Laying on the very fringe of Europe the Outer Hebrides are amongst the most beautiful islands in the world.
This string of islands offers fantastic scenery and wildlife, and make for a truly beautiful destination. The Isle of Barra is the most southerly inhabited island and remains the domain of wildlife. As you explore the island you will see seals as they bask on sea washed rocks, maybe glimpse an otter as it hunts for food otters, and come across a fantastic array of birds. Golden Eagles can be spotted soaring over the wild windswept hillsides Puffins, Guillemots, and Kittiwakes nest on the high sheer cliffs, whilst Oystercatchers and Plovers can be seen picking amongst the mussels and limpets on the seashore.
Take time to explore the islands on foot, and climbing the hills gives breathtaking views over the Hebrides, towards Skye, Rum, Tiree and beyond Although small the islands are beautiful and an amazing 1000 species of wild flowers have been identified. The Hostel is situated in Castlebay, Isle of Barra's main village Once the stronghold of the MacNeil clan the 15th century Kisimul Castle sits out in the middle of the bay and gives the village its name. The islands have been inhabited for four thousand years, and evidence still remains of a Celtic presence.
Today Barra is home to fishermen and crofters and retains a strong sense of community. Around the island Gaelic is spoken, and in July Barra hosts the ‘bharraidh feis’ a gaelic festival of music, song and dance where young and old, residents and visitors are all welcome to join in.
Click the thumbnails below to find out more about the island itself or sea kayaking adventures with Clearwater Paddling.