business this year, the Hebridean Soap Company has sumptuous new products on the shelves for visitors and islanders alike to treat themselves this summer.
Established in 2002 as the first commercial soap producing company in the Western Isles, owner Linda Sutherland delivers a world of all natural ingredients and fragrances when customers step into the company shop and workspace in Breasclete, Lewis.
“I'm amazed already this year how many people have been in so far,” Linda said in March. “And we're looking forward to welcoming many more with a busy summer ahead.”
A former IBM systems programmer, Linda was working in Germany and travelling to and from the UK every two weeks prior to embarking upon her 'new challenge in life'.
By Katie Macleod
More and more British footballers are moving 'across the pond' to play in the USA – and among them are two island players making a name for themselves in the American soccer world.
31-year-old Ally Mackay, from Lewis, and 25-year-old Robert MacGillivray, from Benbecula, both took the scholarship route to US football careers, one that saw them attend university in the States, play for their university teams, and move into the professional football industry after graduation.
Both Ally and Robert now live in Florida, working ‘behind the scenes’ in the ever-growing industry that is soccer in America. Ally works in Orlando as an agent for Global Premier Management, a role he took on when he returned to the US after getting his MSC in Sports Management from the University of Stirling.
By Eilidh Whiteford
“There are over 4,500 volunteer lifeboat crew in the RNLI and their dedication saves an average of 23 lives a day at sea; simply put, that's the reason for doing this,” said charity walker Alex Ellis-Roswell – 6,500 miles into his 9,500 mile UK and Ireland coastline walk to raise funds and awareness for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
In January 2017, two years and four months after he began, Alex reached the Outer Hebridean leg of his epic challenge and visited the islands’ three RNLI stations – Stornoway RNLI, Leverburgh RNLI, and Barra Island RNLI – as he walked 400 miles from Barra to the Butt of Lewis and back again.
“I think it's difficult to lump the Outer Hebrides into one thing,” he said, speaking after his stint walking the Long Island. “It's too broad a place to be one; the communities and the landscapes throughout are very diverse.
“But the islands have been a definite highlight; I've never walked somewhere so remote and yet felt so safe and surrounded by good people.”