Compared to the mountainous scenery of Harris, North Uist – seventeen miles long and thirteen miles wide – is much flatter and for some comes as something of an anticlimax. More than half the surface area is covered by water, creating a distinctive peaty-brown lochan-studded “drowned landscape”. Most visitors are here for the trout and salmon fishing and the deerstalking, both of which (along with poaching) are critical to the island’s economy. Others come for the smattering of prehistoric sites, the birds, or the sheer peace of this windy isle, and the solitude of North Uist’s vast sandy beaches, which extend – almost without interruption – along the north and west coasts.

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