South Uist: Local Information
Shopping and Local Produce
The nearest shop for day to day basics such as milk and bread is the Co-op in Daliburgh, which is three miles north of Boisdale House. Supply lorries come in every day and at busy times such as the summer it’s often best to shop after the lorry has delivered – usually in the early evening – as supplies run short quickly. Also in Daliburgh is a post office, surgery (South Uist Medical 01878 700758), Burnside fish and chip shop and petrol station, the Hydro electric store and a thrift shop. A few miles further on, in Lochboisdale, is the recently opened Locboisdale Internet cafe, with wifi and computer access as well as printing facilities. Housed in the post office, it’s “more than a coffee shop” – you can’t miss its’ pink roof, on the left as you enter Lochboisdale – and also sells stationery, souvenirs, sweets, cards and Harris tweed. Also in Lochboisdale is Lawrence’s butcher, Macauley’s petrol station and car wash, a dentist, hardware store, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the tourist office and ferry terminal. The Lochboisdale Hotel is just above the ferry terminal for meals and drinks. Further south, from Boisdale House, Eriskay has a very good general store and post office in the village.
It’s well worth the drive north to MacLennans supermarket near the airport on Benbecula. Recently refurbished, it’s a cross between Whole Foods and Waitrose, and is superb for fresh fruit and veg, along with a whole range of local produce and all the ingredients you can’t find elsewhere. Home delivery is planned soon … Macdonald’s hardware store sells everything from a single nail to wheelbarrows and lawnmowers and MacGillivray’s near the airport is good for gifts, postcards, new and second hand books and some clothes.
- www.western-isles-wildlife.com Guided birdwatching and general wildlife tours in the Outer Hebrides led by local naturalist based in South Uist. The site also offers up to date information on recent sightings of birds, mammals and insects as well as more detailed accounts of what wildlife can be found at different times of year. (Tel: Steve Duffield 01870 620 2410)
- www.ceolas.co.uk Ceolas Summer School runs from the first Sunday in July each year for a week, and offers tuition in Piping, Singing, Fiddle, Dance and Gaelic. Tutors come from Cape Breton to bring back the tunes and dances that were brought there by their forebears and which we may have forgotten. The school is attended by all ages from 16-80 and there is an active out of school programme in which the community fully participates, with a Concert or Dance every night for a week. There are also Lectures and Walks available for visitors to the island. (Tel: 01878 700154)
- www.askernishgolfclub.com – Fully restored 18 hole Old Tom Morris golf course, on stunning machair land by the sea at Askernish. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
- www.salar.co.uk, The Pier Lochcarnan (Tel 01870 610324). Shop open Mon-Friday 9am-5pm, selling South Uist produced flaky hot smoked salmon, also readily available in the Co-op and Maclennans supermarket. Winner of numerous food awards including “Best Scottish Speciality Food”.
- www.hebrideansmokehouse.com, Hebridean Smokehouse, Clachan, Locheport for salmon, trout and scallops – peat smoked on the premises. Shop/viewing: 8.30-5pm Mon-Fri, Sat 9am-4pm. Also sells pates, fudge, Richard Bramble Pottery, sheepskins and gifts.
- www.macgil.co.uk – Macgillivrays, Balivanich, Benbecula, Est. 1941, family run business selling gifts, new and second hand books, music, jewellery and much else (see “Shopping” above)
- www.hebrideanjewellery.co.uk, Iochdar, South Uist (Tel: 01870 610288). Manufacturers of sterling silver and gold jewellery from the Pictish and Celtic periods through to the new millenium range. An expert team of craftsmen work here and there is also a shop and café.
Isle of South Uist