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Isle of Eriskay Western Isles Stock Photo Library - Map & Diary


Reached by Ferry from Ludag South Uist ( but a causeway is currently under construction). The highest point is Ben Scrien 185m to the North of the island with Ben Stack 122m to the South. The Eriskay pony – was apparently saved from extinction due to the efforts of " eric the stallion" . The ponies stand 12 to 13 hands high and are possibly a distinctive Scottish breed although some doubt this. The islands Population is currently about 180 but with the completion of the causeway imminent maybe this is set to change - this construction marks a major change for the islanders with the loss of their " island status" forever. The Steamship " politician" sank in the sound of eriskay in 1941 – resulting in the film whisky galore – this ship carried 250,000 bottles of whisky which was sought after by everyone locally. St.Michael's Church – the original ship's bell from the german battlecruiser " derfflinger" scuttled at scapa flow is to be found in this church and the alter base is the bow of a lifeboat from HMS Hermes.

I made the trip over from Barra via South Uist when I visited the island on a day trip in August 2000 with my son.We landed at Haun – the main township and walked to Balla. Buying a few provisions in the local store at Balla we walked down to the west coast beach – on the way we were befriended by a dog that my son named "errol" which followed us for some way….. finally we gave it the slip as we left the beach. We walked further down to the main beach at Coileag – here in 1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart ( better known as " bonnie prince charlie" ) was put ashore from the french ship Du Teillay. This apparently was the first time that he had set foot on Scottish soil. The beach here is idealic and with good weather as we had with blue skies it felt like being on a tropical island but without any form of heating!!!

From here we walked along the narrow road to the east side of the island at Acairseid Mhor a rocky inlet with several seals sighted at Rubha Heisinish. From here we tracked cross country skirting Ben Heisinish towards Ben Scrien. Several eriskay ponies were sighted en-route in the hills one of which was very friendly and enjoyed the attention of having its mane re-arranged with a centre- parting. Excellent views were to be seen all around the island – across to the Uists, Skye, Barra and beyond from the summit of Ben Scrien. The views across the Sound of Eriskay warranted several photographs – I appreciated the calm, sunny and clear conditions.

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