Route: Tangasdale and Dun Ban

Area: Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides

Date of walk: 4th September 2022

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 3.3 miles

Ascent: 300 feet

Weather: Mostly sunny

On the first morning of our first visit to the Isle of Barra, we awoke to dark skies, heavy rain and strong winds. Not a promising start, but the weather forecast was for an improvement later on. Sure enough, breaks in the clouds appeared before lunch and so without ado we set off from our base in North Bay to nearby Tangasdale (in truth, on Barra, everything is ‘nearby’. One narrow road 14 miles long serves the entire island)

We parked by a red telephone box and passed through a gate near some marker signs. We followed a faint path across the machir – grassland which is covered with wild flowers in the summer. This brought us to the  shore of Loch Tangasdale, beneath the rugged slopes of Beinn Tangabhal. There is a tiny sandy beach here. From the beach we aimed for a marker post beside a stile. We crossed the stile and then a footbridge to follow a path leading through the right side of a tiny glen beneath Beinn Tangabhal and Beinn na Leig. The path eventually peters out and the ground becomes rockier and more undulating. Occasional marker posts aided navigation. There were good views over Halaman Bay as we gained height. 

We followed a rough and rocky path along the coast to the ruins of the iron age fort at Dun Ban, dating back 2,000 years. There’s little to be seen of the structure, but the setting is magnificent with views along the cragged coastline in both directions. From here we retraced our steps for a short distance before veering left to continue along the coast, passing by the deep inlet of Diorlinn where there is a stony beach. We continued to an idyllic and deserted sandy beach and then carried on to the white sands and turquoise waters of the main beach at Halaman Bay, which was also deserted. From here we made our way up through the dunes and back to Tangasdale to end a wonderful start to our week on the Isle of Barra

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: »