Published: January 2010

Hebrides

Scottish Islands

Edge of the World

Scotland’s Hebrides, islands both stern and sublime, have taught centuries of artists, scientists, poets, and travelers to treasure the wild.

By Lynne Warren
Photograph by Jim Richardson

Michael Robson fell in love in 1948—with a place he'd never been.

An illustrated magazine swept the young boy's imagination from the familiar domesticity of his English home to the wild islands that rise in jagged ranks off Scotland's northwest coast. As soon and as often as he could, first on school holidays and later on breaks from work, Robson surrendered to the call of the Hebrides, making long journeys from the mainland by steamer and bus, by small boat and on foot, venturing from the mountains of Skye to the moors and sea lochs of Lewis and Harris and even farther, across miles of ocean to a rocky speck of land where the last permanent settlement had been abandoned a century before.

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