Traditional thatched cottage, self-catering rental accommodation
on the island of South Uist, sleeping 2 to 4
Editor's Note: We plan to visit Seann Taigh soon, meanwhile here is a description with photographs from owner Mary Ellen Campbell.
This original Hebridean thatched cottage has been recently re-stored to a modern self-catering accommodation. The cottage an ideal holiday get away from the demands of everyday life is located in the beautiful crofting district of South Lochboisdale at the southern end of the Western Isles. With its magnificent views of Lochboisdale, out to the Minch and across to Skye, the cottage is perfect for Hill Walking, Fishing and Birdwatching. On the west side of the island there are the lovely unspoilt beaches washed by the rolling Atlantic, home to a rich variety of wildlife.
The "seann taigh" was built around 1875 and was a typical Western Isles Croft House of its time. Being one of the biggest thatched cottages of its time it consisted of 2 bedrooms, kitchen/living area and toilet. The cottage is constructed off dry stonewall and thatched by luachar (a special type of grass) which is grown locally and then cut and dried before being put on the roof. Five successive generations of the Macdonald/Campbell family lived in the cottage until 1987. The cottage has now been re-stored to its natural beauty, with high quality workmanship and interior décor in 2005 by the last generation of the family to live in the house.
The cottage comprises of two bedrooms, open plan kitchen/living area and toilet/shower room. The master bedroom has a double bed, built in wardrobe, bed-side cabinet and chest of drawers. The second bedroom is situated in the loft of the house and is accessible from the living area by ramsay ladder and also has a single bed, bed-side cabinet and chest of drawers.
The lounge has two double seater sofas, one converts to a sofa-bed, a folding dining table and chairs, nest of tables. TV and DVD.
The bathroom has a white bathroom suite with shower. All rooms have under-floor heating.
The modern kitchen is fully equipped with a washing machine, cooker and fridge and has plenty of cupboard space.
No smoking and no pets please.
Things To Do:
The cottage is in a great location to enjoy the peace and tranquility of island life. Fishing, walking, bird watching are major attractions of the island and neighbouring islands are also easily accessible and well worth a day-trip, which can be easily arranged. The western isles are famous for its varied wildlife ranging from golden eagles and buzzards to seals and dolphins.
Across the causeway to Eriskay you can see the location of the sunken ship SS Politician which inspired the novel and film whisky galore. Eriskay was also were Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in 1745 and Prince's Beach on which he landed is now named after him.
In the summer months there is plenty to do including a week long festival called ceolas which celebrates music, dancing and all different instruments. There is also South Uist Highland games which includes a variety of things such as dancing and piping.
The Cycle Hebrides site offers infomation on cycle routes around the islands and provides useful information including events, distances and stories from other cyclists. Cycle hire is available from Howmore.
At Askernish there's a golf course and an artist's studio. From here you can access about 20 miles of sandy beach which stretch up the west coast of the island in complete contrast to the hilly east. If you are lucky, you might see seals popping their heads out the water. You are quite likely to see noisy oyster-catchers (black and white birds with long orange beaks).
There are around 2000 lochs between South Uist, North Uist and Benbecula which have various types of trout. A permit is required for sea-trout fishing which is available from the local estate.
To enquire or to book:
Please tell Mary Ellen you found Seann Taigh through About Scotland!
Map of the area:
Ferries to and from the island are operated by Caledonian McBrayne. The island's main ferry port is Loch Baghasdail (Lochboisdale), which is reached from Oban and Mallaig via Castlebay on Barra.
There are inter-island ferries from Eriskay, at the southern tip of South Uist.
Ferries also frequently depart from the Isle of Skye to Lochmaddy in North Uist which is an hour's drive from South Uist.
A popular alternative is to use British Airways to fly into Benbecula Airport from which car hire can be secured.
South Uist is about 25 miles long and six-seven miles wide with a scattered population of around 2,000. It is over 60 miles from the Scottish mainland and has numerous fresh-water lochs and sea inlets. The east coast is dominated by mountain's including Beinn Mhor which with a peak of 572m is the highest in the Outer Hebrides. The western side of the island has many varied wildlife and flowers along the long stretch of machair. The machair is a sandy strip of fertile meadow and the deserted white beaches and sand dunes stretch for miles.