The northern Inner Hebrides are made up of:
- Skye and its surrounding smaller islands, including Raasay
- The four Small Isles of Canna, Eigg, Muck and Rum
The southern Inner Hebrides are made up of:
- Mull and its surrounding smaller islands including Iona
- Slate Islands
- Treshnish Islands
Towns and villages
The northern Inner Hebrides of Skye and the Small Isles are reached by two roads that branch off the A82 Inverness to Fort William road. The A87 is the further north, and travels to Kyle of Lochalsh and the now toll-free bridge to Skye.
Kyle of Lochalsh, Mallaig and Oban are accessible by scheduled ScotRail passenger trains. Approximately three trains a day connect Mallaig to Fort William (for sleeper trains to London six nights a week) with at least one continuing on to Glasgow Queen Street. A similar number of trains connect Kyle of Lochalsh with Inverness for connections to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and London. Several daily trains operate between Oban and Glasgow, normally coupling to and from Fort William and Mallaig trains at Crianlarich.
Scottish Citylink connect Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness with Fort William, Oban, Kennacraig, Kyle of Lochalsh and various points on Skye. Additional local buses serve the larger islands; for more information contact Traveline Scotland.
The Inner Hebrides are a popular destination for sailers, with many sheltered ports and inlets offering beautiful and tranquil achorage.
With the possible exception of Skye (which is easily reached by the Skye bridge), the Inner Hebrides are undoubtedly most easily explored on foot and by public transport, since ferry charges for cars are high and few islands are large enough to justify bringing a vehicle.
In addition to the buses and trains detailed in the 'Get In' section above, a number of local buses serve the larger islands. Very few buses run on Sundays, and most operate a schedule around school times and days. It is highly advisable to check travel times in advance. Traveline Scotland can provide point to point multi-modal transport advice, although some may find bus timetables from island websites more useful.
People are very friendly in this part of Britain, and crime is to all intents and purposes non-existent in many rural parts. Many of the Hebridean islands are remote and sparsely populated, however, and the weather can change very rapidly; it is therefore important to be well prepared before venturing onto the hills or moors.
There are several other groups of Scottish Islands, which have some similarities and some differences from the Inner Hebrides.
- Outer Hebrides, the main islands are: Barra (which has a weekly ferry from Tiree, South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, Harris, Lewis.
- Orkney Islands an archipelago of some 70 islands off the North of Scotland.
- Shetland Islands, some 100 islands (15 inhabited) to the North of the Orkney Islands.
- The islands in the Clyde, principally Isle of Arran and Isle of Bute