Barra ( Scottish Gaelic: Barraigh ) is the largest island in the south of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.


Nearby Barras is also the only inhabited island of Vatersay ( Scottish Gaelic: Bhatarsaigh ), which is accessible via a causeway from Barra. A number of smaller, since the beginning of the 20th century uninhabited islands are accessible by boat and are sometimes used as a sheep pasture during the summer. South of Barra is the island of Barra Head (also known as Berneray ) with the same southernmost point of the Outer Hebrides.

Most of the approximately 1,200 inhabitants Barras live in the only town on the island, Castlebay ( Scottish Gaelic: Bagh a Chaisteil ) on the south coast of Barra. The town extends along a bay. Most other settlements are also located on the coast.

Barra is characterized by a central mountain range with the 384 meter high Heaval as the highest elevation. The mountains are mostly covered by peat. The coastal areas are mostly rocky cliffs, partly fertile machair areas with upstream high sand dunes and wide beaches.

Culture and economy

The population is mainly Catholic and lives mainly from agriculture (mainly extensive sheep, fish and shrimp farming ) and tourism. In addition to English, many residents speak Gaelic. Many street signs and place names bear only the Gaelic name.

The cultural highlight is the Barras Kisimul lying on a rock in the bay of Castlebay Castle of MacNeil from the 16th century. Visitors will be met at the quay of Castlebay to visit by boat. One is recommended to Barra remains of late Stone Age tombs and buildings. Among these projects, the structure of Dun Cuier ( Scottish Gaelic: Dun Chuidhir ) out.


  • Kisimul Castle, also MacLeod 's Tower or Castle Sinclair called a Tower House Loch Tangusdale.
  • Allasdale or Allathasdal ( stone circles and Wheelhouse )
  • At Dubharaidh ( Museum )
  • Cille Bharra (church)
  • Dun Bharpa ( well-preserved megalithic )
  • Dun Cuier ( a dilapidated Dun )
  • Some standing stones (such as Brevig Bay and Borve machair )
  • St. Columba 's Well ( Sacred Well )
  • See also List of Listed Buildings on Barra


The island has the only UK airport line with constantly changing schedule: Because the runways of Barra Airport lie on the beach, can take place only at low tide air traffic.

Barra can be reached through the following facilities:

  • From Glasgow several times a day with the airliner
  • From the Scottish mainland there is a daily car ferry from Oban on Lochboisdale (South Uist ) to Castlebay
  • Indirectly through the adjacent Uist Archipelago: either by car ferry from Eriskay to North Barra, or by plane from Benbecula from ( Return of the line machine to Glasgow ), each several times a day