Hebridean Hop 15: South Uist (2)

Saturday 11th August 2018

Lochboisdale Post Office

Every day, as we drove in and out of Lochboisdale, we could see the lipstick-pink roof of the post-office which doubles as the local café. Our guidebook recommended the coffee, so we decided to try it out. It was indeed good, but as we’d just had breakfast we couldn’t face trying the delectable looking baking.

We had two walks in mind, the first being the peninsula of Rubha Aird a’ Mhuile. We parked at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church which we explored before setting off.

The walk took us past the remains of an Iron Age broch and a Viking settlement but, honestly, the photographs just look like stones in the grass so I’ll skip them! The trig point marks the most westerly point of South Uist.

I found the second walk more interesting, at Howmore (Tobha Mòr). Again, we parked at a church, this time Church of Scotland – the one Catholics were cleared off the land to build, as we had read in the museum a few days before. It’s also one of the few remaining churches in Scotland with a central communion table.

From here, we walked out along the beach and back along the machair. Stunning. Again.

On our return to Howmore, we explored its ancient chapels – no less than four of them, the oldest probably dating from around 1200. The site, next to the thatched youth hostel, is also a graveyard. I love the way nature is reclaiming the stones.

The day had a final surprise for us. The view from our hotel, which I’ve featured a couple of times, was transformed with another island clearly visible which we could not see before. I’m told this is Rùm.

Just one more day on South Uist. So far, it had been cold but reasonable dry. Would our luck hold?


  1. I too had never heard of a communion table. It’s not clear to me whether it is uniquely a Church of Scotland thing. The link provided by BeckyB was very interesting. I see no potential for abuse in this system at all 😉


  2. Unmistakable shape of Rum which always reminds me of the Batman logo of head and wings. Looks the same from the mainland. I’ve been watching a lot of interesting stuff recently on the Vikings and they are getting a modern rethink- as much entrepreneurs and global traders as ruthless priest killing pirates they opened up opportunities for otherwise isolated countries and islands and connected nations together for the first time in history with goods and knowledge of each others existence from Russia to Ireland. The church gave them a deliberately bad reputation as a result as they wanted to be the main source of any knowledge, teaching and power base for communities.

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  3. It’s lovely how some days on the islands you can see for miles and miles. I have a photo of Rum from Treshnish point, Mull, but some days you can also see the Cuilleans on Skye behind it. From Treshnish, South Uist would be beyond Coll, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that far!