Coast project
launching Spring 2022

We’re asking for your help to build a story bank covering the west coast of Scotland from Wester Ross and Lewis in the north to Arran and Kintyre in the south.

Since Autumn 2020 we have had a team of 32 local Story Gatherers working across the west coast collecting and collating local stories for their individual areas. We now have a story bank with over 1300 individual stories about people, places and happenings and ranging from a few sentences to epic tales.

At the end  of June 2021 we concluded the main story gathering phase and are now curating them to select 400 that will be used on our website and app and also for our six area exhibitions.  If you missed the chance to share your story and would still like to do so please do our short survey.  Your story will then be added the storybank which will be held as an archive by UHI.


You can add a story and then come back and do the survey time and again with new and different stories by simply using this same link. We do ask for contact details every time to comply with GDPR and to ensure the archive holds contact details for finding out more.


Throughout March 2021 we ran a series of six regional and six themed online workshops with inspirational presentations from specialist speakers and our local story gatherers. These were followed by interactive sessions allowing virtual attendees to share their own stories and memories for us to include in our storybank. We will shortly have summaries available from these events but in the meantime if you have a story to share either about one of our six areas or the themes please use our short survey link 


Because we are undertaking a highly innovative three-year project ‘The Coast that Shaped the World’ which will take your stories and memories and put them at the heart of rediscovering just exactly why this amazing corner of the world is so special.

Nothing is too big or too small, too detailed or too vague. Collectively these stories and memories will help paint a multi-layered picture of this stunning part of Scotland and help us all better understand why it is what it is today – but also just how much this remote and beautiful part of Scotland has had an impact across the globe far beyond our shores.


What we will do with your stories and memories?

We are planning to narrate four hundred stories (twenty stories from twenty different west coast communities) online through an interactive app and use it to encourage locals and visitors to explore the roads less travelled across our islands, peninsulas and coastline.

We want people to experience these stories for themselves and marvel at just how important the west coast has been in shaping so much across the World.

These stories will be selected from the memories and histories gathered through this website and will be a mix of well-known stories as well as much more quirky and intriguing tales.

We will have a selection process agreed for this and will ensure local people are part of this process. Those not selected will all be collated and held in our story bank and potentially used on social media and in related projects to really embellish the cultural understanding of the west coast.

As we ask for some personal information about yourself we ask you to tick a box to confirm you are happy for us to use your story and to reach out to you for any additional information we may need. We will contact you if your story is selected as one of our 20 for your area and also if we plan to use it on social media and in other projects. We won’t do anything with the information you provide without your knowledge and agreement.

Some of the most intriguing stories will become part of highly innovative and interactive exhibition material to be installed in key locations across the west coast. This part of the project will be developed in 2021 and we will provide much more information as this is progressed.

About ‘The Coast that Shaped the World’

The Coast that Shaped the World is an ambitious three year project which bridges between the Year of Coasts and Waters in 2020 and the Year of Scottish Stories in 2022. It evolved out of a new collaboration between all the destination groups across the west coast in 2018 which tasked itself with better understanding our marine tourism offer.

The scale of opportunity to work together encouraging visitors to get on and in the water and explore the waterways between our destinations is massive. The seaways once were our highways and shaped the communities that exist today and provide great opportunities to explore and find out more.

This scoping initiative led to the birth of West Coast Waters in 2019 – a promotional campaign seeking to raise awareness and encourage visitors to travel and immerse their senses. The Coast that Shaped the World emerged out of the scoping work recognising that the natural and cultural heritage unites this seemingly disparate region.

You can learn more about our project on our Project Information Sheet.

Scotland’s West COAST

The West Coast of Scotland is a hugely diverse area with seemingly disparate geography but it is this maritime environment which has shaped it to be what it is today. The seaways were until very recently the highways of the west readily linking communities across the water and with much less reliance on travel by road or track. Its human history extends back over 8,000 years and it has witnessed events and happenings from prehistoric days through to this current pandemic – events and happenings which, along with the people who have lived here, have helped shape the world as we now know it.

There are numerous inhabited islands with many more that were inhabited in years gone by. The coastline is characterised by fjord like sea lochs penetrating the mainland creating remote peninsulas each with settlements of all sizes scattered along their coast.

There are stories embedded in this landscape – stories of how this coastline shaped the people who lived and worked here – and also shaped many of our people who went on to have an impact way beyond these shores.

Through an exciting initiative over the next three years we are asking the people of the west coast to share as many stories as they can to help us build a West Coast story bank. We will then take a number of these stories onto a digital platform and narrate them through spoken word, song, imagery, video, art to enrich people’s understanding of this land, entice them to find out more and encourage them to explore the roads less travelled.

Jasmine Wilkie

Outer Hebrides (Isle of Lewis/Leòdhas)
My name is Jasmine and although I was born on the mainland, my maternal side of the family hail from the Western Isles, where I currently live.

Natasha Hutchison

Wester Ross (Ullapool & Lochinver)
Natasha has been a resident on Lochbroom in Wester Ross for 15 years. She works as the Coordinator for the Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere, which promotes the international significance of the rich natural and cultural heritage of the area.

Angus Murray

Skye & Lochalsh (Isle of Skye – North)
I am a Gaelic speaking islander who hails from the Isle of Benbecula and is now based in the north end of the Isle of Skye.

Camille Dressler

Lochaber (Road to the Isles & The Small Isles)
I am passionate about the landscape and culture of West Lochaber. From the early days researching my Masters degree on traditional Scottish oral culture to now.

Iain Johnstone

Argyll & Inner Hebrides (Kintyre Peninsula and Isle of Gigha)
I was born and brought up in Kintyre and I have always enjoyed the geography and history of the area through work and leisure activities.

Scott Ferris

Firth of Clyde & Clyde Islands (Isle of Cumbrae)
I have my own story to tell being 45 years old and at the age of 42 sold everything I had in Glasgow, quit my career as a National Account Manager of an Independent Recruitment Company and with my wife and kids moved to Millport.

Who we are?

The project is led by the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and is being funded through NatureScot’s Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund, with match funding from CalMac and UHI. It is being coordinated by Carron Tobin from ruralDimensions and Graham Hogg from Lateral North. The app and website is being developed by Whereverly and the exhibition installations will be produced by Lateral North working with Soluis.