Honda XRV Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The Isle of Barra
Although I made this trip in my company Vauxhall Combo van, I was viewing it as possible bike tour for my Fiona, myself and possibly open up the Isle to many others who are interested in touring Scotland, God’s country.

Sunday morning I was up at 08.00 to get ready for my trip to Barra. Although work related, it was still going to be quite an adventure! Breakfast and goodbyes said, I headed off from Lossiemouth at 10.00 to pick up my manager J.T. We set off up Speyside to Aviemore then down my favourite bike road, Newtonmore to Spean Bridge. From there to Fort Bill, a very touristy route with lovely views and nice twisty roads just made for a bike. Fort William to Oban is also a nice route with brilliant views of mountains, castle ruins and sea lochs. You could pick a number of different routes to Oban, the A82 southbound from Inverness or head north from Loch Lomond.

Once in Oban, which I think is a beautiful town, you simply follow the ferry signs to the port. The ferry terminal is very modern and clean, the staff very helpful and my only gripe was paying 20p to use the toilets! (Ok, I’m Scottish, you expect a moan about money!) The ferry trip itself was quite pleasant, the food onboard was adequate and I would advise a good book with you as it’s just short of a five hours sailing.

We arrived on the island as dark came down and headed to our lodgings for the next couple of days, Gearadhmor B & B, ran by Ann and Archie Maclean. Bikers are welcome with secure, covered parking available. Archie and Ann are very hospitable and always finished the night with a good dram!

The Island is quite small, approximately 10 miles around but the roads are small, single track and very twisty so would take a few hours to circumnavigate including photo stops. I stopped a few times to take in the breathtaking beauty of the landscape and beaches. One stop was to see the wreckage of a plane crash from 1944, amazing to see the remains in a stream with a stone memorial beside them. Another was the aerodrome, coming from the home town of an RAF base I expected a bit more than a shingle beach! The plane lands on the shingle after a tractor with a cultivator levels it following the tide!

While on the island we dined at the Castle bay hotel, a luxurious establishment with a view to die for. The castle in the bay was sold to the National trust for a mere pound several years ago due to upkeep and is a prominent feature of Castlebay, with daily boat trips out to it.

As with all trips to Scotland, weather is the key, we were blessed with some good weather the first day we were there and I can only hope you have the same! There are several variations of ferry trips up the western isles of Scotland and I can only advise you to have a look at the link to Calmacs ferry site. Our return journey was by South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, to Skye then back to the mainland. Unfortunately there are no actual campsites on the island, but rough camping is permitted, ok if you’re tough, like Steve T and Raymo but I prefer a few luxuries myself and would recommend local B&B.

Finally my verdict? If you plan on touring Scotland try to fit in a visit to Barra, it’s an experience and even more so, an adventure!



View from the Castlebay hotel.



Aircraft wreckage from 1944 Catolina.




Barra aerodrome, the runway's under the water until low tide!




Gorgeous beaches






A war memorial looks over the bay.
 

·
Hill Rider
Joined
·
3,089 Posts
Nice write up Jim.

That shot of Castle Bay is ace, the evening light sets a nice hue onto everything.

Did you manage to avoid the gales on your way back? I've done the Lochmaddy to Uig sailing many times, several with the front of the boat under a huge wave or 3 :pale: :puke: :sad5:

Spent most of those trips hugging the bowl :pale:

Weekend away with Fi heading that way then?
 

·
OVALTEENY !!!
Joined
·
6,063 Posts
Nice one Jim Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,168 Posts
Nice write up Jim. Did you fine any remains or cargo from the SS Cabinet Minister? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisky_Galore!_(film)

I worked with a lovely lady that used to work in the post office and telephone exchange (well manual switchboard) there.
 

·
Deer Dodger
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Nice one Jim,

Like you I'm a working nomad.
Working at home the now, next contract is on the mainland :confused: -- for a change,one at Inveraray and one at Strontian.Two different contracts and not too close together :(

Just in time for the tourist season :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,162 Posts
Thanks Jim..


that looks like a must for me.. was thinking a of a long week end in Orkney.. Ferry from Aberdeen then make my way down....

second thoughts now..

ohh the choices :eek:ccasion8:

Sun's out in Aberdeen, hopefully the snow will be going as quick as it came... Saturday playtime :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The Tuesday was as windy as I'd ever seen! I could hardly stand up in the wind, imagine a 1 ton LPG tank hanging from a HIAB above your head in that wind? DAMN!
The crossing from LochMaddy was good craic, I had lunch in the restaurant and when walking on the boat dip, your feet came off the deck! Ha ha! Oh how I laughed! (I don't get seasick LOL!)
My next trip is in May to Uist and Benbecula, the school has two 2 Tonners that need replacing, also a few other jobs, a bakers and a laundry to keep me there for a while (Oh the work that comes in when you've a gas safe ticket for commercial LPG!). I'll write up a report on my findings there as well.
No mention of whisky galore the time I was there, plenty of whisky though, Archie the landlord was quick off the mark with big glasses of that peat bree they drink over there! It tastes like a kipper put in a blender mixed with peat juice! But when in Rome,,,,, Ahhh!
Aye was a lovely busmans holiday, I believe I will go over with Fiona for a weekend sometime in the future, in the right weather it is a beautful island and would recommend it to anyone who wanted to explore the Isles. Orkney would also be an adventure though, much the same idea as Barra, Tundra region!
I'm glad you all enjoyed the write up, hopefully it will help some of you to plan a trip island hopping some time.

Aye Ray, lovely sunny day here today but forecast's poor so I've agreed to plumb in a new oil boiler tomorrow! DOH!
Well that's me and Fiona on holiday for a week now, the plan was to go away this weekend but with the rubbish forecast and snow volumes up here I've booked in this boiler and will play it by ear for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,162 Posts
.[/QUOTE]

Aye Ray, lovely sunny day here today but forecast's poor so I've agreed to plumb in a new oil boiler tomorrow! DOH!
Well that's me and Fiona on holiday for a week now, the plan was to go away this weekend but with the rubbish forecast and snow volumes up here I've booked in this boiler and will play it by ear for now.[/QUOTE]


daughter drove to Oban today reports good roads

will see what its like tommorow TA in the startin blocks :toothy1:
 

·
Should know better
Joined
·
2,980 Posts
Wow, looks beautiful, deffo on my list of places to visit. Love this photo especially. The sky is fantastic, with the silhouette of the memorial, and the glistening of the sea. Fabulous :thumbup:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Aye Ray, weather was fine over this way Sat and Sunday, we took the mighty Varadero out for a buzz today, was great to have the old girl out.
Thanks Lulu, can't endorse The isle of Barra enough, what a lovely island. There were so many other bits of the island to explore and photograph I'll definately return with Fiona some time for a couple of days.
Thanks for all comments, hope you get some holiday ideas from my report!:thumbup:
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top