South Uist is arguably the most appealing of the southern chain of islands. The west coast is blessed with some of the region’s finest machair and beaches – a necklace of gold and grey sand strung twenty miles from one end to the other – while the east coast features a ridge of high mountains rising to 2034ft at the summit of Beinn Mhor. However, the chief settlement and ferry port, LOCHBOISDALE, occupying a narrow, bumpy promontory on the southeast coast, is only worth visiting to catch the ferry.
One of the best places to gain access to the sandy shoreline is at TOBHA MÒR (Howmore), a pretty little crofting settlement with a fair number of restored houses, many still thatched, including one distinctively roofed in brown heather. Close by are the shattered, lichen-encrusted remains of no fewer than four medieval churches and chapels, and a burial ground now harbouring just a few scattered graves. From the village church, it’s an easy walk across the flower-infested machair to the gorgeous beach.