The area of the Outer Hebrides described in
this paper includes North Harris and the Uig, Morsgail
and Aline districts in Lewis. In addition, a narrow
strip of country is included, north of Loch Erisort
and extending eastwards from Balallan as far as the
river Laxay on the estate of Soval.
North Harris and its adjacent islands such
as Scarp and Fladday on the west, and Soay in West
Loch Tarbert on the south, forms part of Inverness - shire; Uig, Morsgail and Aline are included in
North Harris, joined to South Harris by the
narrow isthmus at Tarbert, is bounded on the south by
East and West Loch Tarbert, on the east by Loch Seaforb
and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Its northern
limit is formed partly by Loch Resort and partly by a land boundary much disputed in the past, passing from
the head of Loch Resort between Stulaval and Rapaire
to Mullach Ruisk and thence to the Amhuin a Mhuil near
Aline Lodge on Loch Seaforth. Seaforth Island in
Loch Seaforth lies partly in Inverness -shire and partly
in Ross -shire.
The extensive estate of Uig includes the
western part of Lewis west of Little Loch Roag from
Loch Resort in the south to the Gallan Head in the
Morsgail lies between Little Loch Roag and
Loch Langavat while Aline includes most of the ground
the last-named loch and Loch Seaforth.
The area is interesting because of the varied
types of scenery which it presents. Thus, North
Harris is almost entirely mountainous including six
peaks over two thousand feet in height, by far the
highest in the Long Island. The hills of the western
part of North Harris are continued north into the Uig ! district forming there one of the main areas of high
ground in Lewis. North of Harris and east of Uig the
hills die away gradually into an undulating moorland
with occasional ridges and low isolated hills. This,
in turn, passes into the great moor of central Lewis
most of which however, lies beyond the area dealt
with in this paper.
The coast-line is equally varied presenting
steep cliffs overlooking dark and narrow sea lochs liké
Loch Seaforth and Loch Resort; frowning cliffs front-
-ing the open sea as at the Gallan Head, Aird More,
Mangersta, or Northwest Scarp; or open stretches of
sandy beach fringed with blown sand as at Husinish and
Scarp in Harris or the beautiful bay of Uig in Lewis.
The physical features, however, will be more fully des - cribed before dealing with the glaciation (p. 76).
North Harris, Uig, and Tiorsgail are occupied
mainly as deer forests but partly also for grazing.
Aline and the moorland near Balallan are devoted to
the grazing of sheep and cattle. Cultivated ground
which forms a very small proportion of the whole is
confined mainly to the open coasts or to the shores of
the sea lochs. The population is sparse and confined.,
in every case to the coast. With the exception of
'few inhabitants at the head of Loch Resort and at Loch
Tamanavay the central parts are quite uninhabited and
the stranger may walk over the hills for weeks without . meeting a human being. The lack of accommodation and
the general inaccessability of the region accounts
amply for the lack of attention which has been devoted'
in the past to its geology.