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North Uist

A distinctive island, it seems in places to have more water than land. Its North and West coasts have some of the best beaches in the Western Isles. Washed ashore here you may find tight whorls of birch bark from Norway.

North Uist is one of the best places in Britain to see the rare hen harrier and the day flying short-eared owl. The excellent RSPB reserve at Balranald offers a varied coastal walk. Near the simple visitor centre you should hear if not see the elusive corncrake.

For an unusual walk, try the island of Vallay with its ruined mansion. It can be reached at low tide across a mile of hard sand. The house was built in the early 1900s but has been abandoned for many years.

The fishing on North Uist for salmon, sea trout and brown trout is superb. There is a huge choice of lochs and three river systems. Permits can be obtained from the Lochmaddy Hotel. Nearby the arts centre and museum – Taigh Chearsabhagh is well worth visiting.

Find out more on North Uist from Wikipedia

Accommodation in North Uist: