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Welcome toNorth Uist

Get the best views of the Outer Hebrides, and watch out for seals, redshanks, and the finest smoked sea trout.

1 of 6 Balranald Beach, North Uist

More about North Uist

Ideal for:

Nature & wildlife History & heritage Wildlife Watching Walking

The highest peaks, excellent wildlife, and a smokehouse

Keep an eye out for seals from the ferry to North Uist - the island has Europe's largest breeding colony, with 9,000 pups born each year. North Uist is also perfect for birdwatchers: the nature reserve at Balranald is the best place to go looking for the secretive corncrake, as well as lapwings, redshanks and oystercatchers.

North Uist has some of the highest peaks on the Outer Hebrides - climb up the steep cone of Eaval on a clear day for glittering views across to St Kilda. You can go sea kayaking and scuba diving, or head to one of the secluded beaches for a chance to watch otters on the shore. For a peak into the Neolithic history of the island, go to Barpa Langass, a 5,000-year-old burial chamber thought to be the burial place of a chieftain. Don't miss a trip to the Hebridean Smokehouse, either, for a real taste of the exceptional seafood smoked in the traditional way.

For more information on North Uist visit the Visit Outer Hebrides website. 

Take care on our coast: slips and falls can happen in all locations, not just high cliffs. Check out these  RNLI Safety Tips   #RespectTheWater

For more information on what to expect in the Outer Hebrides now it is gradually opening its doors once again, watch the video below. 

 Find out about Scottish Island Passport here


How to get here

The North Uist ferry runs from Uig on Skye, landing at Lochmaddy. The journey takes 1 hour 45 minutes. You can also get a ferry from Leverburgh on Harris to Berneray, and drive south. Vehicle reservations are recommended on these routes. You can book travel online, and when you do, you'll immediately receive an eTicket direct to your inbox - ready to board.

Buy Tickets

Want to take a look at South Uist? You can drive from North Uist, via a number of causeways.

Looking for the best form of travel to and from our ports? Our Journey Planner can help you find the way that best suits you for making your journey using the most up to date information from around the UK for all transport companies.

We have listed some travel information below that you may find useful:

Getting to Skye from the mainland

By car

You have two options - drive to Mallaig and go over the sea to Skye, or drive further north to Kyle of Lochalsh and cross to Skye via the bridge. The ferry from Mallaig to Skye takes 30 minutes and docks at Armadale. from where you can drive north to Uig, which takes about 90 minutes. Can't decide? Do one on the way there, the other on the way back.

For electric vehicle users there are a number of charging points available on the way.  Rapid charging points are available in Mallaig's West Bay Car Park just a short distance from the Ferry Terminal. For those travelling over the Skye Bridge, charging points are available in Fort William and Shielbridge.  Once on Skye, charging points can be found at the Aros Community Cultural Centre and the Bayview Car Park, both in Portree.

Helpful tips for driving on North Uist

Video transcript - How to drive on single track roads

Postcode for sat nav:

Mallaig Port: PH41 4QD

Uig Port: IV51 9XX

Travelling without a car

By bus

The bus from Fort William to Uig takes 3 hours 40 minutes, on average, and the views on the drive north are some of the most beautiful in Scotland.  Local buses operate across the Outer Hebrides but users are advised to check timetables carefully before embarking on their journey.

Check out our Journey Planner for routes and timetables.

By Foot

North Uist has a varied landscape with the west side being dominated by machair and sandy beaches and the east a maze of freshwater lochans.  The highest peak is Eaval, standing at 347m high and commanding spectacular views of the island, the mountains of Harris to the North and the Beinn Mhor group on South Uist.  There are plenty of opportunities to walk on North Uist but remember your boots, as the island is dominated by the water environment you may find it very boggy underfoot.  For a list of walks on North Uist visit the Visit Outer Hebrides site.

By Bike

Due to its varied landscape, cycling on North Uist can be as challenging as you want it to be.  Cycling along the west coast of North Uist gives breathtaking views and the going is relatively good.  The east coast route between Carnan and Lochmaddy is on a wider faster road with some testing hills.  The Hebridean Way Cycling Route follows the east coast route through the island. Bikes are available to hire on the island, see Visit Outer Hebrides for further information.

Note: If you're bringing your bike, please add your bike(s) to your booking, - this means that you have more certainty about space. This ticket will remain free of charge.

Plan your journey at CycleStreets  

Have you thought about alternate routes to get to your chosen destination?

With 5 routes to and from the Outer Hebrides and great connectivity throughout the island chain the travel options available have never been greater.

Whether you are looking to explore on an Island Hopping holiday or find a different route home we offer a variety of daily sailings to ensure that you can reach your ideal destination.

Here are the 5 route options to the Outer Hebrides

Castlebay (Barra) from Oban
Lochboisdale (Uists) from Oban and from Mallaig (available during winter)
Lochmaddy (Uists) from Uig (Skye)
Tarbert (Harris) from Uig (Skye)
Stornoway (Lewis) from Ullapool

Travelling with Campervans/Motorhomes/Caravans

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) request that visitors in caravans, motorhomes and campervans stay in official campsites and or designated overnight spots. Plan your trip carefully by booking sites where you can and do not stay out with these campsites/overnight spots. This will help to manage numbers, alleviate pressure on our fragile environment and avoid excessive impact on our communities. Please follow our P.L.A.C.E visitor code and help to keep the Outer Hebrides special. Find out more about changes that have been made to taking  Motorhomes and Campervans in the Outer Hebrides  

In addition motorhomes, campervans and those vehicles towing a caravan will not be able to join standby queues at ports on the following routes. Find out more about changes that have been made to the motorhomes, campervans and caravans standby process.

Useful information for your journey

For those travelling onward without a vehicle find out more about the bus services  offered throughout the Outer Hebrides.

Download the free Ultimate Outer Hebrides App  your ideal journey companion.

Keep up to date with all our CalMac services and Service status & info.

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