Island Hopping

My Scottish island hopping adventure continues: Yesterday I travelled on to my next island and today I wake up in the village of Lochboisdale on South Uist.

After breakfast yesterday morning I checked out of my hotel and before making a move I walked to the local community shop in Castlebay, Bùth Bharraigh for a look around at their local produce and gifts.

It was still raining, but this being the Outer Hebrides I didn’t let that disrupt my plans. I drove over to Vatersay and went for a walk along the beach – accompanied by a herd of cattle! On a narrow stretch of land on Vatersay there are two beaches; one is calm and sheltered, the other exposed to the Atlantic with rougher sea. To warm up after this walk I went to the community café for some cake.

Get out of the road!

Returning to the car, the herd of cattle which had walked along the beach were now walking along the road. This meant I had to be careful reversing out of the parking space; The cattle doesn’t know its highway code and at one point one of the calves was scratching its head against my wingmirror.

It had stopped raining by this point and I could sort of see the Sun through the clouds. I drove back to Castlebay, I still had some time before my ferry and I took the opportunity to go to the bank to get some more cash out (I like the Scottish banknotes issued by the RBS cash machines here, it is like having foreign currency!) and then I took the short boat ride across to Kisimul Castle, the castle which gives Castlebay its name.

It is a small castle with a lot of history and a few interesting photo opportunities too. I only spent a short time there as I wanted to get back and have some lunch before continuing my journey. On leaving the castle the boat goes all the way around the castle before returning to Castlebay.

Castlebay as seen from Kisimul Castle
Inside the Castle
Kisimul Castle

For lunch I went in to the Post Office which also doubles up as a small café serving hot drinks and home baking.

At this point I made a move and got on the road. It was about a 20 minute drive from Castlebay to the ferry terminal at Aird Mhòr (Ardmore). The ferry from there goes to the Isle of Eriskay, which since 2001 has had a road connection (a causeway) connecting it to the Isle of South Uist – my next destination.

Waiting at the ferry terminal

I arrived at the hotel probably around 5ish. It was (still) raining so after checking in I had a walk around and then settled in to my room watching the news, before going to have dinner around 7. Bake Off returned to TV last night so I watched that in my room after dinner.

Hopefully today it should dry up a little. There’ll be a fair amount of driving today as there is a whole new set of islands to eexplore today from Eriskay in the South to Bereneray in the North, all connected by to each other through a series of causeways.

Before I get on the road I’m going to have some breakfast.


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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