North Uist Sunset

An unexpected sunset after a day of winds and passing squalls. From a rocky headland called Raicinis on the northern end of Traigh Stir near the township of Hosta.

NF7173 map

View from Sheabhal

Castlebay, Barra

I just had to bag Sheabhal, the highest hill on Barraigh. I know at 383m that it’s only 63m higher than Roseberry and the guidebook says it’s an easy climb from Castlebay but it’s been beckoning me. I climbed from the north from the small township of Borgh (Borve). Quite a tough climb. Pathless, steep, tussocky grass, spragnum moss, bogs. But the views from the top were worth it. Now a quick trot back down for breakfast.

Bàgh a’Deas

The south beach, one of three on Vatersay, clean, white and sandy; and the least frequented.

NL6393 map


Sheabhal, the highest hill on Barraigh.

At 1260’ the highest hill on Barraigh (Barra) in the Western Isles or Outer Hebrides where every place has several spellings of Gaelic as well as the Anglicised name. Sheabhal used to be called Heaval; even the latest Ordnance Survey map names it as Heabhal. The name itself has Norse roots: probably hav, the sea and fjall, a hill, and overlooks the scattered community of Bàgh a Chaisteil (or Castlebay), named not surprisingly after the Caistel Chiosmuil (Kisimul Castle) which dominates the bay. It’s the ancestral home of the Macneil clan but a 20th century restoration, the medieval one burnt two centuries earlier.

I feel as though I’ve cheated with today’s posting as it was taken from the ferry. The easiest photo so far.