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The ferry to Barra, in the distance
Eriskay and neighbouring islands

Eriskay is an island in the Outer Hebrides. It has a population of around 130, scattered along the 5 km (3.1 mi) or so of road. It is linked to South Uist by a causeway opened in 2002. The island is 4.5 km (2.8 mi) long north to south and 2.5 km (1.6 mi) wide.

In 1941, the SS Politician ran aground in the waters between Eriskay and South Uist, carrying loads of whisky. This was the basis for the book and film Whisky Galore. The island is also known for the native Eriskay Ponies.

Get in[edit]

By boat[edit]

These ferries are all run by Calmac, with subsidy to make the fares similar to road journeys.

  • Barra, up to 5 daily, taking 40 minutes; this ferry lands at Aird Mhor on the north coast of Barra. Return fares are £22 per car, £6.50 per adult passenger including the driver (valid for 2020). There are often connecting buses from Aird Mhor to Castlebay.
  • Mallaig to Lochboisdale on South Uist daily, taking 3 hr 30 min.
  • Other mainland connections are possible via North Uist or Barra.

By plane[edit]

In the Outer Hebrides, there are airports in Stornoway (SYY IATA) in Lewis, Benbecula (BEB IATA) and Barra (BRR IATA). These airports provide direct flights to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. The nearest airport is in Barra, connected by ferry.

By car[edit]

Eriskay is linked by causeway to South Uist.

By bus[edit]

Buses link South Uist with Benbecula, and Eriskay. As part of the Western Isles Overland Route combination of bus and ferry, you can travel in under a day from Stornoway or Castlebay on Barra.

Get around[edit]

Eriskay is small enough to explore on foot.


  • 1 St. Michael's. The Roman Catholic church (built in 1903) sits on a hill overlooking the main village. The interior is of some interest, with the altar sitting on a boat. The site also provides a good viewpoint for looking at the island and over to South Uist. The site of the old church is marked by a roadside chapel with a statue of the Virgin Mary, overlooking the Sound of Barra. St Michael's Church (Q2426324) on Wikidata St Michael's Church, Eriskay on Wikipedia
  • Eriskay Ponies. They can sometimes be seen grassing by the roadside, but are more likely to be seen on the east side of the island.


  • 1 Beinn Sciathan. Walk to the top for views all over the island and of South Uist and Barra. There is a viewpoint pointing out the sites, and on a really clear day, St Kilda can be seen 68 mi (109 km) away. Beinn Sciathan (Q814806) on Wikidata Beinn Sciathan on Wikipedia
  • 2 Bonnie Prince Charlie's Beach (near the ferry terminal). Relax on Bonnie Prince Charlie's Beach


  • 1 Eriskay Community Co-op. Open M-F 09:00-18:00, Sa 09:00-17:00, and Su 10:30-12:30. A well-stocked small community shop, which sells Co-op brand products.


  • 1 The Politician, 3 Balla HS8 5JL, +44 1878 720246. Daily 11:00-23:00. Friendly pub and restaurant with good food, and sometimes live entertainment. Named after The Politician, the ship wrecked during the second world war with a cargo of whisky, portrayed in the film "Whisky Galore!".


The Politician and the shop are the only places to buy a drink on the island. There is sometimes live music in the evening in The Politician, and occasional events in the community hall (next the shop).


  • No campsite on the island, wild camping may be allowed, enquire locally. Kilbride campsite at the south end of South Uist is only 3 miles away by road.
  • 1 Oir na Mara, 5b Baile, HS8 5JL (near The Politician), +44 1878 720216. A 2-room bed & breakfast. B&B double £70.
  • 2 An Taigh Mor, 15B Balla, +44 01878 720717. Dog-friendly bed and breakfast. B&B double £95, single £60.
  • Self-catering places generally let from Saturday to Saturday, see tourist website.
  • 3 Aird na Haunn, HS8 5JH, +44 141 321 1326. £300 - £700 per week per apartment.
  • The Flat, 2 Village, +44 1878 720274, +44 1540 673060.
  • 4 Carrick (Blue House), 11 Bun a’ Mhuillin HS8 5JR, +44 1878 700828. Wooden 'eco' croft house set on a Hebridean croft. With wood-burning stove. Open all year, sleeps five with two double bedrooms and a single.

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

Head South on the ferry to Barra, or North by road to South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist then Berneray.

This rural area travel guide to Eriskay is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.