The Uists in Winter A photographic safari

In Nature, Scotland, Travel, UK
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In Donald Munro‘s A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland Called Hybrides of 1549, North Uist, Benbecula (with Grimsay) and South Uist are described as one island of Ywst (Uist). While, in reality, navigating among these separate islands then required considerable time, planning and good weather, “The Uists” are now physically united by causeways, forming the 130-mile “Long Island” Outer Hebrides chain together with the still separate islands of Barra and Lewis and Harris.

Travel

The sea crossing from Uig, Skye to Lochmaddy can be edgy in winter, but CalMac‘s MV Hebrides is a large, well stabilised vessel and a fair proportion of the journey is spent in protected coastal waters

Tigh na Boireach, a restored Hebridean blackhouse, our base at Clachan Sands, North Uist

Lochmaddy, a rare population centre on an island censused at 1,619 in 2011, recedes into the distance as the return ferry departs for Uig

North Uist

Clachan Sands and the hills of Harris

Westerly winds at sunrise blow storm clouds over the burial ground at Hòrnais, Clachan Sands

Dead rabbit, Hòrnais

Views from Sponish Bridge, Lochmaddy. The stone structure, “Hut of the Shadows”, is a camera obscura

Although only 347m in height, Eaval dominates the low lying landscape of North Uist

Derelict corrugated iron house, Loch Minish, near Lochmaddy

Single track A865 road to Lochmaddy

Views from the moorland road to Loch Portain, near Lochmaddy

Struan Cottage, Vallay Strand, Sollas, another restored Hebridean blackhouse

Port nan Long

Loch an Sticir, with Dùn an Sticir, an Iron Age broch fort (on an island, top right)

Harris ferry

The causeway to Berneray

View to Berneray at dawn

Berneray

The causeway to North Uist

Views toward Harris from the Borgh area

Burial ground, Beinn Shleibhe

Loch Brusda and distant North Uist from the summit of Beinn Shleibhe

Triangulation point on Beinn Shleibhe, looking across the Sound of Harris

Boreray island and the sand dune system of western Berneray

Berneray’s beautiful western beach and dunes

Boreray

The flooded machair and dune system

Loch Bhuigh at sunset

Standing stone, Loch Bhuigh and North Uist

The hills of south Harris from Berneray

Benbecula

Sunrise at Loch a ‘Chinn Uacraich

Images from the road through the mosaic of coastal lochs and moorland to Peter’s Port

South Uist and Eriksay

Views of the Beinn Mhòr and Thacla range of hills, South Uist. At 620m, Beinn Mhòr is the highest hill in the Uists

Lochboisdale harbour

Barra from Eriksay ferry port

Coilleag a’ Phrionnsa beach, Eriksay

Views across the Sound of Barra from Kilbride, South Uist

Wildlife

Young red deer stags from the moorland road to Loch Portain, North Uist

Common seals in Loch a’ Bhàigh, Berneray

Grey heron

Lapwings and barnacle geese in front of the Harris hills from Clachan Sands, North Uist

Common raven

Clockwise: female kestrel, white-tailed eagle, great northern diver, common crane (a visitor to Berneray)

Male stonechat

Barnacle geese and carrion (hooded) crow, Berneray

Sanderlings

Oystercatchers

Herring gull

Common buzzard

One of many dead rabbits in the dunes behind Clachan Sands, North Uist, an area frequented by numerous buzzards and other raptors

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16 Comments

  1. The photographs of the Hebrides are absolutely stunning. Thank you.

    • Thank you Mairi, it was sad to leave and I hope to return soon.

  2. Thankyou for these beautiful pictures I never tire of these views in spite of spending a month there every year for the last 27 years I cannot wait for end of May when we will return

    • Thank you Jean, how wonderful that you can return regularly. I’d love to visit in spring and summer to enjoy the flowering machair and breeding birds.

  3. Great work Chris, fantastic pictures!
    Head for the southern beachs & machair of South Uist on your next vist… absolutely stunning in Spring/Summer, particularly Boisdale

  4. Happy memories surface of a trip made to these beautiful islands long ago; an exhilarating climb to Eaval’s summit and a sense of wistfulness on leaving, I thought never to return…. Thank you. R

    • Thank you Robert. The Uist hills seemed dramatic and dominating beyond their size as they rise from their flat surroundings. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  5. Really enjoyed a photo visit to the beautiful Outer Hebrides. Already booked and looking forward to another visit in May. Many thanks.

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