Croft Garden Cottage
South Uist - Outer Hebrides

Island Life

The Outer Hebrides are are unique and diverse chain of islands linked by a traditional way of life and culture that has its roots in crofting and fishing. Each island has its own character, a mysterious combination of landscape, history and culture. These are quiet islands, they do not flaunt their riches and will only reveal their mysteries to those who have the time to stand and stare.

However you chose to spend your time it will be against a backdrop of rugged hills and rolling moorlands or seascapes with wide horizons. Living on the edge of the the mythical kingdom of Tir nan Og - the land of the ever young, the islanders understand the meaning of time. Here there is always the space, time and tranquility to dream.

Crofting & Fishing
Berneray harbour

The traditional industries of crofting, fishing and weaving, are still important elements in the community and cultural life of the islands. There is no better way to experience the richness of the life of the crofting communities than to visit the traditional agricultural shows, local highland games or sheepdog trials.

The herring fleets may have disappeared but fishing for shellfish is still part in island life, with many small boats catching lobster and crabs in creels in the coastal waters. A visit to Kallin harbour on the small island of Grimsay to buy fresh shellfish, to look at the boats or visit the small boat building museum is part of any Hebridean holiday.

Great Outdoors
bird watching

For the adventurous and romantically inclined there are boat trips to the distant islands of St. Kilda, the Monachs or Mingulay or wildlife spotting trips through the Minch along the islands' rugged east coast. For the more energetic there are hill walking or sea kayaking expeditions or the more relaxed traditional Scottish pursuits of golf and fly fishing.

The islands are prefect or walking and cycling or some leisurely birdwatching, beachcombing or botanising. The superb light and landscapes are great favourites with artists and photographers.

Land of the Ceildh
fiddler

Music, dancing, poetry and story telling are at the heart of the islands' Gaelic culture. The ceilidh is still at the heart of community life and an experience not to be missed.

There are three small museums in the islands where you can explore the history and culture of the Uists and enjoy the work of local artists featured in temporary exhibitions. The islands continue to inspire new generations of artists, musicians and poets whose work ranges from the traditional to the contemporary. The studios and workshops of resident artists, photographers and artisans are open to visitors.

The literary landscape is equally diverse ranging from Compton Mackenzie’s Whisky Galore to the more contemporary Lewis Trilogy by Peter May

Fresh & Delicious
tea time

Discovering and enjoying local food is part of experiencing the richness of island life. Free range eggs, smoked fish, shellfish, homemade preserves, Hebridean lamb, Stornoway black pudding, oat cakes, scones and cloutie dumplings are all part of our island food heritage.

From Croft Garden Cottage you can watch the local boats setting and hauling creels as they fish for lobster and brown crab or walk out of the door and wander around the vegetable and herb beds.

Enjoy local free range eggs and toast with Croft Garden marmalade for breakfast, locally smoked salmon or freshly caught crab with a salad from our vegetable garden for lunch and end a perfect day with an aperitif of artisanal Barra Atlantic Gin infused with local seaweed and botanicals.

History in Stone
ruined black house

There is a wealth history and archaeology hidden in the landscape of the Uists. The remains of Neolithic tombs, Ancient standing stones, Iron Age brochs, Norse farmsteads and Medieval chapels tell the story of more than 6,000 years of human occupation.

Throughout the islands you will see the remains of black houses and shielings echoes of a communities and way of life dispersed by history.

Retrace the footsteps of the “Young Pretender” along the Bonnie Prince Charlie Trail from his landing on Eriskay to his escape to Skye with Flora MacDonald.

Uist Archaeology Guided Walks