Vatersay is well known for its beaches, but there’s a great deal of history and heritage to be discovered too.
Ask an Islander
Helping us understand more about this fascinating island is John from the Vatersay Hall Cafe.
John begins by telling us about how he is almost amazed by the wealth of wildlife on the island. He tells us, “While enjoying a bracing walk in the wind along the beach, I came across a young seal pup on the sand. It always amazes me; the wealth of wildlife that is within our very next footsteps”
One of John’s favourite times of the year is winter. He reminds us that although the sun can be shining, the weather can be very bracing – “Vatersay has its own unique chilly charm at this time of the year,” he says.
One of John’s favourite events on the island is a wedding, as he tells us. “A wedding is always special, but an island wedding has that little something extra! The bride and groom can arrive by boat, stepping onto the sandy beach of Vatersay Bay on a balmy summer evening with everyone waiting to greet them. Words cannot express the atmosphere of warmth and happiness for everyone who takes part in a Vatersay wedding!”
And if boats are your thing, there are loads of great boat tours that operate from and around the amazing islands of the Outer Hebrides, including Hebridean Sea Tours which John is part of. As well as tours to Mingulay, Barrahead and St Kilda, there are plans to add some Vatersay bay trips next year too.
One piece of the island’s story is the site of a wartime aeroplane crash, and “People often take the time to reflect at the site where the Catalina flying boat crashed into the hill on Vatersay during World War Two,” John says.
Gaelic / Gàidhlig
The Gaelic name for Vatersay is Bhatarsaigh.
Want to say ‘good afternoon’ to someone in Gaelic? That’s ‘feasgar math’!
Vatersay is connected to the neighbouring island of Barra via a short causeway.
CalMac Ferries operates daily sailings between Barra and Oban on the mainland, and Loganair operates daily scheduled flights between Barra and Glasgow.
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