Historic sites have £8 million potential value to Western Isles


(c) The Modern Antiquarian.com

I’ve already written about Scotland’s booming tourist industry, exceeding that of rUK, as the low value of the pound, the Outlander TV series and anxiety about terrorist attacks in London and Europe seem to be encouraging especially US tourists to visit Scotland as far north as the Shetlands. See, for example:

Tourism spending in Scotland surges ahead of UK figure

‘Outlander links see visitors to historic sites soaring’

North Americans lead surge in Scottish tourism because they feel safer here

Massive rise in visitors to historic sites in Dumfries & Galloway

Now Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have plans to double their current income from visits to sites such as the 5 000 years-old Callanish Stones and the Dun Carloway broch. Cuurrently, these and other sites support 80 full-time jobs and bring in around £4 million but they have the potential to be worth £8m and to support 160 jobs.

The  Heritage Manager with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar told BBC Radio Scotland:

‘The landscape of the Outer Hebrides is to a large extent a Neolithic landscape. When you’re standing somewhere like Callanish, for example, looking out over the rest of the landscape, you’re really looking at something that was to a great extent influenced and moulded by the activity of humans in pre-history.  There’s an awful lot more out there than those big popular sites and I think we’ve got a real opportunity to open people’s eyes.’


I’ve been to Callanish, in the 1990s. It was busy then and I can see what he means about the landscape on all sides, including the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ or Cailleach na Mointeach (old woman of the moors), a range of hills resembling an Earth Mother figure lying on her back.


3 thoughts on “Historic sites have £8 million potential value to Western Isles

  1. Brian Powell October 7, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    I thought Dumfries and Galloway and the Western Isles were saying they were not part of Scotland and therefore not Scots. Maybe they could pay to have these historic sites moved to Scotland where they share a common heritage.


    • Brian Powell October 7, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Otherwise it’s cultural misappropriation.


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