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Walking on Uist and Barra

40 coastal, moorland and mountain walks on all the isles of Uist and Barra

A guidebook to walking on the Uists and Barra, in the Outer Hebrides - with 40 graded day walks on Berneray, North Uist, Grimsay, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay, Barra, Vatersay and Mingulay. Routes range from easy beach walks to mountainous excursions and explore rugged hills, awesome sea cliffs, moorland and lochs.


suitable for year-round walking, although probably best between April and August when daylight hours are long, and wildlife and wildflowers are most prolific


the principal centres are close to the ferry terminals: Castlebay, Barra; Lochboisdale, South Uist and Lochmaddy, North Uist. Balivanich, beside the airport, is the main service centre for Benbecula


walks range in length from 3km to 17km (1 - 7 hours). Low-level walks, along beaches and across machair, are generally less demanding. Walks over moorland and hills are challenging and require good navigational skills

Must See

the cliffs of Mingulay; the sands of Vatersay; Barra - Caisteal Chiosmuil; Eriskay - Coilleag a'Phrionnsa; South Uist - Beinn Mhòr; Benbecula - View from Ruabhal; Grimsay - Sea Eagle; North Uist - Scolpaig arches; Berneray - West beach
17 Jan 2023
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.15cm

A guidebook to 40 walks on the Scottish islands of Berneray, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay, Barra, Vatersay and Mingulay in the Outer Hebrides. From short easy walks to demanding hill walks, many on pathless terrain, there are routes to suit all abilities.

Covering mountains, moor and coast, walks range from 3 to 17km (2–11 miles) and can be enjoyed in 1–8 hours.

  • 1:50,000 OS maps included for each walk
  • Sized to easily fit in a jacket pocket
  • Notes on getting to the walks’ starting points
  • Information on the islands’ geology, history, plants and wildlife
  • Travel advice, useful contacts and a Gaelic glossary

Table of Contents
Mike Townsend Cicerone author MTOWNSEND

By Mike Townsend

Mike Townsend's love of the outdoors began with teenage walking holidays in the Lake District and Snowdonia. Later, at Edinburgh University, he began exploring the Highlands, and in 1969 first glimpsed the Uists and Barra from Skye. After graduating in Geology, he was a freelance mineralogist during the 70s, which involved extensive travel and occasional mountaineering in South America and Australasia.

Mike moved to Barra in 1980 to become a Geography teacher, relocating to Benbecula in 1988. He has spent many periods since then, even more since retiring in 2010, exploring the islands, particularly their more remote, unfrequented areas.

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