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Berneray in the Outer Hebrides

MapBerneray (pictured left, click to enlarge) ('Bjorn's Island') is about one mile north of Newtonferry on North Uist and joined to North Uist by a causeway (shown below). Berneray is roughly 3.5 miles across at its longest, and about two miles wide. Berneray was the property of the MacLeods of Berneray, who had a stronghold there known as The Gunnery. A stone on Beinn a' Chlaidh is said to have the 'imprint' of a foot, and to have been an inauguration place of the Lords of the Isles. The island is the birthplace of the famous 'Giant' MacAskill, who was 7'9" tall.

Berneray Causeway (click to enlarge)


Armaree Stores and Lobster Pot CafeNear the causeway is the ferry terminal for the Sound of Harris Ferry. If you have travelled up across the Uists for the ferry and a little early, or of course late, you could carry on driving! Just a very short distance up the road (take a right turn as the left is a dead end) is the Ardmaree stores and Lobster Pot (pictured left - click for further details and images) where you can grab a few supplies or a cuppa and a bite to eat.

Derelict CrofthousesThe population of the island was 500 in 1891 but this is now around 135, who make a living crofting and fishing. As you can see from the image to the right there are many old derelict crofthouses on the island that are well worth investigating. Click on the image to the right for more images. While driving around the island we noticed a slight similarity with the Isle of Scalpay.

ViewIt is a pleasant drive around the island and will not take you long. There are many places to stop and take a break, enjoying the spectacular surroundings. The small island is dotted with several small villages. The west coast has a fine sandy beach running nearly the whole length of the island, while most folk live on the east of the island.

Boreray is a small island three miles north of the north coast of North Uist and two miles west of Berneray. It is 1.5 miles long and one mile wide, and had good arable land - it supported a population of over 150 in 1861. It was a property of the MacLeans of Boreray, who were buried at Aird a' Mhorain on North Uist. One mile to the south-east is the Lingay, a tidal islet 1.5 miles west of Newtonferry.

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