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Ferries to North Uist

In the heart of the Scottish Outer Hebrides lies North Uist, an island filled with gorgeous lochs and historical landmarks.

It’s also a haven for wildlife and has long been a top destination for birdwatchers and all-round nature lovers. The high density of peat bogs attracts a large number of otters and corncrakes, one of Britain’s rarest bird species.

Also, the Monach Islands off the west coast are a breeding area for around 9,000 grey seal pups each year, which is the largest colony in Europe.

Protruding the boggy marshland in the island’s northwestern tip stands one of Scotland’s most photographed monuments, the Scolpaig tower. It was built upon an Iron Age dun in 1830 in order to provide some famine relief during the potato blight, and what’s left of the eerily picturesque structure is well worth seeing.

Evidence of North Uist’s prehistoric past can be found almost anywhere, too. Barpa Langass is an intact Neolithic burial chamber in the south, whilst the mysterious Pobull Fhinn stone circle and Fir Bhreidge standing stones are a must see, too.

The island is also home to the earliest crannog in Scotland, a type of artificial island used as a home in this region for over five millennia.

Once you’ve had your fill of historical learning, be sure to stop off at the main settlement of Lochmaddy. The award-winning arts centre has a wide range of wonderful exhibitions and the town centre has a shop, post office and a café where you can relax after a long day of exploring.

Traigh Iar beach along the north coast offers immaculate white sand and perfect swimming conditions. Also, running parallel to the shoreline is an excellent walking trail known locally as a ‘machair’.

There are frequent crossings every day from the Isle of Skye to Lochmaddy on North Uist’s east coast, as well as less frequent crossings from Tarbert on the mainland.

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Popular Ferry Operators

  • Caledonian MacBrayne
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North Uist reviews

  • "Pet friendly journey"

    Our first ferry journey with our dog went without a hitch. We arrived early for our booking and were put on an earlier ferry. The pet friendly accommodation was spacious & comfortable & the coffee was good. The lady who answered my telephone query was friendly & helpful.

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  • "Ferry to arran"

    Excellent service, both on land and on the ferry, very organised, comfy seating. Never used the catering bar coffees. Late leaving port but no problem to us but possibly others.

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  • "Excellent trip"

    Excellent journey. Very efficient loading and unloading of our car. Lovely rest before our long drive home. We had a beautiful day for our journey and we could see for miles and enjoyed all the lovely scenery. Would definitely recommend.

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  • "Booking"

    I found booking with Direct Ferries extremely easy and simple. Unfortunately I had to change my return booking and did this online. When I received no further confirmation that my request had been successful and my departure date was imminent I tried phoning Direct Ferries. This was very dispiriting. I tried 3 times and each time was held in a queue with the frequently repeated message 'we are dealing with other customers'. No doubt true but in this case it would show more consideration to employ more telesales staff. At the very least the company might invest in the software to tell customers where they are in the queue. On my first 2 attempts I gave up after 10 minutes. On the third occasion I hung on and was answered after 20 minutes. The person I spoke to was extremely courteous and helpful and dealt with me most efficiently. I was charged £10.50 for the change of booking. When I reported to the Caledonian McBrayne terminal at Oban, I was told they would have changed the booking without a fee. I think in view of this I will in future try to deal with the ferry company direct although I recognise you offer a good service when there are no problems.

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Routes and Ports in North Uist