North Uist occupies a central position in the Outer Hebrides, a continuous chain of islands that lie off the West Coast of Scotland. It is much flatter than nearby South Uist, its highest hills being Eaval and South Lee that are 1,138ft (347m) and 898ft(281m) high respectively. It has an area of 117square miles and is connected by causeways to Benbecula via Grimsay, to Berneray and to Baleshare. The population of the whole island is no more than 1320 people (2001).
Along the Eastern side of North Uist there are high hills and undulating moors, dotted with innumerable lochs, most of which abound with Brown Trout making it an angler’s paradise.
The west coast is different again. Here we have rich machair meadows and land tenanted by thriving communities of crofters. Here the vegetation is more fertile and in springtime it is carpeted with wild flowers bordered by sand dunes that offer protection from the sea.
Skirting the whole of the west coast are miles of deserted silvery sands only inhabited by wild birds. Ornithologists and botanists will find much to interest them in this area and there are also opportunities to swim, snorkel, surf, beach comb or sunbath.
For those interested in history there is a veritable treasure trove of prehistoric forts, Neolithic sites, crannogs, duns, wheelhouses, chambered tombs, cairns and monoliths most in good states of preservation. Ecclesiastical ruins abound and even on some of the remote islets are cells and chapels dedicated to the Saints of old.
There is a strong Gaelic culture and local’s still tell tales of clan feuds, folklore and legend. Gather around the peat fires and hear local Gaelic songs composed to commemorate “battles long ago” or sung to the rhythm of certain types of work, such as rowing, milking, spinning and waulking the Harris Tweed.
Fantastic location and accommodation
– Hilary and Mike Photts
Living close to nature the islanders are deeply religious and it is local custom that on Sundays work comes to a standstill. Services are conducted in both Gaelic and English and visitors are very welcome.
There are so many interesting places to visit, do learn more about the area and its history in the attached PDF.