The Outer Hebrides remain the heartland of Gaelic culture, with the language spoken by the majority of islanders, though its everyday usage remains under constant threat from the dominance of English. Except in Stornoway, and Balivanich on North Uist, road signs in the Western Isles are almost exclusively in Gaelic; the English names can often provide a rough pronunciation guide. Particularly if you’re driving, it’s a good idea to buy the bilingual Western Isles map, available at most tourist offices.

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8 alternative UK winter breaks

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