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North Uist

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Outer Hebrides : North Uist
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North Uist or Uibhist A Tuathis is an island in the Outer Hebrides, north of Benbecula and south of Harris, with a total population of only about 1,200 people. It is generally flat and covered, especially in the north and east, by a very large number of lochans, or small lakes. It has no built up settlements, generally having a dispersed population scattered mainly over its western side, where the machair provides grazing for crofting. Despite this its history and culture is fascinating, and there are facilities for back-packing, camping and cycling.

Cities

  • Lochmaddy. Hardly a city, but a small settlement with a harbour, a couple of decent hotels, an information office, and one or two simple shops. The arts centre Taigh Chearsabhagh is to be found here.

Get in

By boat

  • Caledonian MacBrayne, [1]. Citylink coaches generally connect with the ferries on the mainland.

Uig on Skye to Lochmaddy on North Uist Mon-Sun 1 or 2 per day taking 1 hour 45 minutes.

Oban to Lochboisdale on South Uist 4 per week, taking 5+ hours.

Berneray to Leverburgh on Harris Daily 3-4 per day, taking 1 hour. Berneray is connected to North Uist by a causeway.

By air

In the Outer Hebrides, there are airports in Stornoway in Lewis, Benbecula and Barra. These airports provide direct flights to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. The nearest to North Uist is Benbecula

Causeways

North Uist is linked by causeway to Benbecula to the South and Berneray to the North.

By Bus

Buses link North Uist with Benbecula, and Berneray. As part of the Western Isles Overland Route combination of bus and ferry, you can travel in under a day from Stornoway or Castlebay on Barra.

Get around

By Bus

There are reasonable bus services during the day Mon - Sat, but little in the evening and no buses on a Sunday.

See

  • There are many fine sandy beaches, mainly on the Western shore of North Uist.
  • Balranald RSPB reserve [2]. Where corncrakes can be heard, if rarely seen.
  • Taigh Chearsabhagh [3] in Lochmaddy. This is an excellent art centre with a museum and gallery, a cafe, post office and a shop. Also worth seeing are the outdoor sculptures (ask inside for the guide leaflet).
  • The coastline around Lochmaddy and the road to Loch Portain is remarkable for the number of little sea lochans.

Do

Walk, cycle; visit the numerous artists studios; enjoy the unspoiled natural landscapes; North Uist is excellent for bird-watching and the coasts abound with sea-life.

Buy

  • Co-op at Sollas [4], open Mon-Sat 8.30-18.00.
  • Grocer in Lochmaddy
  • Shop at Bayhead
  • Shop at Clachan

Eat

For evening meals see the Hotels section. There is a cafe in Taigh Chearsabhagh in Lochmaddy.

Drink

  • Lochmaddy Hotel
  • Westford, pub on the west side of the island.

Sleep

The information office, near to the harbour, will provide information on bed and breakfast and camping as well as hotels. Mainland tourist information centres will also book ahead for you.

Hostels

  • There is a Gatliff hostel on nearby Berneray.
  • Uist Outdoor Centre in Lochmaddy[5].

Bed and Breakfasts

Some can be found on the tourist board website [6], but many are no longer listed due to the changes and "hassle".

  • The Old Courthouse Lochmaddy HS6 5AE +44 1876 500 358 Bed and Breakfast from 25 - 30 pounds per person per night. Around 10 minutes walk from the ferry.

Self Catering

Renting a house for a week or more is a popular option. Such places are generally let from Saturday to Saturday. Some of these can be found on the tourist board website [7].

Hotels

  • Tigh Dearg Hotel, Lochmaddy [8] 01876 500700 A new hotel (opened in 2005) located about 15 minutes walk from the ferry.
  • Lochmaddy Hotel [9] Tel: 01876 500331 An established hotel next the ferry terminal.
  • Langass Lodge, Locheport [10] 01876 580285
  • Temple View Hotel, Carinish [11] 01876 580676

Get out

Going North the next islands are Berneray then Harris and Lewis. Going South the next islands are Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay then Barra.



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