7 Days on South Uist
South Uist is our new Hebridean hotspot, with loads to do and a huge variety of quality accommodation on offer it has become one of the must-see destinations in the Hebrides. Here are some suggestions for spending a week here and some great places to stay.
Sandcastles on the beach
Fudaigh is a brilliant family house, it is dog friendly and within walking distance of the beach. Bring your bucket and spade and a picnic and spend the whole day playing in the golden sand, the chances are you will have the entire expanse to yourself. When its time to retire you can watch the sunset from the bright and spacious living room.
A dram on the deck
Beachcombers Cottage has stunning views over the sound of Eriskay where, in 1941, the SS Politician sank with its cargo of whisky. This was the basis for the legend and classic film of Whisky Galore which has entranced visitors for generations. An original bottle salvaged from the wreck is on display in the cottage, another in the appropriately named Politician, the only pub on nearby Eriskay. The deck outside the house makes a very atmospheric spot to gaze across to the spot the SS Politician sank for a wee dram as the sun goes down.
A walk with the dog
Eriskay is now connected to South Uist by a causeway so is very easily accessible. Conan Mara is in the main village of the island, sleeps 7 and is dog friendly. A fabulous walk from the house is a loop that takes in Prince’s Beach, the historic spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie first set foot on Scottish soil. On the way home you can stop off at the pub (which also welcomes dogs) before returning to relax by the wood burning stove.
A boat trip to the edge of the world
St Kilda is one of the most mesmerising places on the planet and South Uist is one of the easiest places to visit from. During the summer, Uist Sea Tours run regular boat trips out to the islands as well as running dolphin and puffin spotting tours. The pier at Lochboisdale from where the boats depart is only a few minutes from Beach View Cottage. This is a brilliant spot to take in the wild expanse of this coastline where you can see deer running wild and otters running over the beach.
Sample some seafood
The waters around South Uist are home to an abundance of seafood and every visitor should sample some on holiday. The Pollachar Inn is one of the best places to try something freshly caught. The menu changes depending on what is available but expect to find lobster, scallops, crab claws and prawns. Smiddy Cottage is a five-star luxury thatched cottage that was built only 10 years ago but to a traditional design using local materials. It is brilliantly atmospheric and is a great romantic retreat but best of all It is just a short walk along the beach to the Pollachar Inn. Your canine pal is welcome too.
Play a round on an Old Tom Morris course
Askernish golf course was designed by the legendary figure of Tom Morris in 1891 It is probably one of the best-preserved examples of his work and is an absolute delight to play. The golf club is on an extremely scenic location on the machair overlooking the Atlantic with plenty of sand traps to challenge you. Non-members are welcome and play is permitted on Sunday. Just a few minutes away snuggled unassumingly into the side of a hill is the most exquisite hobbit hole you will ever come across. Hebridean Earth House blends perfectly into the landscape and makes a fantastic and unusual place to stay while you explore the island.
Bike to Barra
The roads around the island are perfect for cycling, being relatively flat and free from traffic. One of the best trips you can do from South Uist is a day trip to Barra, there is no charge to take your bike on the ferry from Eriskay and you easily have enough time to make a complete circuit of the island while seeing all the sights before getting the ferry back. Coastal View Cottage is warm and luxurious and has a large lockable shed with drying rack, perfect if you are taking your bike with you.