Connect with us

Travel

‘I visited Scotland’s paradise island with the world’s only tidal airport’

Published

on

Barra is one of the 15 inhabited islands of the Outer Hebrides, adjacent to the smaller island of Vatersay, and is one of the Royal Family’s best-kept summer cruise secrets

Barra Island is unlike any other(Getty Images)

The airplane turns, and my eyes immediately lock on the white sandy strip as the pilot announces ‘flight crew, ready for landing.’

We are about to set down on the most southerly inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides on the world’s only airport dictated by the tides, Traigh Mhòr located on the northern tip on the Isle of Barra.




The island of Barra punches far above its eight mile length and five miles width; with breathtaking surroundings of craggy coastline, flower-covered morchair plains and moors, mile long beaches and an extensive Hebridean history and heritage, it really is the UK perfect island escape, or, rather, ‘Barradise.’

Barra is one of the 15 inhabited islands of the Outer Hebrides, adjacent to the smaller island of Vatersay, and is one of the Royal Family’s best-kept summer cruise secrets. In non-royal style, the island may be accessed by either landing on the beach at Cockle Strand by airplane or by ferry, which departs from Oban and arrives at the main harbour, Castlebay.

Barra is blessed with long stretches of beautiful but deserted coastline (Getty Images/Universal Images Group)

True to its name, Castlebay is a fairytale-like town with scattered traditional stone buildings that sit in and out of the coastline, with the centrepiece of a traditional parish church: a star feature of the 1949 film Whiskey Galore, a film based on the true story of a wrecked ship raided by the islanders for its 50,000 cases of whisky.

I don’t believe that any cargo would be more worthy to be part of Scottish heritage.

Outnumbered by the neighbouring Highland cows and sheep, Barra is home to a close-knit population of around 1,200 – it is a population that is supported by the European’s strong appetite of the Scottish lobster, langoustine and crab which live on the scenic coastline.

Bonded by perhaps a shared adversity to the weather, I can solemnly swear that I have never met a group of people who are comparable to the Barra kindness.

Continue Reading