At just eight square miles in size, and sitting southwest of North Uist, the tidal island of Baleshare is linked to North Uist by a 350-metre causeway. Baleshare boasts shell-white sandy beaches lined with dunes, surrounded by wildlife-rich machair.
Ask an Islander
We asked locals on Baleshare to tell us why their island is special. Here’s what they said:
Explore the archaeological remains which scatter the island, with excavations and coastal erosion revealing late Bronze Age to late Iron Age settlements.
Baleshare has a rich history and was the first place in the Outer Hebrides to turn kelp collection into an economic activity. This became the mainstay for much of the local community for many years. Kelp was harvested by locals and burned to release the alkaline kelp ash, which was used in the manufacturing of glass, soap and bleach linen.
Baleshare (Gaelic Am Baile Sear) means ‘east township’. A ‘west township’ is rumoured to have been washed away in the 16th century, but stories suggest you could once walk to the now uninhabited Monach Islands at low tide – a distance of about five miles.
Baleshare was the birthplace of the notable John Fergusson, a politician in Nova Scotia, Canada. Born in Baleshare, he served as a minister without portfolio in the province’s Executive Council from 1867 to 1874, and was named sheriff for Cape Breton County in 1875.
Gaelic / Gàidhlig
The Gaelic name for Baleshare is Am Baile Sear.
Want to know the Gaelic word for bread? That’s ‘aran‘!
You can reach Baleshare via a causeway from North Uist. The W16 bus running from Benbecula to North Uist runs Monday–Saturday and passes the causeway to Baleshare.
Find out more about getting to North Uist.
Want to find out more about Baleshare and explore more of our amazing islands?
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