Explore – the island of Berneray. Experience total immersion in island life

Berneray hostel perches on the edge of the sea, with breath taking views across the Sound of Harris.  To the north there are the hills of Harris, to the south North Uist.  On good days, when you can see across the Minch to the soaring hills of NW Scotland, you may feel a twinge.  You realise that you are on the edge of the world.  Island life is entering your soul.

Berneray has beautiful beaches, good walks around the island and a great social life in the community (hostellers are always welcomed at community events) and in the hostel.

The most oft heard remark from hostellers as they leave Berneray is, “I’ll be back.”

A tour of Berneray and the Youth Hostel

Julian Paren has created a video that introduces the Youth Hostel and attractions of Berneray.  It lasts around eight minutes and includes the haunting Gaelic song The Leaving of Berneray...Read More »

50 Berneray Markers

Berneray is something of a marker – for it is located at the top end of the southern group of islands which comprise the Uists, Benbecula, Eriskay and Barra, as well...Read More »

Free As Air?

Many scientists are devising ways of developing energy from a variety of sources. Kite-surfers and buggy-by-wind enthusiasts go directly to natural power. Once harnessed there are ways of getting around...Read More »

Oidhche Challuinn

The seats outside the Berneray Hostel are places to reflect on the Gaelic New Year, celebrated here according to the Julian Calendar. It’s Oidhche Challuinn – on the island and...Read More »

Berneray Otter

Even the most distant parts of the Earth have been covered by the Lonely Planet Guides. Of course, Berneray is no exception and its otters are featured on the pages of...Read More »

Pictish Square Cairn

This artist’s impression of the Pictish Square Cairn on Berneray represents a scene from around 700 AD. There are only two other similar cairns in the Outer Hebrides, although they...Read More »

Berneray's Oldest Building

Here is an excerpt from the North Uist and Berneray website: ‘MacLeod’s Gunnery situated close to the Youth Hostel is the oldest surviving building on Berneray, dating back to the...Read More »

Doctors in the Family

The medical practice in Lochmaddy, North Uist, covers many outlying areas, including Berneray. Here is an account made in 2008 by Dr John Macleod, who practised there from 1974 until...Read More »

Business As Usual

There is something special about geograph.org.uk with a photograph from every grid square of the UK Ordnance Survey Map. The country is virtually covered with appropriate images and here is...Read More »

On to the Monachs

Simon Willis has included a reference to, and this image of, Berneray, in his blog that focuses on sea kayaking. He accounts for the criss-crossing of the Sound of Harris...Read More »

Adam on Berneray

Look at this vista. Big skies; distant horizons; a causeway leading, apparently, to infinity; and no sign of another vehicle, either of the internal combustion variety or another self-propelled one....Read More »

Present Opportunity?

Berneray acts as a magnet to photographers and their images are to be found in galleries, books, brochures and poster-displays throughout the world. Here’s one by Mike Shailes. It’s of...Read More »

Manifold Manfred

Manfred is the person behind This Fab Trek, a blog devoted to his photographs that capture both the colour and wonder of locations throughout the globe. Do take time to...Read More »

Listen In

Here’s an interesting one – an audio account by the author, Peter Kerr, on the background to his writing the story of emigration from the island published by the Berneray...Read More »

A Lifetime of Islands

There are many island-enthusiasts and the occasional islomaniac. The former take pleasure in visiting and savouring; the latter in collecting and ticking lists. Here’s a blog devoted to the former...Read More »

Rich & Wild

Rob Sutton writes about Berneray: ‘I usually go up either in early May or Late August which seem to be better times of the year for birds, but it does mean I miss...Read More »

War Graves

The Scottish War Graves Project has collated much information on a world-wide basis. It includes a detailed and well-illustrated account of the burial place on Berneray of those with island...Read More »

Fit to Feast

Berneray, like the other two Gatliff hostels, has its special attractions and here are kayakers enjoying themselves. In this case the group’s activities have been documented – logged, photographed and...Read More »

New Year Ahead

There are, at this time of year, the inevitable signs for hotels and restaurants inviting us to book ahead for the festive season. These invitations do not apply to the...Read More »

Barra to Berneray

From Barra to Berneray is the result of 13 years of archaeological research on 12 islands, all but two of them now uninhabited, at the southern end of the Hebridean chain....Read More »

Berneray From Above

If, as suggested in a previous item, there were an airfield, albeit redundant, on Berneray then this photograph and the aerial image here would be part of the navigation guides....Read More »

Machair and Mystery

This photograph of the machair on Berneray could be of an airfield, but according to the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust the location of a World War Two installation built...Read More »

50 Years On

There is something essentially 21st Century about this photograph by Craig Cameron of a walker on Traigh Siar, Berneray. He is dressed for the occasion and is facing in the...Read More »

A Simple Slipway

For the briefest of tours of the simplest of terminals go to the Terminals & Piers website where Berneray features.. Relax when you see the queuing lanes empty of vehicles....Read More »

Interview with Gloria

From the Water’s Edge presents an interview with Gloria MacKillop, the widow of the legendary ‘Splash’ , and a long-time supporter of the Gatliff cause on Berneray. She originates from Australia,...Read More »

Through Light

This is rather an appropriate image for today – Saturday 26 October – as at 02.00 tomorrow the clocks go back and dusk becomes an hour earlier throughout the UK....Read More »

Memories Revived

At Midsummer 2012, WordShore produced a blog about his experiences of living in Berneray some five years previously. He comments on and observes several aspects of an island on ‘the...Read More »

The Last Voice of St Kilda

Pabbay is described by Martin Martin as being ‘half a league from Berneray‘ and – considering that a league was originally the distance that a man could could walk in...Read More »

Getting Away from Berneray

There is a book available from the Berneray Historical Society concerning the people who have left the island. Here are some details: ‘The book contains eleven clearly written chapters detailing...Read More »

Panoramic Vision

‘A key feature of Berneray is its machair, an area of land which edges the shoreline. Machair becomes fertile over time by crushed shells and other minerals. This land was...Read More »

A New House of Parliament

Consider again when Thomas Telford was commissioned to design and supervise the building of the so-called ‘Parliamentary Church’ on Berneray, little did he realise that it would continue for so...Read More »

Berneray Harbour at Sunrise

This image of Berneray Harbour was taken from the marinas.com website, featuring havens far and near for vessels. It’s not at dawn, however, although this YouTube clip was taken at...Read More »

Work Comes and Goes

Walking around Berneray gives many vistas – for although only three miles long and two miles wide, it does have an accessible coastline that’s virtually ten miles in distance.  One...Read More »

BC - Before Causeway

It now seems several centuries ago, but before the 1999 opening of the Berneray Causeway the route to the island was via the Newtonferry terminal and then on to Leverburgh...Read More »

See and Hear the Sea Here

The beaches on the west side of Berneray are famed for their perfection and images of them are framed by photographers and artists. They are a relatively short walk across...Read More »

From Companion to Company

Last night – Friday 19 July – was the occasion of the Ceilidh during the Berneray Week. The word comes from the Old Irish – cele –  meaning ‘companion’. From...Read More »

Take a Short Walk

Berneray is almost designed for walking – whether around or across or section by section. The walk from the ferry terminal is interesting enough, but If you take a stroll...Read More »

Almost Four Years On

It was on 30 July 2009 that Berneray resident, Donald Alex MacKillop, affectionately known as ‘Splash’ died, aged 78. He and his wife, Gloria, had hosted three visits by the...Read More »

Walk Tall and Right Around

Berneray has attracted people for centuries and the standing stone at Cladh Maolrithe was erected in Noeothic times. It is eight feet above the ground and is able to resist...Read More »

Back in Time

These images have a certain antiquity about them. Julius Caesar introduced the Julian Calendar in 45 BC and  these fence-posts on a Berneray beach – from Phototravels – have weathered...Read More »

Berneray Week 2013

In ten days time, on Friday 12 July, the eight-day Berneray Week will begin. Consider what’s on by reading its Event Poster and taking in the variety of activities for all...Read More »

Now Down to One

Boreray, in the Sound of Harris, is not to be confused with its namesake in the St Kilda Group. The 1841 Census indicated some 181 people living on the island...Read More »

The Hungry Hosteller

    There is a certain romance about staying at a Gatliff hostel, but the basic matter of food supplies needs consideration. Howmore lost its village store and so the...Read More »

Machair is Memorable

The Wikipedia entry on Machair has not one, but two, images of Berneray. So this is a place to visit to experience the phenomenon. A walk around the island gives...Read More »

Small on Berneray; Big in Canada

Angus MacAskill was born on Berneray in 1825, one of 12 children to parents of average size. He showed nothing abnormal in his rate of growth during a childhood, spent...Read More »

The Revolution of '98

The last days of 1998 saw a revolution in the ways of life on Berneray. This was when the £6.6 million causeway unofficially opened and the small ferry sailed for...Read More »

Finance, Food and Forecasts

There is much to see in and around Berneray and a number of facilities that are particularly useful to hostel-users. At Backhill, the main settlement, is a Post Office where...Read More »

Island Bus Timetables

All three Gatliff hostels can be reached by bus. No bikes can be carried on the buses in the Uists. The Western Isles Timetables may be viewed by clicking on...Read More »

Historical Access

There is much to learn from community websites. The Nurse’s Cottage on Berneray no longer provides medical facilities, but gives access to local information and historical records. Over the years...Read More »

The Brae and Bae in Berneray

There is a good guide to seeing more of this North Uist island in Berneray Explorer, presented by the WalkHighlands website. It refers, among much useful information, to that mix-up or...Read More »

Back to Life

Berneray has at least two buildings which have had a new lease of life recently. One is the Telford Parliamentary Church and the other is our hostel.Read More »