An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

An undisturbed island, Vatersay has many wildlife experiences on offer. Here’s some of our favourites.

Otters – this is the island where I nearly trod on an otter. It was so engrossed in cleaning itself that it didn’t hear me coming until I was almost on top of it. The best place to see them is on the north coast between the causeway and Aird a Chaolais.

Golden Eagle – although rare they can sometimes be seen soaring over the ridges on Vatersay. Terns, guillemots and black-headed gulls are among other species to entice birdwatchers to the island.

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Flower (Calystegia soldanella) – a species of bindweed, also known as beach morning glory and sea bindweed, is only found in a few places in Scotland. Vatersay is one of them. Named after Prince Charles Stuart who sowed it on the the island of Eriskay when he landed there in 1745 to lead the Jacobite rising.

The round-island coastal route and full details of Vatersay’s top attraction are included in the book Islandeering: adventures around the edge of Britain’s hidden islands.


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