Barra | Colin Nutt

Island Intro

Beautiful Barra, lying at the south of the Outer Hebrides, is an island rich in history, with a strong traditional music scene and a runway on the beach!

Ask an Islander

We asked locals on Barra to tell us why their island is special. Here’s what Sarah from Bùth Bharraigh said:

“In winter there are lots of activities to try, and ways to get involved in community activities. This winter we made a Castlebay Christmas tree using knitted and crocheted squares from all over the world. It looked spectacular. Anyone can get involved.”

“On a rainy day come to Bùth Bharraigh. Have a coffee and catch up, do emails and get your laundry done! It’s a great community hub selling craft supplies and good books to keep you busy. Then there’s the Heritage Centre where you can learn about the island’s past too.”

“On a sunny day it’s ‘Barradise’! Going to one of our beautiful beaches is a must. Swimming in the crystal clear waters or going kayaking or snorkelling with Clearwater Paddling is a great way to enjoy Barra.”

“You can also book boat trips to uninhabited Mingulay, where you can see seabirds, basking sharks & porpoises with Mingulay boat trips & wildlife spotting.”

Spring is also a favourite time of year in Barra. “Wonderful primroses appear all over the place, the days are getting longer, and there is a real warmth in the sun. Visitors also start to return, many, now friends, who come back year after year. It’s nice to see them and there’s a definite buzz about the island. There are so many lovely beaches and hill walks on the island. It is nice getting up Heaval, the highest point on the island, and seeing the magnificent views from the top.”

Gaelic / Gàidhlig

The Gaelic name for Barra is Barraigh, or Eilean Bharraigh.

How do you say ‘castle’ in Gaelic? That would be ‘caisteal‘!

Getting Here

CalMac Ferries operate daily sailings from Oban on the mainland to Castlebay. CalMac also sails between Eriskay and Barra several times a day.

Daily scheduled flights to Barra from Glasgow are operated by Loganair.

Explore More

Want to find out more about Barra and explore more of our amazing islands?

Download the free Scottish Islands Passport app to:

  • discover your perfect island match,
  • find out about the experiences each island has to offer,
  • collect passport stamps for the islands you visit,
  • find information on accommodation, travel and island amenities.

Get Your Passport

You can find lots more information about things to see and do on the island, see some amazing island photography and collect your island stamp by downloading our app.

Download the app

App in phone

Download the Scottish Island Passport app to collect your island stamps! The app also provides lots more information on each island including recommendations from locals about things to see and do, info on how to get around, more stunning photos and useful offline maps.

  • Unlock Stamps - Collect them all! Stamp your passport when you visit each island - with an individual stamp designed to represent a unique aspect of island heritage.
  • Experiences - Discover the best experiences each island has to offer – from local boat trips to exciting traditional festivals, there is something for everyone.
  • Maps - Navigate the islands with useful offline maps, handy for areas where internet connectivity is weak.
  • Travel Jounals - Create an in-location travel journal with pictures from your island adventures, to look back on your trip.
  • Favourites - keep track of your most loved islands with the favourites feature. Available to access from your account on both the app and web.