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LEWIS FACTFILE.

LEWIS is the largest and most northerly of the six 'isles' which make up the Outer Hebrides.

Confusingly, Lewis and Harris to the south are one land mass, although the landscapes are very different with the former being mostly peat moorland dotted with freshwater lochs and the latter being quite mountainous.

The Outer Hebrides are separated from mainland Scotland by The Minch, a channel frequented by dolphins and whales (one swam right past our ferry!) The friendly locals allegedly breathe the cleanest air in Europe. Most speak Gaelic as well as English.

Lewis is probably most famous for the Calanais Standing Stones, which predates Stonehenge and Egypt's pyramids.

The ring and lines of 50 stones, up to 13ft tall, are on a prominent ridge making them visible for miles around.

Visitors can delve into more recent Hebridean history at the 300-year-old Gearrannan Blackhouse Village.

The traditional, thatched crofting houses were restored after the last remaining residents of Gearrannan were moved out in 1974.

Other blackhouses are dotted around the islands.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 21, 2009
Words:170
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