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Getting Around

Once on the islands of Barra and Vatersay, there are serveral different ways to explore and enjoy the beauty of the islands From walking, cycling, public transport and driving - the island is accessible for everyone to enjoy no matter how long you stay for.

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 Image by David C. Weinczok

WALKING

Being small island Barra and Vatersay are perfect for walkers. From Castlebay to Vatersay Hall, it is a 5.3 mile walk, and from Castlebay to the Airport along the east side of the island it is 8 miles. If you are to walk around the circular road it is only 14 miles.

You can follow the road or take to the hills. There are several walking routes around Barra and Vatersay. If you would like walking route maps and information, then please visit Bùth Bharraigh to get one of the leaflets.

Another great walk is to the top of Heaval, Barra's highest hill at 383m.  On a good day, a fantastic view awaits not just at the top but all the way up.  Don't forget to visit the statue, Our Lady Star of the Sea.

CYCLING

 

If you are looking for a day or two cycling around Barra and Vatersay, or looking to cycle the whole of the Hebridean Way, bike hire is available.

 

From kids bikes to mountain bikes and even E-bikes, there are many options to suit your needs. Bikes should be booked in advance via Barra Bike Hire, and they can be collected at Bùth Bharraigh on arrival to the island.

 

Barra Bike Hire Website

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Castlebay Marina also has four adult e-bikes available for hire. If you would like to book an e-bike to tour the islands, please contact the marina on info@castlebaymarina.com, or visit their website.

 

Castlebay Marina Website

DRIVING AND CYCLING ON BARRA & VATERSAY

Police Scotland have teamed up with Bùth Bharraigh, Outer Hebrides Tourism and CalMac Ferries to encourage visitors – whether on 4 wheels or 2 – to enjoy our island roads safely. The roads are mostly quiet, but following these handy tips can help make your visit safer and more enjoyable:

  • Always keep to the left

  • Use passing places to allow oncoming traffic past

  • If you’re a slower vehicle or cyclist, pull in to allow traffic to overtake

  • Many people in our communities are on call, including firefighters, doctors, coastguard, and lifeboat crew. They use their own vehicles which don’t have blue lights, so may flash their headlights. Please pull in to let them past

  • Beware of our sheep, deer and cattle which can wander onto our roads

  • Drivers should slow down when passing walkers and cyclists.

BARRA CAR HIRE

 

If arriving on Barra via plane, there is car hire available via Hugh MacNeil. Call the number and leave a voicemail with your information and he will get back to you with more information and availability.

 

Please book in advance to avoid disappointment. The phone number for Hugh is 01871 890 313 or 07410544014.

Car Steering Wheel

SERVICE BUS

The public service bus goes around Barra three times a day as well as travelling to Vatersay. This is not a tour bus so no one will give information about the island, however it is an economical way to travel.

 

Bus timetables are available below:

 

Barra Bus Timetable

 

Vatersay Bus Timetable

 

Ticket price maximum: Adult: £2.70, Child: £1.30. (Please carry change)  This Service is run by Aurora Transport 07572 841 577

 

The bus does not take dogs other than guide dogs.

TAXI

There are various taxi providers on the island.

Here is a list of available providers:

     Asty             - 0795 728 0392

     Cursty         - 0780 752 6134

     Neil James  - 0783 760 3321

WHEELCHAIRS

 

In 2023 Bùth Bharraigh received funding from The National Lottery Community Funding for two beach wheelchairs and a child's Splashy Board to allow the islands to be more accessible for locals and visitors.

 

These beach wheelchairs are available for free to hire and can be taken across the machair as well as down to many of the beaches around the islands. The wheelchairs are even able to go into the water for users to paddle in the famous crystal clear waters of Barra and Vatersay.

 

To book the beach wheelchairs, please contact Bùth Bharraigh.

Ordinary wheelchair hire is available from:-

Cobhair Bharraigh                           01871 810906  or cobhairbharraigh@btconnect.com

Voluntary Action Barra & Vatersay  01871 810401

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