back road

Back, Outer Hebrides

Back (Scottish Gaelic: Am Bac) is a district and a village on the Isle of Lewis on the coast of Broadbay, in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. The road through Back commences at a road junction in Newmarket, north of Stornoway. It is a little touristed part of the Hebrides despite having some of the best beaches in Lewis, but remain popular with surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers. Also along the Back road, is the Coll Pottery (Fear an Eich) - open to the public and also the cairn at Gress.

Internal Villages

There are many villages within the district of Back, all which are on the coast of Broadbay, Upper Coll, Coll, Inner Coll, Vatisker, Back and Gress. It is thought by some that Tong and Tolsta are parts of the district, but Tong has a Stornoway telephone dialing code, and Tolsta is located in a different district.

The School

Sgoil a’ Bhac, caters for pupils aged 5 to 14 and as such has a Primary department and a Secondary department and has an enrollment of 197. Almost half the pupils in the Primary department an enrolled in the Gaelic medium unit, where they receive their education in Scottish Gaelic. The school promotes Gaelic in all classes, including mainstream classes, and it is seen as the most important part of the school.

Sgoil a’ Bhac is a true community school, the school is used for community events every other week, and the school enjoys a strong relationship with the local Free Church of Scotland. The school has a rich history of sport, particularly that of Football and Badminton, this can be seen in the many local tournaments the school sides have won.

The school was recently refurbished, among these are a brand new ICT room, flood lit ball court and a new technical room.


Back has one local shop known as "Gordon Diesels" or simply "Gordons", which has been running a few decades. There is a Hairdresser next to the shop which has changed hands a lot in recent years, there's a Garage, "Beatons" next to the shop, and a well respected pharmacy. Donald Campbell Motors is a car dealership, who specialise in Renault. There are many joinery, plumbing, electrician and plant hire firms, the two most notable being Angus Mackay and Peels.

The famous Coll Potter (or Fear an Eich) is in Back, as well as a caravan site at Coll beach.


The community puts a massive emphasis on religion. The local church is a Free Church of Scotland and the minister for the past 13 years has been the Rev. I. D. Campbell. Each service is put across either in English, or Scottish Gaelic. There have been seven ministers in total to serve the congregation, the first being Rev. Donald MacMaster.


Football is the most popular sport in Back, with the whole community following the local side. Back F.C. were formed in 1933 and play beside the beach at the very impressive facilities in Upper Coll. The facilities, known as the Coll Centre, boast some of the best facilities in the North of Scotland, second only to Ross County. There is a big hall, the size of 5 badminton courts, a full size gym, an astro turf pitch and a grass football pitch, as well as the beach across the road. They are named after the district Back and have a large pull from the internal villages. Others have played for the blues, including people from the island, neighbouring islands, incomers and they have signed a Pole this season. It is the youth that make up the side, this is down to a development club where children from as young as eight attend two training sessions a week.

Back F.C. have won many trophies since they began, including the highly sought after Eilean Fhraoich Cup on 17 occasions. Only those who live in the district or have close family are eligible to play in the cup, which gives the players a sense of pride.

Back won the 'big one' in 2004 when they won the Highland Amateur Cup. Clubs from all over the Highlands and Islands compete in this knock-out cup and it is what all the clubs in the region dream of winning.

Since winning the Highland Amateur Cup, the club has struggled at senior level to reach these heights again, but on the junior front they have dominated, with the under 18 side winning the treble in an undefeated season.

Andy Gray, who went on to play for the national side, Scotland, as well as Rangers F.C. ,Wolves F.C. , Aston Villa F.C. and Everton F.C., where he won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, played for the club as a youth.

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