A warm welcome awaits you at The Bayview Barra Guest House on the beautiful Island of Barra owned and run by Martin and Barbara Macneil-Smyth. Witihin easy distance of the airport and all the local amenities of Castlebay.
Bayview Guest House
Bayview Guest House is situated a short 15 min walk or 2 min drive from the centre of Castlebay on the road to Vatersay on the Isle of Barra. It’s a family run Bed & Breakfast and aims to provide a good night sleep in clean comfortable surroundings, and a healthy heartwarming breakfast to set you up for the day.
We have one double room, one twin room and a larger room which can be a twin, double or family room which can cater for up to four people. We also have our Captains Cabin which is adjacent to the house. It is double bed cabin with panoramic sea views over Castlebay from a private veranda. All rooms are ensuite with tea/coffee facilities, tv, hairdryer and free wifi.
Breakfast is served in the Guest lounge which also has stunning sea views and is available for our guests to use anytime during their stay.
Isle of Barra
Barra is the second most southerly inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. Its now joined by causeway to Vatersay to the south. It is accessible by boat from the mainland at Oban and from Eriskay from the north through the islands. There are also daily flights from Glasgow. Barra is about 6 miles wide and 11 miles long with a ring road about 13 miles. Population at the last count about 1174 and rising.
What to do
Despite its small size Barra is steeped in history, culture and folklore. On arriving by boat from Oban you are greeted with the magnificent site of the Castle in the bay. Named Kisimul which means ‘Castle Island’ it dates back to the 15th century when it was the stronghold of the Clan Macneil. With stories of beheadings etc it is well worth a visit and has boat trips from April to September. Castlebay has its own Heritage centre. Opened from April to September you can browse through the thousands of photos and exhibits to understand the culture of Barra or maybe search for relatives. During the 19th century Barra had a thriving fishing industry. Fish were landed at Castlebay along the sea front and sorted by ‘Herring girls’. You can walk the ‘Herring walk’ along the sea front today. There are various shops in Castlebay where you can purchase local produce and souvenirs from knitwear to handmade toffee. And for eating out there are two hotels and Café Kisimul for Indian and Italian cuisine as well as the Deck for fish’n’chips.
Outside of Castlebay there are various walks across the island taking in the breath-taking views of the white sandy beaches of the west and the rough hilly landscape of the east. On your way you will come across lots of places of local and historical interest. From Loch Sinclair at Tangasdale over Ben Tangaval to Vatersay. On the road to Vatersay you will find the War memorial to the World Wars and further along a plane wreckage from WWII. The Catalina sea plane crashed here in 1941 killing 3 of its 9 crew on a training exercise. Vatersay has two of the best beaches on these islands. The calm clear and colourful waters on the east beach to the wild west beach just one hundred yards apart. On this west beach is a monument to the ‘Annie Jane’ which ran aground here in stormy seas in 1853 on its way to Quebec with 450 immigrants on board, there were only one hundred survivors. There are other walks around Vatersay taking in old villages and burial grounds and ruins. South of Vatersay are the Islands of Pabbay, Sandray, Mingulay and Berneray. Day trips can be arranged to Mingulay where there are large colonies of birds and seals on the beach and if your lucky you might catch sight of dolphins basking sharks and whales.
On the west coast of Barra there is an old burial ground at Borve on the Machair surrounded by the rough sea of the Atlantic. And further on there is Seal Bay where seals can be found resting on the beach. This is overlooked by Grean Head jutting into the Atlantic which boasts a challenging nine-hole golf course which is popular with some visitors and has stunning views along the west side of the white sandy beaches at Tangasdale, Cleat and TraighEais. There are various tracks of the main road which take you to the heart of the island where you can see old Black houses with their distinctive appearance, old churches and burial grounds. In the north of the island you will find the airport which has daily flights arriving from Glasgow. It has the unique distinction of being the only airport in the world which has scheduled landings on the beach. It has also three runways, which is one more than Heathrow, which are washed twice a day by the tide. At low tide you can also go cockle picking here, but stay off the runways. Beyond the airport is the peninsula of Eoligorry which has stunning views of Eriskay and Uist. The story goes of a boat named the Politician which went aground at Eriskay in 1941 with a cargo of thousands of bottles of Whiskey, some of which made their way to Barra. It was told in a book by Compton Mackenzie, who lived opposite the airport, and then later made into a film, Whiskey Galore, worth a watch.
The east side of Barra has a lot more rugged terrain with rocky inlets rather than sandy beaches. It is home to the fish factory and harbour where the boats land there catch. The factory is a big employer for the island. Down the road is the ferry terminal to Eriskay. On a good day along the east there are amazing views across to the Inner Hebrides from the Isle of Skye down to Coll and Tiree. Above Castlebay is the highest point in Barra. Heaval stands at 383metres and on its east slope about halfway is a statue of Madona and Child know as Lady of the sea. Its very popular with hill walkers and has stunning views of the southern islands. Barra is full of ancient history with villages and burial grounds dating back to the 7th century each with their own story.
During the summer months there are a lot of activities you can get involved in from kayaking, surfing, cycling or just walking. The Hebridean Way cycle route starts/ends in Vatersay and goes up through to the Isle of Lewis. So, when booking your visit to the Isle of Barra, make sure you allow enough time to take in its unique and relaxing atmosphere and stunning scenery.
|Family Room||£45 Per person per night (all inclusive)|
Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.