North Uist and South Uist are two islands that form part of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides alongside the rest of the Uists and other islands groups.
The two islands are linked by causeways which run through the Isle of Benbecula and along the edge of Grimsay.
Both parts of Uist have maintained its cultural roots: the Gaelic language, crofting, sheep farming and Outer Hebridean pride. However, the causeways linking these islands are relatively new features, meaning each island has a distinct local identity.
Things to do in North Uist
North Uist which lies between Harris and Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, offers its visitors pure paradise.
Loved by tourists for its rare wildlife and breath-taking beaches – many return here yearly to enjoy its peaceful, ‘drowned landscape’.
You can travel to North Uist by ferry. The port where you will arrive, Lochmaddy, was once a major herring fishing port and there are many things to do and see around this area.
Travel back in time as there are several prehistoric sites in North Uist, the chambered burial cairn of Barpa Langais is one of them.
The Neolithic chambered cairn which measures about 72 feet by 18 feet in height is estimated to be around 5,000 years old.
Many tourists to Uist come to visit the ancient landmark which is constructed of two hug slabs with a third slab superimposed.
If you love Blue Planet then you will enjoy seal spotting first hand on the Monach Islands off the west coast of North Uist.
Every year over 9,000 grey seal pups are born on the island, making it the largest breeding colony in Europe!
It is likely that you will see swimming around Balranald Bay, however, Seal and other wildlife watching boat trips around the Uist can be arranged with local operators.
North Uist Beaches
Scotland is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and the pure white sands of North Uist are at the top of My Voyage Scotland’s list.
Beaches are a huge attraction to this part of Scotland and one of the reasons why so many tourists visit North Uist. With interrupted coastlines that stretch for miles, North Uist is the perfect place to go if you are looking for a beachy getaway in the Outer Hebrides.
It is hard to compare the beaches of North Uist as each has its own charm and highlights. The beaches range in sizes and all have grassy areas where you can picnic and find some shade.
Traigh Lingeigh is one of the longest beaches on the list with pure white shell sand and clear waters. Visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkelling here.
St Kilda is one of only a few World Heritage Sites, and it lies 41 miles west of North Uist. A trip to this uninhabited island is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Scotland and there are several companies that offer boat rides services to here.
Owned by National Trust for Scotland St Kilda has a rich history and is home to the highest sea cliffs in Britain.
Due to its architecture it is one of the most important sea bird breeding stations in north west Europe and has the largest colony of guillemots in the world, the oldest and largest colony of fulmars, the biggest colony of puffins in Britain.
Tourists visiting the island can learn more about this abandoned island during their trip and take a tour around the houses that have been left intact by those that once lived there.
Things to do in South Uist
The large island of South Uist sits between Barra and Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides.
If you enjoy being outdoors, then you will love the mountainous east side of the Island where the 2034ft Beinn Mhor lies. As for the beaches, you will find the best ones on the west side of the island.
If you are planning a trip to South Uist, check out our guide of things to do here below.
During your stay in South Uist take a visit to the island’s main village, and ferry port, Lochboisdale which is located on the east coast of the Island.
There are some great spots here, including a new marina and a cosy coffee shop. If you are planning on staying in South Uist, check out the Loichboisdale Hotel. This is one of the most popular places to stay in South Uist as it has a great bar and restaurant with stunning views to admire while you enjoy traditional hospitality.
Island of Calvay
Not far from Lochboisdale is the Island of Calvay – a must-see on your South Uist list.
The Island of Calvay is home to South Uist’s automatic lighthouse and the remains of a castle from the 1200s.
Calvay Island sits south of Lochboisdale. The Island was home to Bonnie Prince Charlie for the evening when he fled to the Outer Hebrides after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
Be careful on the sands at Calvay as the tide can turn quickly!
Askernish Golf Club
You will find the oldest golf course in the Outer Hebrides.
Askernish Golf Club attracts golfers from all over the world with its stunning views and challenging course. Askernish is 18 holes long and runs parallel to the South Uist coastline
If you are a keen golfer and want to try out this naturally beautiful course the club hosts the ‘The Askernish Open’ annually every August. This three-day event is open to members & non-members; locals and visitors from overseas.
It’s no wonder that fishing enthusiasts choose to holiday in Uist as there are around 800 lochs and lochans between South Uist and Benbecula.
Most of these lochs are incredibly wealthy and contain wild brown trout. You can plan your fishing trip to South Uist through either Storas Uibhist or South Uist Angling Club and organise permits before you arrive.
Water sports in South Uist
The crystal-clear waters of South Uist attract many tourists that want to try out water sports in Scotland. Diving, kayaking, canoeing and wind surfing are all options that are available within this area,
As the Hebridean coastline is home to stunning beaches, cliff tops and stunning bays and coves, there is plenty to see and do after your water sports adventure.