Explore Howmore and South Uist’s wonderful environment & culture

web Howmore Hostel poster
Walk along the Western Isles Way, the oldest road in the Outer Hebrides; experience miles of golden sand, watching the Atlantic waves lap the beach; climb to the top of South Uist’s three highest hills; visit Glen Corradale, when Bonnie Prince Charlie hid for three weeks in 1746; explore the ruins of a 13th monastery; or just observe the gentle ways of machair life.

50 Shades of Howmore

The seat at Howmore commemorates the life and contributions to the Gatliff Hostels of the late Arthur Meaby. He followed in the steps of Herbert Gatliff who provided accommodation for...Read More »

Quite a Catch

There is much to do in and around Howmore, but some people will be drawn by the fishing in South Uist, in general, and that of the River Howmore bridge...Read More »

'Foot and Mouth'

There are many walks in the Highlands & Islands presented by walkhighlands and some are accompanied by a report. The beach circuit, one-hour exploration around the shore and vicinity of...Read More »

Ormacleit Castle

Three generations of cattle, looking alive and well, pose in front of Ormacleit Castle, defunct and ruined. It is, however, monitored by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical...Read More »

Big Sky Country

Expansive beaches, sweeping machair shorelines and here, at Tobha Beag (Howbeg), from Radius Images, is a photograph that makes an ultimate statement of – ‘Big Sky‘. There is an irony here...Read More »

Seen from a Bus

There is an interesting account of a summertime event, published in the Island News & Advertiser, of a Common Kingfisher seen at Howmore. It was spotted by Rosie Quick, who...Read More »

Old Tracks; New Ways

The first phase has started of creating The Hebridean Way – featuring routes from Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis. Signage should be in place for the cycle-path, which will...Read More »

Getting Away

For visitors to the Howmore hostel, during its first 36 years, getting to Eriskay meant an excursion south by road and ferry, involving a timetable and the planning of a...Read More »

Sundown to Dawn

One of the great attractions of the Hebrides is its qualities of light. One photographer who specialises in the capture of this element is Alan Jones and his gallery –...Read More »

Massey on the Machair

There must have been a time when machinery was rarely seen in the Outer Hebrides. Now mechanisation is as common there now as elsewhere, but somehow the older tractors linger...Read More »

Views All Around

A variety of visitors to Howmore have had their photographs compiled in this selection of Flickr. They serve as a reminder concerning the activities, features and settings of this South Uist...Read More »

Restorations All Round

This image of a restored blackhouse in Howmore shows the road that leads from the junction to the hostel, top right. The interactive map that accompanies a range of local...Read More »

Real Links

The British Open Championship is held only on links courses – those on sandy shores. Askernish, just south of Howmore, has its own ‘Open’, but will not be hosting the...Read More »

Looking Down

The internet provides opportunities for seeing places from different angles. Street-views may have their attractions in urban areas, but the rural aspects that are most compelling often involve looking down...Read More »

Gaze Back

Life has not changed much for ducks in South Uist, but for humans the past 130 years have seen remarkable developments. Take a look at Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey...Read More »

Load on the Road

The threads of economic life that run through Howmore – from crofting, bus garaging, cycle retailing to bed and breakfast accommodation and hostel provision – include, of course, keeping (or...Read More »


The reputation of Tommy MacDonald, the husband of Howmore warden Betty, went before him. A cyclist who was making a long-distance trip down the Western Isles was keen to have...Read More »

Now More

This section of the blog by Cody Duncan has featured before, but as his observations of Berneray and Rhenigidale have appeared over the last two days, it’s a case of...Read More »

Machair, More Coal

There is an evocative website concerning Wartime in Uist, including an item about Howmore: Robbie MacLeod reminisced, at an event in Kildonan Museum, about few if any households in the Uists having...Read More »

Barley Blowing

A fairly regular feature of the Howmore weather is the wind. It is seen here blowing the barley in a field. One of the many pleasures of the hostel is...Read More »

Panorama Howmore

Take a tour of Howmore with a panoramic device to be found at The Glebe Blog. It allows you to make a trip in the meadows with the mountains beyond. The...Read More »

'Cloud Conjurors'

When Christine Smith was writing the Country Diary in The Guardian in February 2012, she referred to Hecla, Corrodale and Mhor as being mountains that are ‘cloud conjurors’. Their range...Read More »

A Route Re-opened

A pilot scheme will soon start to test demand for winter services on the old Mallaig to Lochboisdale crossing by the MV Lord of the Isles. Reaching Howmore could involve the following....Read More »

Howmore Colours

This blog by Linda Gillard looks at colours, textures and other interests, including what she calls ’emotional geology’. When she visited Howmore her image and impressions were of: ‘The ancient...Read More »

Machair and More

Consider these changes that have occurred. First there was William Bald’s survey of the potential main routes through South Uist. This distinguished road engineer opted for the shoreline while eventually...Read More »

'Waiting out the Weather'

The Country Diary in The Guardian attracts descriptions of British scenes with the emphasis on the quietly dramatic, ever-changing scenes of rural life. Here, in her piece published on 8...Read More »

Compare and Contrast

Be aware and be warned that this idyllic scene of the seashore and machair near Howmore is not witnessed, in real life, every day of the year. Howmore is in...Read More »

Making Waves to Howmore

Here is an extract from the blog of Cody Duncan, written after a turbulent winter crossing to the islands and created in January 2013. ‘At Howmore, South Uist, is one of...Read More »

Time Capsule

PastHorizons: adventures-in-archaeology has an interesting website. One of its items features Howmore and what is perceived to be a time-capsule, running in an unbroken line from the Iron Age to...Read More »

St Columba Trail

Read the Howmore entry for the St Columba Trail and you realise that the village was something of a religious centre with a long and distinguished history. Writing in 1703,...Read More »

Six Things To Do In South Uist

The west side of South Uist has a beach that is almost uninterrupted for its 20-mile length. Development along it is nil. Just imagine what would have happened had global...Read More »

Howmore Appeal

The Howmore Appeal has reached its £47,000 target. All who contributed are very warmly thanked. The appeal is now closed.Read More »

A Direct Challenge - Reach Usinish

It’s more or less a straight line from Howmore across South Uist to the Usinish Lighthouse, but it needs reserves of energy and a degree of expedition equipment to get...Read More »

Keep Ahead of the Field

In the past it was word of mouth that kept us informed, but now it’s possible to have information by pager, smartphone, app and website. For example, the Blackwit has...Read More »

Stone Confusion

When at Howmore there is a distinctive standing stone to visit at An Carra, just off the A865 north of Kildonan. It is 17′ high, almost 5′ wide and has...Read More »

Am Paipear Appears Monthly

It was in the hot summer of 1976 that the presses first rolled to produce the community newspaper of the Uists, Am Paipear . It appears on the first Thursday...Read More »

Wheels at the Hub

Howmore is at the hub of South Uist. It is approximately half-way between Benbecula and Eriskay, is the site of the island’s bus and coach garage and has a thriving...Read More »

Wide Landscapes; High Food Stocks

When you are staying at Howmore, you need to be conscious that the village shop closed … over a year ago. Two Co-operative Stores are available, handily placed to the...Read More »

Rare Natural Woodland

On the southern slopes of Ben More (2034′) is a ravine containing natural woodland and having the status of an area of Special Scientific Interest. At one time this was...Read More »

A Centre for Thatch

Howmore is well-known for several things, among them is its collection of thatched buildings, considered to be one of the best in Scotland. An advantage to those interested is that...Read More »

Mark Newton at Howmore

Mark Newton, currently journeying around the coasts of Britain on a mobility scooter, is making progress, meeting people and raising money for charity. Earlier in the month he reached Howmore and...Read More »

Restoration Revives Memories

Howmore is approximately half-way along South Uist and so was a useful location to build a bus depot.The stock of vehicles is regularly replaced as innovations in public transport are...Read More »

Something of a Hub for Ferries

Howmore is something of a hub for ferries, although the distances to them are deceptively long. The traditional local terminal has been Lochboisdale, where steamers have been calling since 1880...Read More »

A Seven-Year Occupancy

Look, don’t go and touch – applies particularly to Ormacleit Castle, three miles to the south of Howmore. It is on private land and, with the constant weathering on its...Read More »

Loch Skipport - A Place of the Past

        Travel north from Howmore for a few miles and take the road a short distance to Loch Skipport, on the the east coast of South Uist....Read More »

Kildonan - a Range of Facilities

The Kildonan Centre is a few minutes drive south from Howmore and is open from April until October. Here there is a museum, built on the site of an old...Read More »

Corncrake Country

Under two miles to the north of Howmore is the Loch Druidibeg Nature Reserve, a significant breeding ground for the Corncrake or Landrail (Crex crex). These birds are to be...Read More »

1200 Years as a Centre

  London is a financial centre; Leeds a call centre, Manchester a media centre and Howmore … an ecclesiastical centre. The first church was probably established here in the 9th...Read More »

Walking on Air

The website WalkHighlands gives details of a one hour tour on foot of the attractions at Howmore. It takes in the church, beach, machair, thatched cottages, four ruins of ecclesiastical...Read More »

From Force Seven ... to 'Heaven'

  A visitor emailed: ‘I said I was going to South Uist and would look in on Howmore. Since I was last there a good few years ago it has...Read More »