Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Isle of South Uist, Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles), is one of the Southern and Western group of the Outer Hebrides. It stretches 22 miles from North to South, and is 7 miles across East to West. The eastern and central parts of this long island are hilly and mountainous (Hecla 1,988 ft, Ben More 2,035 ft). The main port is in the South — Lochboisdale; through it you approach South Uist by steamer from the mainland.
South Uist is one of the most characteristic and most nearly prosperous of the Southern Celtic island crofting communities; and the traditional Hebridean life may be perceived at its most natural in 1,800 Gaelic-speaking islanders. By Celtic tradition, these islanders do not tend to gather in townships, but are spread fairly evenly over the surface of the island. For the most part, they are a land-working and crofting rather than a fishing community. South Uist has produced many notable pipers, and its tradition is military. Napoleon's Marshal Macdonald originated in blood from South Uist. The island is 95 per cent Catholic, but the most cordial relationship exists between these Catholic and Protestant Gaels. There is one pleasant stone Church of Scotland building, together with four Catholic churches, of which those at Bornish and at Eochar are of particular architectural interest in their Celtic simplicity, being among the first churches allowed to be built after the Catholic Emancipation. A recently erected 30 ft statue, “Our Lady of the Isles”, on a high and hilly outcrop of rock near the North has become a landmark for seamen. The sculptor was Hew Lorimer.
The island briefly entered British history as the scene of Prince Charles Edward Stuart's wanderings after his defeat in the '45. It was from this island that he was rescued by Flora MacDonald's heroism. South Uist suffered prominently in the policy of the Clearances, but eventually the tenacity of the islesmen was here happily able to overcome these and subsequent depredations. As in Barra and Eriskay, they are a spontaneous people of graceful manners.
One lengthy road runs down the island from North to South and by the side of the long machair or silvery western beach. Daliburgh, which is the nearest to a capital, is but a village. At first sight, this lack of townships gives South Uist a deserted look, which it soon loses after a day or two in exploration and conversation amongst a people easy to talk with.
South Uist possesses over 190 fresh-water lochs, of which many are filled with excellent brown trout and some with noble sea-trout, among the best and most sporting in the British Isles. A man who loves fishing, and who is in sympathy with the Scottish Gaelic ethos in its most attractive form, will find South Uist a paradise for holiday-making. Loch Druidibeg is full of only small trout, but is celebrated as a nature reserve.
Nearby islands: Isle of Barra, Isle of Benbecula, Isle of Coll, Isle of Eriskay, Isle of North Uist, Isle of Tiree
Nearby towns: Castlebay, Mallaig, Oban
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation