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
A new boat charter service operating out of Stornoway offers passengers a unique look at the stunning wildlife of the Hebrides.
Stornoway Seafari is the brainchild of Gordon Maclean, who admits to having the sea in his blood, having been brought up with a love of the local coastline and all the exciting things it has hidden within its waters.
“I worked offshore up until four months ago, when I was paid off due to the slump in oil prices,” said Gordon. “I have two skipper licences, and for years I had wanted to set up a boat charter company, so I decided that the time was right to just go for it.”
By Eilidh Whiteford
Whether it’s an action-packed day of adventure or an exploration of flora and fauna, the landscapes and shores of the Western Isles offer a playground like no other.
Land or sea, action or reflection, from the Butt of Lewis to the Isle of Barra, visitors can find something available to add an extra ‘wow’ to their island experience.
And what’s found can often be something of a surprise for visitors – such as the £250,000 Olympic-scale Harris Gun Club range, tucked away within the woods of Aline Forest, on the road between Stornoway and Tarbert.
Dating back to the early 1900s, the Harris Gun Club is one of the oldest on the isles and offers the region’s widest variety of clay target shooting with a range of Olympic disciplines catered for, including Double Trap.
Open to both competitive and recreational shooters of all ages and abilities, and registered with the Scottish Clay Target Association (SCTA), the Club ensures that there is always a SCTA Trained Range Safety Officer on hand when it’s open.
And already historic, the club made further history in 2015 when it hosted the Scottish Clay Target Association’s Scottish Universal Trench Championships.
For those seeking further adventure, there’s no shortage of local instructors and guides ready and waiting to share their island secrets.
By Iain A MacSween
Photograph by Roz Skinner
A special ‘Eat Drink Hebrides Trail’ launched in March this year with the aim of highlighting the best food and drink experiences available throughout the Outer Hebrides. Local businesses are listed as either being producers, places to eat or places to buy local produce.
Brothers Allan and Ewen MacLean, from North Uist, run three highlights of the food and drink trail: The Stepping Stone Restaurant and MacLean’s Bakery, both in Benbecula, and Bayhead Shop, in North Uist.
Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of MacLean’s Bakery and the business has grown over the years with the opening of the Stepping Stone Restaurant in 1997, and Bayhead Shop in 2009, and is now one of the larger private employers in the islands.
By Katie Macleod
The last rays of the day’s sun stream through the window, and notes of fiddle music float through the air from the adjoining room, where the sound check is taking place. Julie Fowlis, the award-winning Gaelic singer and musician from North Uist, looks refreshed and relaxed despite a four-hour drive to Pennsylvania for the fourth stop on a US tour.
Her presence on this side of the Atlantic is even more impressive given that she is terrified of flying. “So I sort of dread the tour every single time it comes along,” she admits with a laugh, “but as soon as I get my feet onto terra firma I’m so glad to be here.”
“I love the experience of touring in America, it’s very different to touring anywhere else. The audiences are different, even the practicalities are different, like the big highways and the enormous hotels, everything’s to the max, supersize... The whole experience is just the volume turned up, you know.”
By Eilidh Whiteford
A collection of wonderful, charming, at times poignant and often very funny tales from one of Stornoway’s ‘old guard’, Mr Pat MacFarlane, is proving to be a hit for Lewis based Gaelic publishers Acair Ltd.
Launched on Pat’s 95th birthday in 2015, ‘A Stornoway Life – From Scotland Street to South Africa’, sees the author reflect on his early life growing up in Stornoway, in the same Scotland Street house built by his great-grandfather in 1920 where Pat still lives. Then there are his war years in South Africa and tales of the many acquaintances he met through his iconic town centre bookshop, Loch Erisort.
From stories recalling childhood games, japes and ploys that went with growing up in that era, to tales of his service during the war years – Pat trained pilots how to land planes using early simulators – and musings on the plethora of individuals and characters that have made their way into his life, the book is charming, laughout- loud funny and full of personality; just like Pat himself.
‘A Stornoway Life’ is just one of the recent publications from the Lewis-based publishing house to have hit the mark with audiences.
And within the industry itself, the work of Acair has been honoured, with ‘Dol Fodha na Greine’ (The Going Down of the Sun) being awarded the Overall Literature Prize at the Royal National Mod last year.