Barra (Barraigh) :: Shared Description

The Isle of Barra (Barraigh) is towards the southern end of the long chain of islands that constitutes the Outer Hebrides. Since 1991 it has been joined by a 200m long causeway to its southern neighbour, Vatersay (Bhatarsaigh) the latter being the southernmost populated island of the archipelago. Beyond Vatersay to the south lie some uninhabited (but mostly formerly inhabited) islands, principal among which are (in order from N to S): Sandray (Sanndraigh), Pabbay (Pabaigh), Mingulay (Miùghlaigh) and finally Berneray (Beàrnaraigh) also known as Barra Head.
Barra is quite a bustling island for its size, having amongst the highest population densities of the outer islands (viz. 20/km² roughly twice that of Lewis with Harris for example). The entirety of this population is situated around the coast or a little way inland along valleys, the centre of the island being mountainous and uninhabited.
One circular road (the A888) forms a circuit around the bulk of the island with a branching minor road heading into the Eoligarry peninsula (where the airport is located, see below) and another spur running south around the perimeter of Beinn Tangabhal to the causeway to Vatersay.
The chief settlement of Castlebay is clearly the hub of the island with schools, shops, hotels, a particularly excellent café ( LinkExternal link ) and the port as well as Kisimul Castle on its own little islet in the bay, from which the town gets its name.
Barra airport is one of the World's most remarkable - it is situated on the Eoligarry peninsula towards the northern extremity of the island ... and it doesn't have a runway as such. Instead planes land and take off from the expansive beach of Tràigh Mhòr ("Big Beach"). Flight times are therefore dependent on the tide!
Area: 5,875ha (22⅔ miles²)
Population: 1,174 (2011 census)
Highest Point: Heaval (Heabhal), 384m (1,259')
Principal settlement: Castlebay (with perhaps a third of the island's population)
by Rob Farrow
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21 images use this description:

NF6501 : Barra - Southern end of lagoon near Borve (Borgh) by Rob Farrow
NF6502 : Barra - Tràigh Tuath from its dunes by Rob Farrow
NL6698 : Barra - View from Castlebay Hotel  terrace by Rob Farrow
NF6908 : Barra - Coast of Bàgh nan Clach by Rob Farrow
NF6502 : Barra - Abhainn Mhòr drains across Tràigh Tuath by Rob Farrow
NF6502 : Barra - Lagoon fed by Abhainn Mhòr near Borve (Borgh) by Rob Farrow
NF7202 : Barra - Safe passage buoys, entrance to Bàgh Thiarabhagh by Rob Farrow
NF6905 : Barra - The Airport - Terminal building and conning tower by Rob Farrow
NL6998 : Barra - Brevig (Breibhig) from the jetty by Rob Farrow
NL6697 : Barra - Castlebay - Kisimul Castle by Rob Farrow
NF6905 : Barra - Aeroplane taxiing for take-off from the sands by Rob Farrow
NF6604 : Barra - small beach north of Cleat & Aird Mhurain by Rob Farrow
NF6501 : Barra - Cluster of houses near the bridge over Abhainn Mhòr by Rob Farrow
NF6906 : Barra - Tràigh Eais by Rob Farrow
NF6805 : Barra - Scalavaslain and southern end of Tràigh Eais by Rob Farrow
NF6905 : Barra - Huge sand dune on Tràigh Eais by Rob Farrow
NF7202 : Barra - Inlet near Bruernish (Bruairnis) by Rob Farrow
NF6502 : Barra - Tràigh Tuath by Rob Farrow
NL6998 : Barra - Looking out from the jetty at Brevig (Brèibhig) by Rob Farrow
NF6502 : Barra - Northern end of the lagoon as it nears the sea by Rob Farrow
NF6704 : Barra - Sandy beach northeast of Cleat (Cleit) by Rob Farrow

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Created: Wed, 14 Jul 2021, Updated: Wed, 14 Jul 2021

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2021 Rob Farrow, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.