Celebrities on the Edge (of Scotland)

16 February 2017


Luskentyre by Bob Lomond via CC

The Outer Hebrides features on not one but two prime time TV programmes this week. It should come as no surprise really, as the Western Isles have such a fascinating history, incredible wildlife and are one of the most photogenic places in the UK.

Robson Green, most famous for his roles in Soldier Soldier and his TV series Extreme Fishing, takes centre stage in a brand new production entitled ‘Tales from the Coast’. Episode 3, which was broadcast on Tuesday, sees Robson, one of the most engaging and personable presenters on TV, travel to the North West to discover first-hand how an unpredictable climate and often volatile weather has given these group of islands an identity and way of life all of their own.

At the ancient village of Gearrannan, Robson tries his hand at weaving Harris Tweed in a traditional crofter’s blackhouse. The ensuing disaster illustrating just how much more difficult it is than it looks. A warning to would be weavers, it’s easier and a lot cheaper to just buy some at one of the many well stocked outlets on the islands.

A more successful venture saw our genial host go snorkelling for sugar kelp, used to flavour the local gin. A distillery tour and a sampling comes highly recommended for a unique 21st century taste of the island.

On his journey he was also fortunate enough to catch a rare sighting of Britain’s largest bird of prey, the white-tailed Sea Eagle, with an impressive eight-foot wingspan. After wild camping on Luskentyre, one of Britain’s most beautiful beaches, he reflects on the drama and natural beauty of his surroundings and compares the turquoise waters and sparkly sand to the Seychelles. We couldn’t agree more.

Also this week, the award winning Scottish actor Alan Cumming presents a special one hour documentary for STV that will be broadcast on Friday. ‘The Edge of Scotland’ follows the much loved film and Broadway star as he fulfils a lifelong ambition to embark on his own personal journey exploring the Outer Hebrides.

Setting off on a scenic journey to discover the spirit of Scotland among the rugged beauty of the islands, Alan travels from Barra in the south to Stornoway, taking in stops at Eriskay and Callanish to visit islanders and hear their stories, and discover how they have been shaped by this beautiful but harsh environment.

The actor explores the ancient mystery of a standing stone circle older than Stonehenge, investigates the real story behind Whisky Galore (which is even more interesting than the classic film) and plays football on one of the world's most scenic football pitches on Eriskay.

Alan makes the perfect travelling companion for this all too brief visit, opinionated and inquisitive, his unique perspective really illuminates the spirit of the Outer Hebrides.

Although a permanent resident in New York, he has in the past talked extensively about wanting to relocate from the hectic pace of life there to somewhere on the islands, more isolated and relaxed. This documentary is being aired on NBC in America which means that it may not be so quiet for very long. With huge improvements to the ferry services in the last few years and the flight to Barra with its beach landing an attraction in itself, more and more people are discovering how easy it is to experience the magic of the west coast.

One of the biggest draws to the islands on the west coast is that they are not exclusive. The things that have attracted celebrities, the rich and the famous, can just as easily be enjoyed by a family on a budget. There is an egalitarian quality to the attractions here, something that money can’t buy. A stunning sparkly white beach, sunset over an ancient monument or a jaw dropping display of nature in action. The beaches truly rival the Caribbean but are accessible and free to all.

LHH have more than 25 properties on the Outer Hebrides, from traditional thatched cottages in quiet coastal locations to easily accessible architect designed luxury retreats. Call us now and let us help you plan your perfect holiday. As well as beaches, sea eagles, standing stones you might just spot some celebrities as well.