THE OUTER HEBRIDES CASTLEBAY TO STORNOWAY
BENBECULA SOUTH UIST BARRA CASTLEBAY
In August 2009, we packed up our camera gear and our tent and went camping on the Western Isles of Scotland in the hope of capturing spectacular sunsets and sunrises as well as the stunning scenery the islands have to offer.
We started by making the 5 hour ferry crossing from Oban to Barra. First of all we heading south to set up camp near the white sandy beaches of Vatersay. We then made our way north, travelling back to Barra and then up through South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, the Isle of Harris and ďŹ nally arriving in Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis. From here we took the ferry back to the mainland, arriving in Ullapool and ending our adventure!
Across a causeway to the south of Barra, facing Castlebay, lies the small island of VATERSAY. Think of the capital letter “H” and lay it on its side. You will now have a rough idea of the shape of the island which is deeply indented by the sea, from the east and west, leaving only a narrow strip of grassland and dunes. With beautiful white sandy beaches, it was a perfect spot for a ﬁrst nights camping.
8 miles long and 6 miles wide, the ISLE OF BARRA is the home of the Clan MacNeil. As the ferry from Oban comes into dock at Castlebay it passes Kisimul Castle, the stronghold of the Clan. Leaving Castlebay and exploring the island you are sure to meet the locals more than once. The highlight of the island is Barra Airport where the planes from Glasgow and Benbecula land and take off on the beach.
THE UISTS & BENBECULA In the east there are boggy moors and rugged hills, whilst the west offers green pastures and a coastline full of sandy beaches. BENBECULA is sandwiched between SOUTH UIST and NORTH UIST, linked by impressive stony causeways. The main route through these islands is the road from Lochmaddy to Lochboisdale, littered with numerous passing places... remember to wave those who let you pass!
ISLE OF HARRIS Peaceful and tranquil, HARRIS lies to the south of Lewis and delivers spectacular scenery and beaches. The west coast is home to magniďŹ cent beaches whereas the north is mountainous with rugged land and boulders. The east coast is more isolated with rocks dating back to approximately three thousand million years old.
ISLE OF LEWIS The biggest and possibly the most popular of all the islands, the ISLE OF LEWIS offers so much, from the black house village and Callanish stone circle to spectacular sandy beaches, with clear blue water, and harsh cliff faces. The beach at Ardroil was ideal camping spot to capture amazing sunsets with the local bird life having their evening dip in the water. Heading north-east across the scenic landscape, we arrived in Stornoway, the largest settlement in the Western Isles. From here the ferry departs for the mainland, arriving at Ullapool.
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