Vatersay: Circular Walk Round South of Island

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Vatersay is the southernmost inhabited island of the Outer Hebrides chain. It is an island in its own right but is now connected to Barra, its more northerly neighbour, by a 250m-long causeway.

The walk starts in the centre of the island, near the Annie Jane memorial. The Annie Jane was a sailing ship on her way from Liverpool to Quebec which was wrecked in the nearby bay (Bagh Siar) in 1853. About 350 men, women and children lost their lives in the disaster and are buried in a communal grave at the site of the memorial. Many were skilled craftsmen and their families who had been on their way to a new life in Canada. After visiting the memorial, the walk continues along the superb beach to the south part of the island before crossing an area of hilly terrain. Here you can see a Bronze Age standing stone and view the uninhabited islands to the south. The route then descends to the beach on the south coast of the island and from there crosses a further area of upland to reach the east coast and the beach there.

On parts of the hilly sections of the route the track (which is not shown on the map) is indistinct or non-existent on the ground and navigation is by way of waymarker posts. It is important to carry and know how to use a map and compass on this walk, so that in the event of any waymarkers being missing or knocked down or mist descending, you can work out where you are and how to proceed. Boots are also essential after rain as there are a few potentially muddy or boggy sections. There are stiles too, some higher and more awkward than average.

For me the outstanding features of this walk were the beaches, which I had virtually to myself on a sunny(-ish) Saturday in June and the innumerable wildflowers on the grassy plains behind the sand-dunes.

Scotland - Highlands and Islands - Outer Hebrides - The Uists and Barra


Ancient Monument, Birds, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Public Transport, Sea