An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

57.073933, -7.295637
Distance: 17 km
Difficulty: 3/5
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 8 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Outer Hebrides
  • Size: 703 hectares
  • Terrain: Free-range on moorland via animal tracks, boggy in parts; some easy rock scrambles; island roads
  • Access: Ferry from Barra or road causeway from South Uist
  • Height gain: 660 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 452 and 453
  • Starting point: Eriskay ferry terminal Lat/Long 57.0706, -7.3076; NF 784 102
  • Accommodation/food:

    Toilets at ferry terminal; food at Am Politician and the Eriskay shop in Rubha Ban. Take plenty of water and food for the walk. Limited B&B’s and self-catering cottages on the island, further choices on South Uist

  • Island Summary:

    Located off South Uist this is an island for the intrepid islandeer with wild, unspoilt terrain, stunning white beaches, and possible sightings of whales, dolphins, eagles and the rare Eriskay ponies. It is also rich in history. Bonnie Prince Charlie first stepped foot on Scottish soil in 1745 and Compton Mackenzie’s book Whiskey Galore was inspoired by the story of the SS Politician running aground and the locals mounting a highly successful, if unofficial, salvage operation.

  • Look out for:
    • Glorious beaches
    • Skinny dips, secluded swims
    • Spot whales and dolphins
    • Eagles and eriskay ponies
    • Original booty in Am Politician
  • Route description:

    Rugged and free-range, this anti-clockwise route mostly follows distinct sheep trails. It involves some bushwhacking through bracken on the south and east coasts and bog hopping over soggy ground. There are also short easy scrambles to negotiate rocky bluffs and to avoid descending into deeper sea inlets. Once on the northeast coast, there is a fine secluded beach for a swim, then the route continues on single-track roads with some beach walking to complete the circuit.

  • Getting there:

    By road, cross the causeway from South Uist. Ferry from Barra. Regular bus services from across the Outer Hebrides

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