Kisimul Castle, Castlebay


Route: Castlebay, Isle of Barra

Area: Outer Hebrides

Date of walk: 9th September 2022

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 2.2 miles

Ascent: 100 feet

Weather: Sunny 

On the final day of our walking holiday on Barra we chose a short and simple walk starting from the main settlement of Castlebay. Starting from the Post Office near the ferry terminal we walked up the road past the petrol station and turned right along the main road. There were lovely views down to Kisimul Castle which stands in the centre of the bay. The castle was the home of the Macneil clan until it was abandoned in the mid 18th century. It fell into disrepair and the Macneils lost control of Barra, although they later re-aquired the castle which was restored between 1956 and 1970 and is now managed by Scottish Heritage. The castle is normally open for visits but is presently closed for renovations

On reaching a sign for Ledaig we branched off down a minor road, following to the end where a gate leads out onto a grassy track. We continued along the shoreline path with views ahead to Vatersay. As it rounded the headland the old harbour on neighbouring Orasaigh came into view. We continued for a short distance beyond a prominent mast, and then spent half an hour or so scanning our surroundings for wildlife. We saw seals and a variety of seabirds, but there was no sign of the elusive otters which inhabit these parts

From here we retraced our steps back into Castlebay to end a wonderful walking holiday 

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