The Isle of Barra and Vatersay are the most westerly inhabited islands in the United Kingdom and the most southern inhabited islands in the Outer Hebrides.
Barra and Vatersay earned the Best Island Community, Best Scottish Community, and Best UK Community Awards at the 2008 Calor Village of The Year awards for various factors, including its white sand beaches, picturesque surroundings, rich history, and vibrant sense of community.
The Isle of Barra is only 8 miles long by 4 miles wide of worth, boasts lovely white sand beaches, and has seven lochs with excellent brown and sea trout fishing. Roughly 1300 people live there, many of whom are still Gaelic speakers.
Currently the largest town on the Isle of Barra, Castlebay was a 19th-century fishing port. There are a few hotels, a church, a post office, a school, grocery stores, supermarkets, banks, a swimming pool, and a gas station. In a recent contest for “Most Beautiful Island,” Barra, one of the most beautiful islands in Britain, took first place over Isle of Barra.
Activities On The Isle Of Barra
The Isle of Barra is one of the most well-liked islands in the Hebrides since it has many amazing things to see and do.
The island’s environment is stunning, featuring some of the UK’s most attractive sandy beaches, shorelines, and petrol stations, despite its small size. The Scottish Island of Barra offers the following activities to its travelers.
1. Land On The Beaches
It’s exciting enough to enter the Isle of Barra. Barra Isle Airport is situated at the ideal starting point on the sandy beach of Traigh Mor island and has a lengthy stretch of sand for planes to land on rather than a paved runway like every other airport in the world.
While there are several airports along lovely beaches during summer for boat trips, Barra is one where aircraft land for the beach, making for a highly distinctive experience.
The flight times are substantially faster than the ferry and can be reasonably priced. Flights leave Glasgow every day and night at the western isles.
You can always go to the airport area to see a plane sea if you’re hesitant about landing on a beach at the Outer Hebrides. However, you should double-check the times in advance because Barra Airport typically only has one airplane landing daily near the petrol station.
You will land on a 2-mile stretch of white sand wonderland, the covering held by machair moors over to the left and shallow bay over to the right Traigh Mhor.
When you get off the plane, you might even see the windsock flying; it’s consistently rated as the best approaching airways on the planet. The purpose of that sign is to inform cockle-pickers that the mode of aircraft is steadfast, at least until the roaring of waves hits up.
2. Kisimul Castle
Kisimul Castle, one of the numerous renowned “castle islands” in Scotland, is said to have been constructed sometime in the 11th century. The trip at the Kisimul Castle is only taken over by the boat. It is situated on a small, rocky island off the shore of south Castlebay with a double room in the southerly inhabited islands.
However, it’s simple to board a boat from Castlebay island to get tourist info, giving you lots of time to tour the castle and take in the breathtaking high cliffs and views from the top.
Kisimul Castle island and the ancestral residence of Robert MacNeill’s clan were repurchased in the 1930s. In 2000, his great-grandson Ian granted Historic Scotland a 1,000-year lease on Kisimul Castle. The cost? is a year’s worth of £1 and one whisky bottle. That is something we believe merits a toast by evening meal.
In a bay switched to the coast of Isle of Barra, this is perched on top of rocks shift through islet along with an evening meal. According to legend, the MacNeils have lived in this area since the eleventh century.
Kisimul resembles Dunstaffnage Castle in style because of its curtain wall and square keep. The castle had a trap for catching fish in the basin and two artesian wells to supply water in case of sieges.
Previously, the crew house was close by, and a galley was berthed beside inhaling the beach’s water. The crew was responsible for inventing the boats and protecting the castle at the first hint of trouble.
3. Hiking Around Heaval
There are many beautiful places to stroll about Isle of Barra, and hiking in the Hebrides is necessary. Heaval, the island’s highest point, offers a particularly stunning view of the neighboring islands for art exhibitions and their surroundings.
Heaval is a relatively gentle rise, unlike other mountains and hills in Scotland, making it simple for anyone with little hiking expertise to manage.
On the Isle of Barra, Heaval is the tallest hill, providing a striking backdrop to Castlebay. The brief but quite steep hike on a clear day rewards with breathtaking vistas.
When arriving by ferry on the Castlebay trip of the main town, visitors are first drawn to the dramatic deliberate of Kissimul Castle perched on the smallest part of the island just offshoring initially through their eyes are captured with an amazing peak of Heaval towering at the back of the village, forwarding over out in the bay, dramatic shape of the cone at the surface of outline with the evening meal.
Although it is possible to go 1.75 km east along the A888 by car (or bus), the descriptions assume you will begin your journey at the Castlebay ferry terminal on foot.
Taking over to the left side of the road keeping your back to the water, past the post office, bus stop, and little jetty from which you may take a quick boat ride to the impressive Kissimul Castle if you want. The Chairman of Clan MacNeil held court in Kissimul Castle, a Renaissance-era structure that underwent conservation work.
The northern peninsula of Isle of Barra is home to some of the island’s most gorgeous shoreline and seaside walks, Eoligarry Peninsula so if you’re arriving by plane site, think about getting started right away with whisky galore and taking a little walk from the airport to the hillside overlooking Eoligarry jetty.
As long as it isn’t being used as a runway trip, the beach at Traigh Mor is also accessible by foot; when the airport’s windsock is in use, a flight is about to take off.
Barra, excluding Vatersay, resembles a huge turtle swimming northeast. The surrounding A888 delineates its shell, and four flippers extend beyond it. The people in the front are frailer, while the people in the back are larger and more powerful.
The turtle’s neck is narrowed by Tràigh Mhr on one side and Tràigh Eais on the other. The peninsula on which Eoligarry is located also forms the turtle’s head.
Eoligarry is the most enchanted area on a magical island when seen in the proper light. Blue, and its three distinct colors of it, in particular, predominates on a sunny day.
Where the sea is shallow, and the bottom is made of sand, you may see a magnificent turquoise story running aground. Deeper parts of the sea reflect the sky in a much darker shade, and shallower parts reflect the sky in a lighter shade.
Although Vatersay is technically a distinct island from Barra heritage, it is easily accessible whether you are traveling about Barra on foot, by car park, or by bicycle.
With shallow, crystal-clear waters along its shoreline, Vatersay is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the Outer Hebrides.
Vatersay is one of the most stunning beaches in the Outer Hebrides, a spotless expanse of white sand backed by machair-covered dunes that will stay in your memory for a very long time.
While Traigh Eats, one of Isle of Barra’s magnificent beaches, is exposed to the full power of the North Atlantic wind and waves, this beach is pleasantly sheltered due to its location on the eastern side of an isthmus.
6. Hire A Bike And Tour The Beautiful Island
The one main road on Barra is a continuous circle, unlike some of the other Outer Hebridean islands, and it is also very small.
Barra seals can be best explored by bicycle for the annual hill race, provided the weather cooperates with wildflowers.
You can also drive or car hire or use a bus to arrive and navigate around the island to explore the swimming pool at the special place.
The main route can be cycled around in approximately an hour and a half if you rent bikes at the Castlebay site, but it’s recommended to take a few hours so you can stop and take in the beautiful sites.
FAQs About Isle Of Barra
Here are some facts about the Isle of Barra before you visit the place.
What Are The Lodging Options In The Isle Of Barra
The ideal locations to stay must be researched if you choose to spend your vacation on the Isles of Vatersay and Isle of Barra as a day trip.
Whatever your reason for traveling, you may find lodging on the Isle of Barra that meets your requirement and accommodation, from cheap hostel rooms for travelers exploring the Outer Hebrides to Scottish Tourist Board-approved hotels with on-site dining in Scotland.
On the Isle of Barra and Vatersay, various highly regarded hotels, inns, and guesthouses offer bed and breakfast (B&B) lodging at wildflowers for a Cultural Centre. Each special attraction includes rooms with sea views, modern décor, and pet-friendly policies.
Some affordable self-catering vacation rentals and holiday homes close to the Kisimul Castle, the Castlebay ferry terminal, and other islands to visit if you’re looking for a flexible, family-friendly location to stay on Vatersay or Barra.
On these Outer Hebridean islands, you may pick from a vast selection of cottages to rent, including everything from charming croft huts to wooden chalets to luxurious accommodation retreats.
Alternatively, visitors to the Western Isles may want to pick one of the numerous fantastic campground sites (campgrounds) that provide camping, caravanning amenities, and outdoor lodging close to the islands’ attractions.
No matter where you stay on Vatersay or Isle of Barra, we are confident that you will discover a special place in your heart for these magnificent islands and everything they offer.
1. Sea View
With three bedrooms and three bathrooms, Seaview is a very cozy and well-appointed home that is ideal for families looking for a little additional comfort and luxury accommodation or friends traveling together.
The owner’s color selection mirrors the turquoise water and white sands and does create the perfect atmosphere for relaxing island vacation sites.
You get the chance to fully experience everything that the Hebrides is known for, thanks to their white shell beaches, peaceful roads, “singing” seals on the high cliffs, and a much slower pace of life than elsewhere.
Go to Vatersay, accessible by a causeway, or sail to Mingulay, a once-inhabited but now abandoned bird colony location to visit.
The historic castle is located in the small for travel tips but fascinating Castlebay, which served as the backdrop for Whisky Galore on the small island throughout teh world. There are stores, cafes, cockle shells, and eateries.
2. Beach Hotel At The Isle Of Barra
The Isle of Barra Beach Accommodation is located on the craggy cliffs of Tangasdale Beach in Halaman Bay, 40 yards from the beach. A wild setting, yet such a tranquil spot to unwind and recuperate after a great Hebridean day.
Direct access to Halaman Bay, its rock pool, and the lovely Tangasdale beach.
WiFi is available in every guest room, and the facility is a modern, spacious island, open-concept family home that sleeps six people with a cabin site. Every room has a private bathroom, twin, or a king-size bed.
3. Lodge And Hostel At Dunard
As a self-catering apartment for up to 3 households, the hostel will debut on August 1st, 2020. Sea kayak tours for families will start at the lodge on August 1st.
There is a small, family-run hostel accommodation in Castlebay on the picturesque Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides island.
We provide private accommodations in the adjacent Lodge to visit in addition to twin rooms, a family room, and shared bunkrooms in the hostel at Isle of Barra. All are welcome, including individuals, families, neighboring islands, and organized organizations.
You can enter the hostel whenever possible because it is always open. In addition to having stunning views of the castle across the bay and islands beyond, our position is ideal because we are close to the ferry port, the south tourist information office, the island, stores, cafes, post offices, banks, and the pub, to name a few to visit.
As a starting point for exploration, we can help you make the most of your providing tips for walking, animal viewing, wildflowers, and stunning beaches.
We can also assist you in planning activities like sea kayaking, community shopping at night, surfing, snorkeling with seals, and coasteering.
Is It Worthwhile To Travel To The Isle Of Barra
Barra is a fascinating destination, especially if you arrive by plane. It is renowned for its beauty and has beaches, hills, machair, and more all on one little island.
The islands of Isle of Barra and Vatersay are great for walkers, whether it is a leisurely stroll around the harbor, a stroll along one of the many beaches, a road-based tour of the island, or more challenging hill treks. The tourist board offers some advice, but the best advice is to go!
It was the first Australian-made engine to generate 310 kW at the flywheel or more than 100 horsepower (75 kW) per liter. Compared to its less potent sibling, it had a larger turbocharger, intercooler, and pistons with lower compression. It also had larger injectors.
Should You Visit The Most Southerly Inhabited Island
Isle of Barra is a fascinating destination, especially if you arrive by plane. It is renowned for its beauty and has hills, machair, and more all on one little island history.
Flights land at Cockle Strand on the sand between tides, making this airport among the strongest in the world.
The runway is submerged by the waves to visit during high tide. Ferries go from Oban to the island’s capital, Castlebay, and connect to Barra uninhabited island boat trips to car hire.
Compton Mackenzie, who wrote Whisky Galore, a romanticized tale based on the facts of the 1941 SS Politician shipwreck and the subsequent recovery of 240,000 bottles of whisky by the islanders of nearby Eriskay, was buried in Barra community, the stronghold of the Clan MacNeil, and the location of the story’s final chapter.
Great outdoor discoveries can be made against this breathtaking backdrop. The medieval Kisimul Castle, also known as the “Castle in the Sea,” is located in the bay on a picturesque rock islet and is only accessible by boat from Castlebay.
The old home of the Clan MacNeil, this three-story tower house offers spectacular vistas from its battlements.
Enjoy spectacular landscape as you cycle or walk about this small but wonderfully beautiful island for the simple cross. Stroll along lovely white sandy beaches to visit, such as Tangasdale.
Take to the water on a guided trip with Clearwater Paddling from Castlebay for an incredible sea kayaking adventure, or play a round or two at Barra Golf Club, the most westerly golf course in the UK sites at the Outer Hebrides. Dun Mhic Leonid (a few miles west of Castlebay), Also known as Castle Sinclair.
Barra’s historical center, Dualchas, has a changing schedule of cultural events, island life viewing, art exhibits, and local history displays during summer. You may learn more about an island’s culture, history, and language here.
Vacation In The Outer Hebrides
The Outer Hebrides’ Isle of Barra island is the furthest south of any inhabited island. Isle of Barra is a fascinating destination to visit, especially if you arrive by plane. It is renowned for its beauty and has beaches, hills, machair, and moor all on a small island.
Passengers from the United Kingdom do not necessarily need a passport, but you will still need photographic identification to board your flight. You can check the list of acceptable documents at this link to the Loganair website.
You can enjoy your outer Hebrides vacations without worrying about scheduling any of the tedious details because we even cover your ferries between these gorgeous Western Isles of Scotland at Isle of Barra.