Lewis with Harris

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Traigh Sheilebost

Lewis with Harris is the island at the north of the chain of the Outer Hebrides. It is 841 square miles in area; the largest island of the Hebrides and indeed the largest island of the British Isles after Great Britain and Ireland. Its only town is Stornoway in Lewis.

The island consists of two parts:

Lewis and Harris are treated as separate islands, and are known as the Isle of Lewis and the Isle of Harris. They are in separate counties:

However Lewis and Harris are not in truth separate; there is a land border between them, running from Loch Seaforth in the east over to Loch Resort in the west.

The island as a whole has no single name in English nor in Gaelic and is therefore known by the joint name "Lewis with Harris" or "Lewis and Harris". The name "Heather Island" has been used as a romantic nickname.

The island is the ancestral homeland of the Clan MacLeod, with those individuals on Harris being referred to as of MacLeod of Harris or MacLeod of MacLeod, and those on Lewis those of MacLeod of Lewis. The separation of the two parts of the Macleods may account for the division of the island. Lewis island is also the ancestral home of Clan Morrison.

Harris tweed

A major industry of Lewis and Harris the production of the famous fabric Harris tweed, which is hand-woven on the island. By law, only fabric produced in Harris or Lewis may be called Harris tweed.

Sign on the border