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South Uist Machair NSA

We are planning a trip to the Outer Hebrides next year (2021) and we plan to stay two nights in Polochar. We would like to spend the day walking through the South Uist Machair NSA, from Polochar to somewhere around Homore (or shorter depending on the quality of any path), but I cannot find out if there are paths going from Polochar between the road and the western beach. My map is too small (1:200.000) and GoogleMaps doesn't show any paths. Even the map on https://www.gov.scot/publications/national-scenic-areas-of-scotland-maps/ cannot help me. Using the satellite view on GoogleMaps I think I see faint markings which might be paths.

Does anyone know for certain?

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, l.p.enersen,

The footpaths will take you almost all the way from Polachar (Pol a Charra) to Howmore (Tobha Mor). There is one small portion, near Loch Dun na Cille where you have to go inland for a bit, and take the paved road. However, my OS map is dated 2013, so there may be a footpath through that portion by now.

Best OS maps are 22 (Benbecula and South Uist) and 31 (Barra and South Uist). They show all of the footpaths and tracks. They are scale 1:50,000, and are in the Landranger series. Almost all of the place names are in Scots Gaelic. As the paths and tracks are between the shore and the A865, you can't get lost! There are toilets at the hostel in Howmore.

A good side trip on your route would be out to Rubha Aird a Mhuile, which is a small peninsula sticking out into the Atlantic. Next stop North America!

There is a very nice portion of machair at tthe Balranald Nature Center on North Uist. Follow the signposts, which take you out to the shore. Watch out for diving terns!

Slainte!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
1041 posts

Thank you for the information.

Sorry I didn't react sooner, but I was prevented when I tried to answer last Thursday.