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Walking in Barra is all about the beaches and Barra has beaches on an epic scale. White, fine sand, monster sand dunes, huge rolling Atlantic waves and miles and miles of it everywhere. It's a beachcomber's paradise, and you won't have to share it with big crowds. Bring a picnic and find your own perfect piece of Hebridean machair grass, or just pick a sand dune for the day. From the cottage you can also walk along the crest of the hills from Ben Bheireasaigh (198 metres) to the island's highest mountain, Heabhal (383 metres). The hilltops give views over Vatersay and all of Barra's outlying islands.
Fishing and Raking for Cockles
You can go rock fishing at the bottom of the garden or take the easy option and visit the shop at the fish factory at Ardveenish. When the tide is out, Tràigh Mhòr (the beach by the Airport) is the perfect spot for raking for cockles. Rakes and buckets are in the cottage; just bring your own wellies.
Kayaking, Boat trips, Cycling, Surfing/ body boarding
Barra is just the place for the adventurous. You can take part in guided kayaking trips, go on a charter boat trip and explore the archaeology and wildlife of the deserted islands south of Barra. Bicycles can be hired in Castlebay from Barra Cycle Hire (+44(0)1871 810284). Barra is also a paradise for experienced surfers and body boarders. You'll need to bring your own board, though.
Britain's most westerly golf course is on Barra, 4 miles from the cottage. This is a 9 hole, 2936 yard links course.
Barra and the surrounding islands support a large number of seabirds: razorbill, guillemot, kittiwake, shag, fulmar, common and Arctic tern, black guillemot, storm petrel, great skua, puffin, oystercatcher, common gull, herring gull, greater and lesser black backed gull. There are also corncrake in the fields around the house, plovers, herons, sea eagles and even yellow warblers. Oh and keep an eye out for sea otters by the rocks at the end of the garden!
The cottage appeared briefly in the opening scene of 'Whisky Galore' (GB 1949). It featured extensively in Zach Rosenau's short film 'The Inaudible Crimes of Jasper Pidgeon' (GB/US 2009).
Windy Winter Weekend Specials
If you love storm watching, star gazing, are hardy and have a healthy appetite for adventure why not try the Hebrides in winter?
Barra is fully exposed to Atlantic gales in winter and is an excellent location for finding out if your outdoor clothing is really as water- and windproof as advertised in the shop! Bruairnis is free from light pollution and on a clear night you can step out of the door and see the Milky Way.