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Welcome toSouth Uist

Rich in archaeology, wildlife, and local arts and crafts.

1 of 4 Loch Bee, South Uist

More about South Uist

Ideal for:

Nature & wildlife Culture History & heritage Walking

Neolithic mummies and a near-continuous beach

South Uist is the only place in Britain where prehistoric mummies have been found, and it's covered in evidence of a thriving Neolithic community. Archaeology not your thing? Although you won't see it from the ferry, the west coast is a near-continuous sandy beach. The island's nature reserve has one of the UK's most important breeding population of waders: redshank, dunlin, lapwing, and ringed plover. The west coast is mostly flat, but you'll find Beinn Mhòr on the east side - worth a climb for the spectacular views from the summit ridge.

Delve into the island's history at the Kildonan museum, which also has a craft shop showcasing the work of around 40 local artists and craft producers. South Uist is connected by causeways to Benbecula, North Uist, and Berneray, so it's a great base from which to explore the surrounding islands.

For more information on this destination visit the Visit Outer Hebrides website. 

Take care on our coast: slips and falls can happen in all locations, not just high cliffs. Check out these  RNLI Safety Tips   #RespectTheWater

For more information on what to expect in the Outer Hebrides now it is gradually opening its doors once again, watch the video below.

 Find out about Scottish Island Passport here


How to get here

You can get to South Uist by ferry from Mallaig during the summer timetable and Oban during the winter, which arrives at Lochboisdale. This crossing from Mallaig takes 3 hours 30 minutes. The crossing from Oban takes 5 hours 10 minutes. Vehicle reservations are recommended on these routes. You can book travel online, and when you do, you'll immediately receive an eTicket direct to your inbox - ready to board.

The Uists can also be accessed by travelling on the Uig - Lochmaddy service and the Oban - Castlebay (Barra) / Barra - Eriskay services.

Buy Tickets

Looking for the best form of travel to and from our ports? Our Journey Planner can help you find the way that best suits you for making your journey using the most up to date information from around the UK for all transport companies.

We have listed some travel information below that you may find useful:

Getting to Mallaig

By Car

It takes 3 hours 35 minutes to drive to Mallaig from Glasgow, 4 hours 15 minutes from Edinburgh, 4 hours 35 minutes from Aberdeen, and 2 hours 35 minutes from Inverness. There are three EV rapid charging points are available in Mallaig at the West Bay Car Park, approximately 300m from the Terminal Building.

Postcode for sat nav

Mallaig Port: PH41 4QD

Travelling without a car

From Glasgow it is possible to catch the train direct to Mallaig, on one of the World's most beautiful train journeys. The fastest train takes 5 hours 14 minutes and includes a crossing on the famous Glenfinnan viaduct which featured in the Harry Potter films. Check our Journey Planner for train times.

By Bus

Mallaig is easily reached by bus from Glasgow with a change in Fort William.  The bus from Inverness to Mallaig takes roughly 4 hours, with a change at Lochybridge.

Check out our Journey Planner for more details.

By Foot

You will find no shortage of walks on South Uist from lowland coastal walks along fantastic sandy beaches to challenging climbs up Beinn Mhor and Hecla.  The Visit Outer Hebrides website lists a number of walks on the island, all of which take in the varied landscape of this beautiful island.

By Bike

South Uist is generally flat making it ideal for cycling, especially for families.  This leg of the Hebridean Way Cycling Route is one of the most straightforward but possibly one of the most beautiful, passing by the unique machair with views of the spectacular beaches along the west coast. Bikes are available to hire on the island, see Visit Outer Hebrides for further information.

Note: If you're bringing your bike, please add your bike(s) to your booking, - this means that you have more certainty about space. This ticket will remain free of charge.

Plan your cycle journey with CycleStreets .

Getting to Oban

By car

It takes 2 hours 30 minutes to drive from Glasgow, 3 hours from Edinburgh, 4 hours from Aberdeen, and 2 hours 45 minutes from Inverness. If you are travelling with an electric vehicle, charging points are available at Argyll College in Oban.  

Postcode for sat nav

Oban Port: PA34 4DB

Travelling without a car

By train

If you're coming from the east coast, Edinburgh, or the South, you'll need to travel through Glasgow. There's a regular direct train to Oban from Glasgow Queen Street Station, and it takes just over 3 hours.

Check out our Journey Planner tool to plan your bus, rail and ferry travel to Scotland's west coast and islands and make active travel part of your trip.

By bus

The bus route to Oban from Glasgow takes just under 3 hours, traffic permitting. The bus from Inverness to Oban takes 3 hours 30 minutes, with a change at Fort William. 

Bus services operates regularly (Monday to Saturday) throughout the Outer Hebrides. Passengers can expect limited seating capacity where groups of 6 or more are advised to contact the operator in advance. Services from Castlebay (Barra) link directly with Ardmhor and surrounding areas.

Check out our Journey Planner for more details.


Have you thought about alternate routes to get to your chosen destination?

With 5 routes to and from the Outer Hebrides and great connectivity throughout the island chain the travel options available have never been greater.

Whether you are looking to explore on a Island Hopping holiday or find a different route home we offer a variety of daily sailings to ensure that you can reach your ideal destination.

Here are the 5 route options to the Outer Hebrides

Castlebay (Barra) from Oban
Lochboisdale (Uists) from Mallaig and Oban
Lochmaddy (Uists) from Uig (Skye)
Tarbert (Harris) from Uig (Skye)
Stornoway (Lewis) from Ullapool

Travelling with Campervans/Motorhomes/Caravans

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) request that visitors in caravans, motorhomes and campervans stay in official campsites and or designated overnight spots. Plan your trip carefully by booking sites where you can and do not stay out with these campsites/overnight spots. This will help to manage numbers, alleviate pressure on our fragile environment and avoid excessive impact on our communities. Please follow our P.L.A.C.E visitor code and help to keep the Outer Hebrides special. Find out more about changes that have been made to taking  Motorhomes and Campervans in the Outer Hebrides  

In addition motorhomes, campervans and those vehicles towing a caravan will not be able to join standby queues at ports on the following routes. Find out more about changes that have been made to the motorhomes, campervans and caravans standby process.

Useful information for your journey

For those travelling onward without a vehicle find out more about the bus services  offered throughout the Outer Hebrides.

Download the free Ultimate Outer Hebrides App  your ideal journey companion.

Keep up to date with all our CalMac services and Service status & info.

Helpful tips for driving on South Uist

Video transcript - How to drive on single track roads

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