Argyllshire Advertiser - - FEATURE -

IT is called Castlebay be­cause it’s a bay with a cas­tle - as the boat heads for the pier you pass Kisimul Cas­tle, an­ces­tral home of the Clan MacNeil, who in their day made the Game of Thrones look like a bunch of sissies.

Check out: Visit Dualchas Cen­tre to learn all about the MacNeil and Barra his­tory.

The wildlife on the is­land is phe­nom­e­nal – the machair on both Barra and Vater­say is breath­tak­ing. The statue and stained glass of Our Lady Star of the Sea are a mov­ing testimony to the is­land’s sea­far­ers. The fa­mous beach airstrip where the ter­mi­nal build­ing dou­bles as a café. Castlebay is the cen­tre of is­land life: shops, fuel, a Co Op store, Post Of­fice, and an ATM – make sure you buy some sweet­ies at the He­bridean Tof­fee Fac­tory. Plenty of ac­com­mo­da­tion and Barra is fa­mous for big break­fasts and home bak­ing. Car hire and bus routes be­gin and end at Pier.

Jour­ney: The A888 cir­cles most of the is­land and don’t miss the small sign for Nasg Bhatar­saigh, (Vater­say) and cross the cause­way to the is­land.

Hop­scotch: As well as the Oban ser­vice there is the Barra to Eriskay ferry and over the cause­way to South Uist where Lochbois­dale has ferry link to Mal­laig, and Oban in win­ter. Drive from Barra to the Butt of Lewis by a mix of fer­ries and cause­ways.

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