If you are thinking of visiting the Outer Hebrides, make sure you travel to North Uist. The island of North Uist is located around the centre of the Outer Hebrides chain of islands and is a good central point to visit further North to Lewis and Harris and further south to South Uist and Barra. Another good reason to base yourself around the North Uist area is the potential to be able to visit 7 islands in 1 day!
From the south, the large island of Benbecula is connected to North Uist by a causeway. Carrying on northwards on the A865 there is a small causeway onto the island of Flodda (sign-posted Flodaigh), which is a good spot to see seals and otters. Passing north from Benbecula, the main road skirts the island of Grimsay, where it’s possible to drive around this lovely island in about 30-40 minutes via the islands circular road.
North from Grimsay is the island of Berneray, which has fantastic beaches and is where the ferry to Harris and Lewis is located. Returning back from Berneray and continuing to the western side of North Uist, the next island to visit is Vallay. The island is only accessible by a long beach at low tide, tide times can be checked at the Lochmaddy Tourist Office or via the web. If you have the time, there is a good walk on this now uninhabited island that passes the ruins of the impressive Vallay House. Guided walks to the island are undertaken by Hebridean Adventures during the summer.
Continuing west but heading southwards, the last island of the seven is the flat island of Baleshare, reached again by a causeway. The beach at the end of the main road on Baleshare is magnificent and one of the best in the Outer Hebrides.
That’s seven islands. North Uist, Benbecula, Flodda, Grimsay, Berneray, Vallay and Baleshare!
To visit all seven of the islands in one day is difficult and ideally to fully appreciate each island, it would be better trying to see each of the islands over a longer period. But it is amazing, for the island lover, how many easily accessible islands there are around North Uist. There are also boat trip available to the nearby uninhabited islands of Ronay and to the Monach Islands