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!

 

Music students forging many exciting paths 

The music courses have been in existence now for 16 years at the Benbecula campus of Lews Castle College UHI.   

As programme leaders for the University of the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons) Applied Music degree Lews Castle College UHI had their first cohort of graduates  in 2016.  They also offer a masters degree - MA Music and the Environment. 

They are educational leaders in the use of blended learning to teach – allowing students flexibility to build their music studies around their lives – enabling them to study from home or indeed to move to a beautiful and culturally rich location such as Uist to study.  The degree is multi-genre and develops skills in a range of areas relative to music and the creative industries.  Uist attracts students with an interest in traditional and Gaelic music. 

The 16 years of music courses have been celebrated in a new composition ‘Suite Uist’ by Anna-Wendy Stevenson, recorded by the Far Flung Collective and released at Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow in January this year. 

Read more: Music students forging many exciting paths 

Scarista House…unforgettable charm by golden beach 

By Elly Welch 

I worry about the homogenization of our hospitality industry - the box ticking, star-ratings-led craze is knocking the quirky corners off everything.  Of course, standards should be good but the creeping absence of difference is cutting out the chance of happy surprises. 

Praise be, then, for Scarista House, sweet hotel and welcomer of souls.  There’s not a beige carpet, spa-bath or scatter pillow in sight at this Georgian Manse turned island-getaway in windswept west Harris.  The wifi is come and go, there’s no TV in the bedrooms and chips aren’t on the menu.  What there is, though, is unforgettable charm and personality.  

I get a skip of excitement approaching its steep, whitewashed walls set proud between the green Harris hills and the golden arc of Scarista beach.   

Read more: Scarista House…unforgettable charm by golden beach 

Full Fine Art Degree launched on North Uist

From September 2017 all four years of the BA Fine Art are being delivered at Lews Castle College UHI, Taigh Chearsabhagh campus in Lochmaddy, North Uist.

The provision of opportunities to study art on Uist has evolved over 20 years, instigated by local demand.  

Buoyed by this enthusiasm for learning opportunities, the National Certificate and the first two years of the BA course were established.  

A strong and committed cohort of current students have successfully driven UHI approval for Lews Castle College to deliver the full BA course.

Students on the course are delighted with the news.

Holly Moffat-Hardy said: “To put it very simply; I love it.  Utilising local knowledge and integrating with such an artistic community, despite the small size, has huge benefits…there is something incredibly unique about having the opportunity to study here, that can really only be understood and enjoyed by those who get the chance to do so.”

Read more: Full Fine Art Degree launched on North Uist

Inside the history of tweed in Harris

There’s a special Harris Tweed exhibition in the village of Drinishader in Harris; where once the village school played host to hundreds of pupils, it now has a display detailing the life and tweeds of the legendary Marion Campbell.

Born in 1909, Marion is remembered as an icon of Harris Tweed weaving.  She first sat at a loom aged 14.  Before turning 21, she had won a Harris Tweed Association design competition, beating off older, more experienced weavers to pick up first prize and a handsome reward of 20 guineas.

What made Marion’s tweeds so special was the fact that she oversaw and conducted the entire process herself, from raising the sheep that provided the wool, spinning and dyeing the yarn for her loom, right through to the finished tweed length.  The one thing that was outwith her personal control was the stamping of her tweeds with the world-famous Orb Mark.  This was done by the Harris Tweed Association inspector.

Read more: Inside the history of tweed in Harris

From Down Under to St Kilda… 

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. 

Read more: From Down Under to St Kilda…