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I stayed on Scottish ‘Caribbean’ island and landed on world’s only beach runway



When it comes to unique and interesting staycation destinations, there are almost too many to count in Scotland.

While some Scots will be jetting off abroad this summer, there is no shortage of spectacular places closer to home if you’re looking for the perfect holiday. Easily among the most picturesque is the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides.

You may have seen pictures of the small island, which is beloved for its sandy beaches and one-of-a-kind green scenery. However, nothing can compare to seeing it up close.

Isabella Machin from The Mirror decided to see what all the fuss was about and head to Barra for herself. Here’s what she had to say.

As the plane veers, my gaze is instantly drawn to the pristine sandy stretch as the pilot declares ‘flight crew, ready for landing. ‘ We’re about to touch down on the southernmost inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides at the world’s only tide-dependent airport, Traigh Mhor, nestled on the northern tip of the Isle of Barra.

Despite its modest size — measuring just eight miles long and five miles wide — the island of Barra packs a punch. With its rugged coastline, flower-strewn moorlands, mile-long beaches and rich Hebridean history, it’s the perfect UK island getaway — with some even going so far as to call it ‘Barradise’.

Castlebay looks straight out of a fairytale(Image: Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo / Getty Images)

One of 15 inhabited islands in the Outer Hebrides, next to the smaller island of Vatersay, it is said to be a favourite summer cruise destination of the Royal Family. For the rest of us, access to the island is either by plane, landing on Cockle Strand beach, or by ferry from Oban to the main harbour at Castlebay.

Living up to its name, Castlebay is a town straight out of a fairytale — featuring traditional stone buildings dotted along the coastline. Its centrepiece is its charming parish church that featured in the 1949 film Whiskey Galore, based on the true story of islanders raiding a shipwrecked vessel for its 50,000 cases of whisky.

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