The Inner Hebrides lie closer to mainland Scotland and include Islay, Jura, Skye, Mull, Raasay, Staffa and the Small Isles. The Outer Hebrides are a chain of more than 100 islands and small skerries located about 70 kilometres (43 mi) west of mainland Scotland.
There are 15 inhabited islands in this archipelago.
By capturing the islands Magnus imposed a more direct royal control, although at a price.
His skald Bjorn Cripplehand recorded that in Lewis "fire played high in the heaven" as "flame spouted from the houses" and that in the Uists "the king dyed his sword red in blood".
North of Dál Riata, the Inner and Outer Hebrides were nominally under Pictish control, although the historical record is sparse.
Hunter (2000) states that in relation to King Bridei I of the Picts in the sixth century: "As for Shetland, Orkney, Skye and the Western Isles, their inhabitants, most of whom appear to have been Pictish in culture and speech at this time, are likely to have regarded Bridei as a fairly distant presence.” Viking raids began on Scottish shores towards the end of the 8th century and the Hebrides came under Norse control and settlement during the ensuing decades, especially following the success of Harald Fairhair at the Battle of In the Western Isles Ketill Flatnose may have been the dominant figure of the mid 9th century, by which time he had amassed a substantial island realm and made a variety of alliances with other Norse leaders.
) comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland.
There are two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides.The average annual rainfall in Lewis is 1,100 millimetres (43 in) and sunshine hours range from 1,100 – 1,200 per annum.The summer days are relatively long, and May to August is the driest period.The Hebrides were now part of the Kingdom of the Isles, whose rulers were themselves vassals of the Kings of Norway.This situation lasted until the partitioning of the Western Isles in 1156, at which time the Outer Hebrides remained under Norwegian control while the Inner Hebrides broke out under Somerled, the Norse-Gael kinsman of the Manx royal house.These islands have a long history of occupation dating back to the Mesolithic, and the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive influences of Celtic, Norse, and English-speaking peoples.