The Isle of Barra…Our Island home, a sought-out location for holiday-makers, the Island where the plane lands on the beach, home to the Mac Clans or as most of the world’s population refer to it as a mystery of a place that exists in Scotland apparently. There are too many variations of our Island Home but were going to share what this little place means to us.
Before reaching Barra, we’re going to talk about the adventure of getting here first. Fly for one hour on a small Loganair flight from Glasgow International Airport across mainland Scotland to then land at the only airport in the world to have a beach as it’s runway, yes a beach! And a very nice one at that, Caribbean lovers eat your heart out! Or ferry with Caledonian Macbrayne from Oban for 5 hours (don’t worry there’s a bar onboard to pass the time!) taking in the views as the MV Isle of Lewis glides through the Sound of Mull and eventually takes on the roaring waves of The Minch until you turn that corner leading you into paradise, the bay of Barra, also known as Castlebay, where you first set sight on Barra’s ‘City’. By City we mean there’s Kisimul Castle in the bay, a petrol pump, post office, butcher shop and a co-op just down the road! It’s just a tad smaller than Glasgow, honest!
The feeling when us Islanders travel home is like none other, our home is an escape from City Life, a hug of reassurance and a safe haven for us to return to or live in. Day to day life is so very different from that on the mainland and we’re generally very relaxed, laid back people…sometimes we take it a little too far to be fair but it’s our culture.
Our acute population of approximately 1,300 people is the root of our close community spirit, everyone knows everyone, and you always have a helping hand during your hour of need. We share our land with sheep – the one and only cause of a traffic jam on Barra – and cattle which seem to be a huge hit with visitors! Overall, we do our best to embrace Island Life, did I mention we are partial to a good drink and a ceilidh as well?
Barra can be taken on in a full loop by car in just 30 minutes, which is quite amazing actually. Taking on the West side first you are in sight of the Atlantic Ocean at all times, watching the waves crash onto our tropical beaches is a sight we will never get bored of. At every turn our eyes are discovering yet another stunning beach to explore, long stretches of single-track road and widespread machairs accompanied by sand dunes which are all a feast for the eyes. The East side is a contrast of this, winding single track roads with uphill and downhill most of the way you will see miles out to sea, with many local fishing boats bobbing along the coastline and rugged, rocky shores creating its own unique beauty! Our Island is a photographer’s heaven.
We are so proud of our Island home and highly recommend you visit, if you haven’t already!