Taking its name from the Norse word for “bay” the Uig districts sits around an inlet on the West Coast of the Isle of Lewis and offers a range of refreshing opportunities and activities for those who come to explore.
With its stretches of Atlantic coast bordered by windswept shifting sand dunes and rich machair grasses, the Uig district is a great place to experience the energising effects of Lewis’s life on the edge.
Soak up the unique Atlantic island atmosphere with a walk at Berie sands, where you will be following in the footsteps of the peoples of the past, whose ancient hut circles were discovered by archaeologists nearby or carve your own path at nearby Ardroil Sands where warm shallow Atlantic waters and consistent winds mean the beach proves a popular spot for kiteboarding and windsurfing as well as being the place where the famous Lewis Chessmen were found – as marked by the giant wooden replica that stands sentinel at the side of the road to the shore.
Head for the long beautiful beaches of Valtos Peninsula to indulge your inner geo-geek and discover the different types of sands at Cliff – with grainy yellow quartz and white shell reef sand both found here.
If all this outdoor activity has left you in need of a different kind of refreshment you are in luck, since the Uig district is home to the Outer Hebrides only legal distillery, Abhainn Dearg – which is reclaiming a huge chunk of Hebridean history and heritage. The distillery is open for informal visits, tours and if you are lucky tastings!
Alternatively, food and drink can be found at the Loch Croistean Cafe, a former schoolroom that now serves as something of a local lounge, offering tea, coffee, home baking and light meals (including children’s and vegetarian options) in a really relaxed atmosphere.
Other options include the cafe at the Uig Community Centre or you can grab something to go from the Uig Community Shop – which stocks everything from essentials to local specialities as well as offering vending and microwave facilities and seating – before heading out to explore some more.
Make sure you don’t miss Mealista Beach, with its great selection of rocks and rockpools as well as a viewpoint to Scarp –the launchpad for the rocket post experiments of the 1930s or the road to Islivig and with its outstanding views to the Flannan Islands – home to one of Hebrides most enduring mysteries. These outlying islands give a real feel for this island’s amazing location on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, more of which can be discovered on boat trips from nearby Miavag pier.
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