Route: Eriskay

Area: Outer Hebrides

Date of walk: 7th September 2022

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 3.2 miles

Ascent: 300 feet

Weather: Sunny and warm with thin cloud 

The island of Eriskay, population circa 130, has several claims to fame. The stunning white sands of Coilleag a’Phrionnsa are where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed to begin the great Jacobite Rising of 1745-46; in 1941 the S.S Politician ran aground here and its contents of 22,000 cases of malt whisky were plundered by the locals, inspiring Compton Mackenzie’s novel and the Whisky Galore film; the island is home to the rare Eriskay ponies, Scotland’s native horse and recognised as endangered; and the football pitch of Eriksay FC is credited by FIFA as one of “8 most remarkable places to play football in the world” for is quirky bumpy structure and its distracting views

The island can be approached via a causeway from South Uist, but we were staying in Barra so made use of the regular Calmac ferry service. Today’s walk started from the ferry terminal on Eriskay, so we were able to travel as foot passengers. The ferry ride lasted an enjoyable 40 minutes and along the way we had good sightings of seals and various seabirds

After disembarking we made our way to the adjacent ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Beach’ and walked along its length, climbing up at the far end to follow a path up a grassy cliff. We continued around the headland and walked through the scattered village of Eriskay. We followed the road uphill out of the village, passing by The Statue of Our Lady of Fatima and shortly after this, at a stone bench, left the road to climb uphill. Occasional marker posts and a faint path were an aid to navigation as the terrain became rougher. Eventually we arrived at Loch Cracabhaig, which is the source of Eriskay’s fresh water. We traversed some very juicy ground and at a water treatment works joined a track which took us down to the road. From here it was a short stroll back to the ferry terminal and the end of a wonderful walk, which we enjoyed so much that we resolved to return for another walk tomorrow

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

Scroll down – or click on any photo to enlarge it and you can then view as a slideshow

Previous walk: « | Next walk: »