Ferry to the Outer Hebrides

First Glimpse of the Outer Hebrides

After a journey of 3 days I arrived yesterday evening on the Isle of Barra, in the Outer Hebrides.

I woke up yesterday morning to a Sunny Sunday morning in Oban on the West coast of Scotland. I had a cooked breakfast at the hotel then went for a walk along the sea front.

What a great view to have from the hotel breakfast room!

Oban on a Sunday morning

I checked out of the hotel room and went in to town – took the opportunity to fill up with petrol at Tesco, and then parked up near the centre of town for about an hour or so before I went to get on the ferry.

It was a 13:30 departure from Oban for Barra and the crossing to the Outer Hebrides would take 4 hours 45 minutes.

Leaving Oban
Isle of Mull with another CalMac ferry passing in the foreground
Not so Sunny now…

The first half of the ferry crossing was on the narrow stretch of water between the Isle of Mull and the West coast of the mainland. The scenery was great. After a couple of hours we left the shelter of the land and entered the open Atlantic Ocean. Still being a few hours before arriving at our destination, I went to have lunch at this point.

My first glimpse of the Outer Hebrides came when we were about half an hour out. My first stop is the Isle of Barra where I am staying in the village of Castlebay.

The route from Oban to Castlebay
There’s a reason the village is called Castlebay!
Kisimul Castle

My hotel was less than a minute drive from the ferry terminal…. So close I can see it from my room!

I have no mobile signal here – this is a remote part of the UK – but I do have Wi-Fi.

The ferry terminal as seen from the front door of my hotel

After checking in to my room I went for dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Castlebay is a small village but there are still a few options nearby where I can eat.

As it started to get dark I went for a walk around the village. I look forward to exploring the island properly later today. I’m going to do a circular route round the island, and also Vatersay, the neighbouring island which is connected by causeway.

Today isn’t a bank holiday in Scotland; Do I get a bank holiday in lieu?

I’m going for my breakfast now.


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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