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North Uist

A real bogland where hardy crofters try to wrestle a living from a turbulent sea and stubborn ground, North Uist is one of the lesser-known islands in the Outer Hebrides, but it's beautiful nonetheless. Its antiquity is reflected in the brochs, duns, wheelhouses, and stark monoliths, all left by the island's prehistoric dwellers.

The population of North Uist is about 2,000, and the island is about 20km (12 miles) wide by 56km (35 miles) at its longest point. North Uist is served by a circular road, usually a single lane with passing places, and several feeder routes that branch east and west.

The main village is Lochmaddy, on the eastern shore. Whatever you need, you're likely to find it here (if it's available on North Uist at all), from a post office to a petrol station. Lochmaddy is also the site of a ferry terminal. In addition to the ferries from Oban and Uig, a small private ferry runs from Newton Ferry, north of Lochmaddy, to Leverburgh, on Harris. This isn't a car ferry, but it does allow small motorcycles and bikes. A small vehicular ferry will take you to the island of Berneray. In keeping with the strict religious tradition of these islands, the ferry doesn't operate on Sunday -- and neither, seemingly, does anything else.

South Uist

South Uist holds a rich treasure-trove of antiquity. A number of ecclesiastical remains are scattered along its shores, and Clan Ranald left many ruins and fortresses known as duns. Ornithologists and anglers alike are attracted to this island. Part bogland, it's 32km (20 miles) long and 10km (6 1/4 miles) wide at its broadest. A main road, A865, bisects the island, with feeder roads branching off east and west.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.