Baleshare, North Uist, Western Isles, HS6 5HG
If you're looking for a remote bolthole in the UK then there are few better places to go than Scotland's West Coast. If want a white-sand beach as well, then one of the islands should fit the bill. If you want both, then look no further than Baleshare Bothies, set on the tiny island of Baleshare, which is connected to the remote Hebridean island of North Uist via a narrow causeway. As hard-to-reach UK retreats go, there are few better places. And the beach? It's about 200 yards away.
'Bothy' is Scottish for a little hut or cabin in a remote setting offering shelter, and that's not a bad description of these glamping pods. Set back from Baleshare's beach, these little beauties enjoy a secluded and simple location with breathtaking views over the North Atlantic, but they are also kitted out with enough luxuries to rival your average home. Each cosy pod contains a double bed and a small sofabed, with linen and towels provided, a fully equipped kitchenette and dining table as well as an outdoor dining area with a picnic bench and firepit. You can enjoy your home-cooked meal outside while gazing at sunsets you'll dream about for ever, while after sundown you can watch TV in the cosiest circumstances imaginable after a long day of breezy coastal walks.
Owners Stuart and Sarah and their families live nearby and can advise on acivities and things to see not just on Baleshare and North Uist, but on its sister island of South Uist as well. Baleshare itself is a flat, low-lying island and a good base for exploring the Outer Hebrides. Once you tire of your own doorstep beach you can set off in search of others, to popular Cula Bay, for example, or Balranald Bay, backed by a nature reserve. Standing stones at Gramsdale and Langais, meanwhile, allude to the Hebrides ancient past, along with ruined hilltop chapels buffeted by the winds and left in beautiful ruins for adventurous visitors to explore.
Each pod contains a small double bed and small sofa bed (all bed linen and towels provided), an ensuite with a proper loo, a powerful shower and a hand basin, plus a kitchenette equipped with an electric hob, microwave, kettle, toaster and a small fridge freezer. Each pod has a table and chairs seating four, a TV and an electric heater, as well as an outdoor dining area with a picnic bench and firepit. Private parking is available onsite.
Our site is suited to all those who enjoy nature. Up to two dogs are permitted in our Hiort pod.
Walking and enjoying the quiet, emptiness of the Outer Hebrides is usually the main attraction here and Baleshare's long, white beach is a wonderful place for a swim on a calm day, looking across at the Monach Islands. Leaving Baleshare and heading on to North Uist mainland, Langass Woodland is a 15-minute drive from your pod – follow the marked trails through the woods there and look out for the blue-black-striped dragonflies – and it's 15 minutes, too, to Pobull Fhinn Stone Circle, which dates back to the second millennium BC and is the most well-known stone circle in the Uists. The circle of 24 standing stones overlooks Loch Langais, with portal stones marking the entrance. It's a 10-minute drive, or hour and a half walk each way to Teampull na Trionaid ("trinity church"), a ruined 13th-century Augustinian nunnery at Carinish that makes for an intriguing monument to walk out to, with views back over the sound to Baleshare Island.
Food & Drink
The Westford Inn (01876 580653) is a cosy, dog friendly pub, located just over 10 minutes away in the car. During the summer they host mini beer festivals but throughout the year they have lots of other events on, like cocktail nights, pub quizzes and traditional music nights. Langass Lodge (01876 580285) is another great local spot, around 15 minutes away in the car, their daily changing menu uses local food to produce modern Scottish cuisine. A little further to get to, but still under 20-minutes away, is Lochmaddy Hotel (01876 500331), their fresh seafood options change daily on their specials board, with Lobster dishes and Scallop meals leaving you spoilt for choice, but make sure to leave room for dessert, prepared by manager and pastry chef Eilidh.
OpenOpen all year.
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