Uig (Gaelic: Ùige) is a village in the north of Skye, with a population of 423 in 2011. "Uig" derives from Old Norse vík, a bay, and it's a port with ferries to the Outer Hebrides. Most visitors are just passing through for that reason; however it's an alternative to Portree as a base for exploring the scenic Trotternish peninsula. Those sights round as far as Staffin (such as the Quiraing) are therefore described on this page, whilst for those further southeast (such as Old Man of Storr) see Portree.
See Skye#Get in for transport options from the Scottish mainland.
By bus: Scottish Citylink bus 915 / 916 runs twice daily from Glasgow via the airport, Fort William, Kyle of Lochalsh and Portree to Uig, 7-8 hours; it's timed to connect with the ferries. The buses from Inverness to Skye terminate at Portree.
Stagecoach Highland Bus 57 circles between Portree, Uig and the Trotternish peninsula. Bus 57C is clockwise, Portree > Uig > Flodigarry > Staffin > Portree and 57A is anti-clockwise the reverse route. It runs every 3 hours or so M-F plus Sa in summer.
By boat: Calmac car ferries ply from Uig to Tarbert on Harris and to Lochmaddy on North Uist - see those pages for details. Both crossings take about 1 hour 45 min, with two sailings most days April-Oct and one Nov-March.
Uig harbour is closed 30 Oct to 11 Dec 2023 and all ferries cancelled. For Lochmaddy an alternative ferry will sail daily from Ullapool, and for Harris take the regular Ullapool ferry to Stornoway then travel overland. This is the second stage of works to enable new ferries to use Uig pier. The first stage in Jan-March 2023 overran so be cautious of sailings towards Christmas.
Uig straggles along the hillside around the amphitheatre of the bay, so from the Bunkhouse at the southern end to the ferry terminal at the other is about 1½ miles. On a nice day it's a pleasant 20-30 min walk. See bus routes above for Trotternish.
Uig Taxis are on +44 7770 710050.
- An Iron Age Souterrain burrows into the hillside at Kilmuir, on A855 a mile south of the Museum of Island Life.
- 1 Skye Museum of Island Life, Kilmuir IV51 9UE (6 miles north of Uig), ☏ . Easter-Sept M-Sa 09:30-17:00. Preserved township of thatched cottages, displayed as at the turn of the 18th / 19th century. £3.
- The Grave of Flora Macdonald is in the cemetery 300 yards up the lane from the Museum, marked by a high Celtic Cross. Flora was born in 1722 on South Uist but grew up on Skye. In 1746 she was re-visiting South Uist when the fugitive Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived; she helped him escape to Kingsburgh near Portree disguised as an Irish maid. Next day he travelled on to Raasay, then doubled back and hiked across Skye to Elgol. Flora and others were arrested and thrown in the Tower of London but she was bailed and later pardoned. In 1750 she married and came to live in nearby Flodigarry. The couple emigrated to North Carolina in 1774, but as loyalists were captured by the Americans and lost their lands there. She managed to returned to Skye in 1780 and died in 1790.
- 2 Duntulm Castle. Built from the 14th century as the stronghold of the Macdonalds, but abandoned in 1732 when their clan Chief built a new house 5 miles south and recycled much of the masonry. It's nowadays tumbledown and unsafe, you come for the views towards the cloud-wreathed Outer Hebrides. Free.
- 3 Quiraing: The east coast of Trotternish was formed by a huge landslip 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. The ice had been supporting the mountainside, which collapsed leaving strange exposed rock formations. The Quirang takes its name from Old Norse Kví Rand, "round fold", for its little plateau hidden by rock pillars, a natural pen for concealing sheep. You only get a limited view from the road, so unless the weather's foul, take the four-mile loop walk to get close.
- Rubha nam Brathairean ("Brothers Point") is a rugged headland a mile north of Kilt Rock.
- 4 Kilt Rock is a sea cliff that looks not very much like a kilt, but the basalt columns are supposed to be the pleats and the dolerite sills the plaid pattern. It's viewed from the point where Loch Mealt flows out, with a waterfall cascading almost 200 feet over the cliff towards the sea.
- Staffin Dinosaur Museum displays the fossils and footprints of creatures that once dragged their slithery tails across Skye. It's open April-Oct daily 10:00-17:00, adult £4, child £2.
- 5 Old Man of Storr and other sights southeast on the peninsula - see Portree.
- 6 Caisteal Ùisdein (Hugh's Castle) is the stump of a tower house. Hugh Macdonald (more snappily known as Uistean Mac Ghilleaspuig Chlerich) was an outlaw and pirate. He began building here in the 1590s but possibly never completed it, as he was pre-occupied with seeking revenge on all and sundry, then was captured and left to starve in a dungeon. A causeway, now washed away, led to the islet redoubt of Dun Maraig. Turn off A87 into the lane for Cuidrach, then it's a 1½ mile hike.
- 7 Carbost is at the junction of A87 to Uig and A850 to Dunvegan - it's not the Carbost with the Talisker distillery, which is south on Loch Harport. This particular Carbost was a major religious centre, the seat of the Bishop of the Isles from 10th to 16th century. St Columba's Island, a river islet, was the site of the cathedral, and the ancestral burial ground of Clan MacNicol. Clach Ard Symbol Stone half a mile north is of Pictish design. Clachan Erisco standing stones are a little group of three along the lane through Borve, a loop east off A87.
- Any walk which gains height above Uig will be rewarded by views over the Minch to Harris. The Falls of Rha are a few hundred yards off A855 as it begins its hairpin ascent of the hill behind the village.
- A pleasant stroll close to the village is the Fairy Glen, a little valley of grassy hillocks, with gnarled old trees, quick-running streams and a turret of rock known as Castle Ewen, which you can easily climb. It's a good picnic spot. From A87 at the Uig Hotel take the side lane for Sheader and Balnaknock. Parking is limited and it can become congested.
- The headland at the north tip of Skye is Rubha Hunish. It can be hiked from Kilmaluag or Duntulm, or as a loop using the bus along the road between.
- Boat tours of Loch Snizort are not sailing in 2022.
- Stock up at the co-op in Portree before you reach Uig. The options in the village are the shop at the filling station near the ferry pier (M-Sa 08:00-20:00, Su 11:00-17:00), and Rankins store near the Ferry Inn (M-Sa 08:30-18:30).
- Uig Pottery, next to the pier, is a pottery and shop open M-Sa 09:00-18:00 and Su 11:00-16:00.
- Ella's Cafe and Shieling secondhand bookstore is near the ferry pier, open Tu-Sa 10:00-16:00.
- Hungry Gull cafe is near the ferry pier, open M 12:00-16:00 and Th-Su 12:00-20:00.
- The bar and hotels in Uig, and the Flodigarry Hotel, serve meals. Advisable to book a table at the hotels as they have limited capacity.
- Bakur Bar is by the ferry pier, open daily 11:30-23:00 and does food.
- See Sleep listings for Ferry Inn and Uig Hotel.
- Isle of Skye Brewery is in Uig a few yards uphill from the ferry pier. You can buy their ales throughout the island or at the shop here (M-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-16:00, Su 12:00-16:00). Main products are Black Cuillin (a dark porter), Red Cuillin (an amber) and Hebridean Gold (a golden ale). The shop is simply an off-licence not a pub so you can't sample before buying, and they don't offer brewery tours.
- 1 Uig Bay Campsite, Uig IV51 9XU (100 yards from ferry pier), ☏ . On slope, top end is for tents, lower part is hard standing for tourers. Decent facilities though toilet block is elderly. Well run, dog friendly. They also have B&B rooms for up to six, and bike rental and repairs. Adult £7.50, child £3.50 ppn.
- 2 Cowshed Bunkhouse, Uig IV51 9YD (south edge of village), ☏ . Check-in: 17:00, check-out: 10:00. Bunks and private pods. Dogs welcome in pods. Dorm bunk £18 ppn, pods from £60.
- 3 Uig Hotel, Uig IV51 9YE, ☏ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Open all year, with 11 rooms in an old coaching inn plus restaurant and public bar. Dog friendly. B&B double from £170.
- 4 Ferry Inn, Uig IV51 9XP, ☏ . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 10:30. Four rooms all on first floor, with two-night minimum stay, so it's not a layover for the ferry. No pets. Bar is open from 17:00 Tu-Sa, meals served 18:00-20:30. B&B double £185.
- B&Bs in Uig: some half-a-dozen, plus self-catering cottages.
- On Trotternish peninsula, self-catering cottages and B&Bs are strung along the A855, with clusters at Kilmaluag, Flodigarry and Staffin.
- Dun Flodigarry Hostel, Flodigarry IV51 9HZ (near Hotel), ☏ , email@example.com. Offers 6/8 bed dorms, camping, and twin or double-bed ensuites. Dorm £20, camping £12 ppn.
- Flodigarry Pods (sleep 4) are £120 a night. They're half a mile south of the hostel and hotel.
- 5 Flodigarry Hotel, Flodigarry IV51 9HZ (3 miles north of Staffin), ☏ . Upmarket hotel and restaurant. B&B double from £300.
- 6 Staffin Campsite, Staffin IV51 9JX. Basic campsite, open April-Oct. Adult £5 ppn.
As of June 2022 Uig has 4G from all UK carriers, but only Three and Vodafone have a signal along A87 from Portree. 5G has not reached Skye.
- The road around Trotternish peninsula leads past The Storr to Portree.
- The road south from Uig is the quickest way to Portree, or you can branch west for Dunvegan.
- Ferries sail to North Uist and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. They'll feel sparse and lonely after touristy Skye.
|Routes through Uig|
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