On a misty summer time’s day, we spent a blissful day exploring Vatersay, one among Scotland’s most distant islands within the Outer Hebrides. What we found will ceaselessly be etched in our minds: the machair dressed with wildflowers billowing within the mild breeze, azure waters lapping on the white sands, and the brilliant pink honesty field bearing an abundance of residence baking. We walked the round route across the island exploring its magnificence and its historical past.
Linked to the Isle of Barra by a artifical causeway, Vatersay was easy sufficient to succeed in by way of automotive. Again within the day, the island may solely be reached by boats tied at both finish of the crossing.
Earlier than the causeway was constructed, Vatersay virtually misplaced its inhabitants on account of its remoteness, as increasingly of its residents moved throughout to Barra or elsewhere for a better life.
For such a phenomenal place, it’s simple to neglect the island has skilled its fair proportion of catastrophe and hardship. Proof of this could nonetheless been seen on the island; the wreckage from the WWII airplane that crashed on the island, the stays of a abandoned village, and a memorial devoted to the Annie Jane shipwreck.
As quickly as we stepped out of the taxi we had been greeted by wildflowers blowing within the breeze on the machair. Our taxi driver, Cursty, bid us farewell, agreeing to select us up in 4 hours.
We determined to do the Vatersay walk- a circuit across the island, which might take us previous lots of the primary points of interest. Beginning on the Vatersay Group Corridor (additionally residence to a restaurant) we headed west to our first seaside: Traigh Shiar.
As quickly as we broached the lip of the hill, turquoise waters spilled onto a white sand seaside, upsetting an ‘oh wow’ to flee my mouth. We’d landed in seaside heaven.
We walked alongside the seaside relatively than the trail alongside the machair, because it was too fairly to not. We arrived at our first (and hardest) climb of the stroll; a steep 40 metre incline to succeed in the dun, an Iron Age fort, which stood on the highest of a hill.
A number of swear phrases escaped my lips as I trudged up the hill with my pack loaded with too many child provides, however the view from the highest, because it all the time is, was value it.
We swapped packs, and Alex was strapped in snuggly to my again. We descended the dun to succeed in boggy moorland, and wound our approach across the craggy panorama to succeed in a standing stone, which, in line with my analysis, nobody is aware of something about!
We had been now on the southern a part of Vatersay, and had unobstructed views throughout to Sandray, an uninhabited island. We handed an unnamed seaside, and I used to be about to go down and discover it when one other sight caught my eye: about 30 cows mendacity on a seaside additional north!
Bagh A’Deas is a secluded (and lesser identified) beach- and maybe why this herd of cows selected this as their spot! At this level, Alex had fallen asleep on my again, and was loud night breathing softly.
A moist mist crept over us, and so we determined to forfeit the stroll round Bagh A’Deas to the abandoned Eorisdale village. A disgrace, however we needed to verify Alex was snug on his first ever hike.
The village was occupied up till the Seventies, when its final resident died. What’s left of it’s going to stay a thriller to us till we return, however from photographs I’ve Googled, a number of croft ruins surrounded by craggy hillsides lie the place the land flattens out earlier than a small bay. Had the causeway been constructed a few years earlier, would folks have stayed on?
We discovered the brilliant pink Piece of Cake honesty field and we greedily stuffed our pack with Malteeser slice, rocky highway, and a Galaxy caramel slice.
We handed cows grazing alongside the highway, and we headed in the direction of our remaining seaside: Traigh a Bhaigh.
Many will recognise Traigh a Bhaigh because the setting for the well-known picture of the gate hugged by sand dunes opening out to dusty white sands with islands dotted across the horizon. I took a photograph of the well-known setting, though the misty, moody sky actually forged a distinct impact to the same old vivid, sunny photographs you see on postcards.
We performed on the seaside till we may not stand the rumbling of our tummies, and we headed throughout to the cafe on the Vatersay Group Corridor for lunch.
Quickly Cursty arrived in her taxi, and she or he stopped on the Catalina Memorial so we may have a look.
The Catalina Memorial is what’s left of a World Struggle II plane that tragically crashed into the hillside after getting misplaced in low cloud throughout a coaching train. Islanders rushed to free the troopers from the wreckage, however sadly three of the 9 males died.
It’s a little bit astonishing that the wreckage sits right here on the hillside in any case this time, the wings clearly seen. It was a humbling option to end our time on Vatersay, an island so lovely, but has witnessed its share of disasters.
Again at our lodging, I died and went to heaven upon my first chunk of the Malteeser slice from the honesty field, someway completely crunchy but the chocolate so easy. My solely gripe was that I needed to share it with the Haggis. Rattling it, I ought to have purchased two!
An ideal option to finish an ideal day.
Have you ever been to Vatersay, or do you propose on visiting?