Reading the (otherwise quite excellent) guidebook Hebridean Island Hopping: A Guide for the Independent Traveller by Martin Coventry, I’m starting to form a strange impression of the Outer Hebrides which I hope won’t be born out by the trip.
I mean, just look at these little gems:
There is a walk up to Ness, proving that “the Bridge to Nowhere” does actually lead somewhere.
Overnight visitors to the island are advised to camp outside, as the ruined church that serves as an shelter has been informally described by some as “rat ridden”.
There were many mink on the island which were a draw to visitors, but these have now been eradicated. There is now a small herd of red deer, instead.
The dun was still in use as late as 1600, when the MacDonalds snuck up on the sleeping guards and dropped smoking heather on them whilst they lay asleep, smothering them. (Must remember that trick).
Prince Charles (that’s the current one, not the 17th centure Pretender!) is a frequent visitor. (Just in case there was any doubt)
This village is perhaps not the most beautiful village in the Western Isles, with the many forces buildings being described, as best, “functional”. (One to avoid!)
The population of Pabbay was 26 in 1881, but the island was abandoned after all the menfold drowned in a boat whilst fishing in 1897. (This, inbetween an otherwise serious discussion about early Christian sites, was found to be funny, although I’m not sure why!)
It’s a great book. Buy it.