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Vatersay ( in Scottish Gaelic is Bhatarsaigh) is in Outer Hebrides, off the coast of the West Islands.It is joined by bridge from Barra. Also the village of the island is called Vatersay


Vatersay has a population of only 90 inhabitants, but the number is declining, as from the census of 2011.

The only village is called Vatersay too which is on the south tip of the island, overlooking the uninhabited islands in the south; for example Muldoanich, Sadday or Pabbay.

Crofting always has been an important way of life, all the inhabitants of the island live on Fishing industry and crofting, while tourism never was a good industry in the island, for its remoteness and isolation, if not for some even bleakness. But under this neglecting and being overlooked by tourists thinking that Scotland ends in Glasgow, this hidden gem has a stunning view and landscape that should deserve a day or two there.

There are no human or modern sounds like of traffic, cars or anything else, but instead noises that come from nature like seagulls, wind, sheep and from the Ocean.

There is no overpopulation or being crowded and little space, so there is plenty of space and peace and quiet all over the island.


Iron Age[edit]

It is identified that humans have settled on the island during the Iron age, in fact some Iron Age sites of an Iron Age broch at Dun a' Chaolais overlooking the Sound of Vatersay and nearby is a passage grave dated to the 3rd millennium BC. There is also a Bronze Age cemetery at Treasabhaig south of the heights of Theiseabhal Mòr and a cairn built circa 1000 BC west of the village of Vatersay. The offshore islet of Biruaslum has a walled fort that may be of Neolithic provenance.

Medieval times[edit]

When the Romans left, there was a gigantic change to see of what the abandoned Britons, butthe Germanic tribes didn't reach Scotland and there maybe a chance that like all the Pictish tribes of that era would've raided Northen England and Northern Ireland; which maybe the people of Vatersay did. During the Viking age the Outer Hebrides fell under their rule, but there is no sign of any Viking settlement on the island.

Modern Times[edit]

In 1908 unhappiness grew in the islands for decent land for crofting and a home, so in that year 10 crofters settled on the island and built their own crops and house, but at the same time burn down and raid the land of the rich owners. The Scottish government stented those men to prison, but then unhappiness grew even bigger and eventually the government bought the island for free crofting.

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Celtic culture is strong in Scotland, especially in the Outer Hebrides, and being in a Celtic influence for over two thousand years, the culture is very strong, this is in the case of Vatersay. During the year there are festivals and celebrations connected to the Celts.


Gaelic is spoken by all the inhabitants of Vatersay, which is their first language, but they are all bilingual too, talking both Scottish Gaelic and English. Some have very strong Scottish accents but you will be understood.

Mini Dictionary

-Scottish Gaelic -English

  • halò hello
  • dè do truma? how are you?
  • fine fine
  • far ise where is
  • madainn mhath/feasgar math/oidhche mhath good morning/afternoon/night
  • Cuir tha a-nuas Write it down
  • clì left
  • cead right
  • tuath North
  • deas South
  • ear East
  • siar West
  • eilan island
  • Gàidhlig Gaelic
  • Sasannach English
  • Labhair beagan Gàidhlig I speak little Gaelic

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