South Uist | Colin Nutt

Island intro

With a rich tradition of Gaelic culture, history, music and art alongside stunning scenery and a wealth of wildlife, South Uist in the Outer Hebrides has plenty to explore.

Ask an Islander

We asked locals in South Uist to tell us why their island is special. Here’s what they said:

From prehistoric mummies through to today’s strong living traditions of the island’s Gaelic-speaking community, South Uist’s rich heritage and culture are evident across the island.

Explore the two very different coastlines of this long, narrow isle. Both the sweeping beaches and machair of the west coast and the mountainous, rocky east have their own special beauty and wildlife habitats.

For a taste of the island, check out Salar Smoked Salmon, or cast your own line over one of the hundreds of lochs. Please remember to check if you need a permit to fish. Daily and annual permits can be obtained for locals and visitors.

South Uist has long been inhabited, and the only prehistoric mummies ever found in the British Isles were discovered at Cladh Hallan on South Uist.

For those who want to play a spot of golf, the Askernish Golf Course is credited as one of the top courses to play in the world. An Old Tom Morris course, it balances both history and stunning views across the Atlantic Ocean. What more could you ask for!

South Uist has one of the most extensive machair systems in Scotland, with over 200 species of flowering plants. If you’re visiting in the early summer, be sure to see how many species of flowering plants you can identify on the machair. Don’t park or drive on the machair, so as to protect this fragile environment.

Gaelic remains widely spoken in South Uist, with the middle district being credited as the strongest Gaelic-speaking community in the world. You can easily hear it being spoken by locals in the shops, pubs and restaurants, and at the many ceilidhs and events through the island.

Loch Skipport is home to some very friendly, free-roaming Shetland Ponies.

South Uist also played host to Bonnie Prince Charlie following the Battle of Culloden. Beinn Kenneth hosts a small cave in which Bonnie Prince Charlie hid for some time when he fled to the Outer Hebrides. Follow the path from Lasgair in Lochboisdale to find your way up the hill.

Gaelic / Gàidhlig

The Gaelic name for South Uist is Uibhist a Deas.

Want to say ‘good night’ to someone in Gaelic? That’s ‘oidhche mhath‘!

Getting Here

CalMac Ferries  runs regular sailings between Lochboisdale on South Uist and Mallaig on the mainland, as well as winter sailings between Lochboisdale and Oban.

A series of causeways connects South Uist to Benbecula, which is served by flights to the mainland, and on to North Uist, with ferry connections to the mainland and Harris.

Find out more about getting to Benbecula.

Find out more about getting to North Uist.

Explore More

Want to find out more about South Uist 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.