There are a wide range of activities to
enjoy on the islands.
The bird watching on the island is
spectacular; most particularly for raptors and a very wide
range of wading birds, plus a range of infrequent
Kinloch is perfectly placed between the machair and the
high ground on the East.
There are some 22 to 24 pairs of Golden Eagles nesting on
the Uists, and in addition there are Sea Eagles which can
be seen along the Loch Sgioport road beside Loch Druidibeg
just outside the house.
In addition the island supports many pairs of Hen
Harriers, Peregrines, Merlins, Sparrow Hawks, Buzzards and
Short Eared Owls.
In this unique environment the Lapwing is common and the
machair supports large flocks of Skylarks, Twite, Corn and
In addition there is an abundance of wading birds on the
West shore. We also see Long Tailed Duck, Eider, Americain
Widgeon, Green Winged Teal and a regular influx of
rarities blown off course over the Atlantic.
The winter months can be the best time to
see some of these birds, and in foul weather they can even
be seen from the car.
I highly recommend Steve Duffield as a guide – www.western-isles-wildlife.co.uk
- who will take you out, show you the birds and wildlife
and bring you back to the warmth of Kinloch, comfy sofas
and home made scones.
Loch Druidibeg also has a full range of Divers – Red
Throated, Great Northern and Black Throated.
Later in the season the machair is home to many corncrakes
– they can be heard calling on most days – actually seeing
them is more difficult.
The flora and fauna of the machair can truly be described
as unique – this is a very rare environment.
The island has a large head of pure Red Deer and an
abundance of otters. There are no foxes or badgers on the
I am not an experienced sea angler
myself, but the sea fishing can be very good and I can put
you in touch with experienced skippers to discuss your
requirements. Species include Pollack, mackerel, skate,
saithe etc. Check with www.barrafishingcharters.com, they
will organise trips, provide tackle and bait.
Bird shooting will continue to be based
on Grogarry Lodge. All shooters will be accompanied by one
or both of the 2 full time keepers.
Shooting is available for snipe, geese and duck.
There is a large head of red deer in the
hills – stalking is available by arrangement with the head
keeper, and unlike bird shooting guests can stay where
they please. Kinloch would make the ideal base for this
There is an exceptional links course at
Askernish. This course was originally designed by “old Tom
Morris” in 1891 who amongst many other claims to fame also
designed St Andrews.
Mackenzie & Ebert (golf architects)
have now restored the course to its former glory, and in
their words “It is not an exaggeration to say that the
dune land to the South of the existing course is the
perfect terrain over which to route the holes and it is
hard to imagine that there has ever been better raw
material for the laying out of a course anywhere in the
The course is 6,164 yards par 72. Guests who have played
the course vouch for its beauty, but also all admit it is
very challenging golf; the fairways are narrow and the
“rough” is very rough.
A must for the travelling golfer. The club house is now
complete and will hire out clubs to those who need them.
I have spent occasional nights sleeping
out by the lochs; dining on barbecued trout and fishing at
last and first light. Subject to the weather, this can be
a great experience.
A good friend of mine will take you on a
half or full day tour of the island. Kenna is a very
experienced guide and will, through her company Crann Tara
Tours, give you a unique and often amusing insight into
the people and history of the island.
Primarily through the efforts of
Sheffield University a number of exciting Sites have been
excavated over the last few years.
There are a surprising number of otters
on the island. Talk to SNH, or I can try to point you in
the right direction - usually involving getting up early
in the morning.
The Beach & Swimming
The West coast beaches are strikingly
beautiful, with golden sands. Just (very) occasionally the
water is warm enough to swim in!
Is becoming increasingly popular on the
island. There are local stables with horses for hire, and
a wide range of rides can be arranged to suit any level of
I am investigating the possibility of going fishing on
horseback - perhaps combined with a barbecue.
A great way of getting round the island.
Tommy Macdonald at Howmore is the local expert and can
offer a wide range of cycles for hire, sale and can
repair. See www.rothan.com
Cockle, Mussels & Winkle
There are extensive beds of cockles,
mussels and winkles. Spending an hour or two on the
foreshore collecting shellfish for dinner can be an
One of the great pleasures of spending
time on the island is the continuously changing light.
This makes for some great photographic opportunities—do
not be misled by my rather parochial efforts in this web
Film supply is limited to standard film speeds on the
island so do make sure you bring your own specialist
equipment and film.
An artists delight. Spectacular vistas
combined with an ever changing light.
To Barra by ferry. Take a short drive
down to Eriskay, which is linked to South Uist by a
causeway. There you can take a half hour ferry to Barra –
enjoying the gannets fishing on the way. Shopping or take
a tour round the ruined Castle. A relaxing half or full
To Lochmaddy, North Uist - by car or bus.
To Balranald, North Uist - RSPB reserve
with a ranger service and occasional guided walks.