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Scottish Island Adventures Podcast​

Itinerary #2: Barra, Vatersay and Eriskay


Barra, Vatersay and Eriskay


man watching Barra - Eriskay ferry

Barra and Vatersay sit on the most southern end of the Outer Hebrides, and although small, are long famed for their beautiful beaches, machair and rolling hills. 

With an exciting mix of contrasting island experiences, there is something on offer for everyone. 


For the foodies... 

Fresh seafood platter

The Outer Hebrides have some of the very best seafood, smokehouses, distilleries and crofting produce available to enjoy. 

Buth Bharraigh  is a marketplace for local crofters and producers selling food and craft products. It started off as a monthly market, and thanks to its success, it now opens all year round for islanders and visitors alike - a treasure trove of local delights. 

Castlebay Hotel is well-known for the quality of its food - with fresh seafood landing most days on Barra, they offer an extensive fish and shellfish menu, as well as some fantastic alternatives to enjoy - all savoured while enjoying the panoramic views over the harbour. 



For the thrill seekers... 

Woman surfing on Barra

Grab your walking boots and hike to Barra's highest summit,  Heaval  and experience breathtaking views in all directions, especially to the south across Castlebay, and all the way down to Mingulay and beyond. Just below the summit, you will find the statue of the Virgin and Child, known as 'Our Lady of the Sea'. 

If you're looking for the perfect cycling challenge, The Hebridean Way could be the answer! 

The on-road route can begin in Vatersay and will take you through 185 miles (297km) of incredible scenery, all the way to the Butt of Lewis on the Outer Hebrides. In either direction, you'll travel through 10 distinctive and beautiful islands, using 2 ferries, crossing 6 causeways, and making memories of an adventure that will surely stay with you forever. Complete the route at a pace that suits you - there's plenty to see and savour along the way.

Barra bike hire (Hebridean Way) 


For the history enthuasists... 

Kisimul Castle

To the east of the island in Eoilgarry, you will find Cille Bharra - the remains of a medieval church dedicated to St Barr who the island is named after. The best-preserved building on the site is the north chapel and inside this can be seen a full-size replica of an elaborate Norse rune stone which was found in the cemetery in 1865. 

Learn all about the local culture and history of Barra at Barra Heritage Centre . Discover art exhibitions, events and history displayed across two main galleries. 


For the wildlife lovers ... 

Mingulay puffins

Set off on an unforgettable boat trip to the Island of Mingulay and surrounding islands, they are amongst the most beautiful and remote areas of the Outer Hebrides. Known to have some of the finest coastal landscapes in Scotland, they also have an exceptional natural and cultural heritage. 

Important populations of breeding species of seabirds inhabit the island such as puffins, eagles and razorbills. And keep your eyes peeled while on the coast too, as dolphins, seals, basking sharks and whales can be spotted too!  

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