Pictures of the Isle of Eriskay are always unmistakable, any time I end up scrolling through my photographs on screen. It's that characteristic Hebridean blue jumping out. For sure, Scotland is a colourful place: the vibrant greens of Argyll's woods by the sea-lochs; Grampian heather moors in August when the heather is in bloom; the weird silvery flat light of the far north as it glints off the quartz-strewn slopes - and so on, and on, till autumn sends us tourism scribblers into adjectival overload.
Well, it is totally charming for a start — a complete Hebridean experience in a small package. In fact, Eriskay makes a pretty good base for exploring the southern end of the Outer Hebrides island chain, as you can get south by ferry to Barra easily as well.
Yes, the convenience of the modern causeway from South Uist must have changed things for the folk who live on Eriskay. As a visitor, you should note that the island sits between two ferry connections from Oban on the mainland: Lochboisdale on South Uist and Castlebay on Barra though to reach Eriskay from Barra you would need to take the min crossing from Barra to Eriskay.
Or you could fly to Barra…or, probably better still, fly to Benbecula and hire a car in advance. Island car rental The Gladiators - Bongo Red will arrange for vehicles to be delivered to meet flights or ferries. The picture here shows the ferry from the island of Barra approaching Eriskay. It was taken from the highest point on Eriskay, Ben Scrien, which I have just walked up. No, on second thoughts, be slightly impressed.
Eriskay Love Lilt - Paul Robeson - The House I Live In as sheep are unavoidable on the island of North Ronaldsaythen it's hard to avoid the eponymous Eriskay ponies on the Isle of Eriskay. Some say these are the descendants of the original native ponies of the Scottish islands. Eriskay ponies - and also the causeway, in the distance, right, opened injoining Eriskay to South Uist — and just in time to stop a decline in the number of people living on the island.
If you enjoy wildlife-watching then one of the most endearing characteristics of the area is that sightings of some bird species, comment-worthy in other parts of Scotland, are positively everyday here. After a while you give up mentioning the corncrakes, for example.
Changes in agricultural practices years ago meant corncrakes disappeared from hay fields in other parts of Scotland. But they have their stronghold in the islands here. Basically, corncrakes are common enough to make you want them to stop that infernal, scratchy, creaking that in our case went on for much of the night from just beyond the garden fence. We went self-catering. And as for short-eared owls?
Or hen harriers? Please, not another otter. Loch Druidibeg, up in South Uist, for instance, has a real air of wilderness about it — a truly wild place. More on Scottish birds here. He landed from a wee boat off a French frigate. One of them even told him to go home. Anyway, the Jacobite PR teams put a spin on the whole affair and even had the Prince doing a spot of gardening. Sea bindweed is not uncommon in coastal locations in several parts of the UK.
Much of it was filmed on nearby Barra. There was also a remake released in - read my blog post about the new version. Bound for Jamaica and the USA with mixed cargo, the skipper mistook his position in poor weather — he was trying to pass south of the island chain but instead ended up at the east end of the shallow Sound of Eriskay between the island and its larger northerly neighbour, South Uist.
Cherry, Cherry - Various - Disco-Hits International Vol.2 locals rescued all of the crew and quickly learned that there were aroundbottles of whisky aboard the vessel. The Customs authorities eventually dynamited the cargo to remove further temptation!
So it really wasn't quite as jolly Eriskay Love Lilt - Paul Robeson - The House I Live In it appears in the classic movie. And if the south-westerlies bring an, uhmm, Oui Rock - Gigantor - The Jet Pack! airflow off the Atlantic? It has a bottle of the famous whisky on display. Or you can nip across the causeway, drive north and hole up with some fine coffee at Hebridean Jewelleryat Iochdar on South Uist.
It does proper coffee and is something of a surprise, sitting out in the open, green, loch and sea-interlaced western edge.
Finally, because you must be really keen on the Isle of Eriskay to read this far thanks! The song was among many collected on Eriskay by Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser from onwards. She was a music teacher and collected the original material on an early wax cylinder phonograph. More on Scottish music here.
Here below are the rest of the Outer Hebrides and a summary. Pick an island! Or explore lots - and if you do, make sure you have a copy of Hamish Haswell-Smith's The Scottish Islands - the definitive guide to them all! The Outer Hebrides are sometimes called the Western Isles, a more romantic name for this chain on Europe's edge. The island of Barra offers many typical Outer Hebridean themes: strong Gaelic identity, sense of heritage, plus amazing beaches - take a short trip to Vatersay at least.
Hope for sun though. And, yes, it's the island where the plane lands on the beach. In the Uists and Benbecula there's a feeling of community and continuity. It's a hard landscape with long horizons and big skies and sometimes more water than land. There is also a strong sense of tradition. But are weird arty installations the best way of memorialising the past? Beaches like nowhere else in Scotland head the list of Harris features. And lunar landscapes, art galleries galore and great walking.
Oh, and that tweed. The Isle of Lewis is the topmost part of the Outer Hebrides and has the largest town, Stornoway, and the famous Standing Stones of Calanais - and lots more. Must See Scotland. Cart 0. Scotland in Spring Weather in Scotland. Is Loch Ness worth visiting? Isle of Eriskay Pictures of Intro - Joc - Zdob și Zdub - Tabăra Noastra Isle of Eriskay are always unmistakable, any time I end up scrolling through my photographs on screen.
Why should you go to Eriskay - aside from the colours? Getting to Eriskay Yes, the convenience of the modern causeway from South Uist must have changed things for the folk who live on Eriskay.
Wildlife on the Isle of Eriskay If you enjoy wildlife-watching then one of the most endearing characteristics of the area is that sightings of some bird species, comment-worthy in other parts of Scotland, are positively everyday Eriskay Love Lilt - Paul Robeson - The House I Live In.
Will these Eriskay corncrakes ever shut up? Yeah, right. So where exactly did he get them from? Sound of Eriskay, with South Uist on the left. The whisky laden boat ran aground here. What to do on Eriskay if it's raining And if the south-westerlies bring an, uhmm, moist airflow off the Atlantic? Outer Hebrides - Gaelic stronghold. Barra, Outer Hebrides - where the plane lands on the beach.
Uists and Benbecula: causeway connections in the Hebrides. Harris - white sands of the Hebrides inspiring artists. Isle of Lewis, heartland of Gaelic culture.
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