If you are looking for the next journey, you should definitely consider camping in Barra. This lovely Scottish island is one of the most inhabited islands, but the population density is not that high, so you can explore the island and enjoy its natural beauty.
Barra has a rich history and it’s filled with ancient ruins that you can find all over the island. You may also find beautiful white sand beaches that spread all over the coast. If you are wondering what you can do on this island, these are just some of the most popular activities:
- Wild Camping
- Surfing (Yes, the beaches are perfect for it.)
- Exploring ancient ruins
- Observing wildlife
Wild camping: Is it legal in Barra?
Since there is something called the “Scottish Outdoor Access Code”, wild camping is allowed by law. However, that doesn’t mean you can roam around doing damage. You have to follow specific rules if you want to camp in the wild. Some of these rules are:
- Respect people’s privacy
- Avoid camping on lands where management operations take place (ex. harvesting, tree-felling, etc.)
- Don’t litter
- Don’t disturb wildlife
- Keep your pets under control, especially near livestock
- Don’t stay longer than 2 days (Ask for a permit from the landowner if you plan to stay longer)
As in most places, try to remain discreet when camping in Barra. Stay clear of habitation and always clean the mess behind you. Also, as tempting, as it sounds, don’t camp near historical structures. Always remember that people are living on that island, so you should respect them as if someone was camping in your backyard.
You should also avoid camping on fenced land as that’s most likely private land. If you ever wanted to try camping on a sand beach, Barra is a good place to try that. Just beware if you want to go swimming as jellyfish love that area.
“Early morning ferry ride off Barra was absolutely gorgeous – still waters and loads of jellyfish!”– JUNO_11 on Reddit
Best time for camping in Barra
You might wonder, what’s the best time to visit Barra island? This depends on what you are trying to see. If you want to experience the phenomena of Aurora Borealis, then you should visit during mid-October. However, if you are simply looking for the most stable weather period, go between April and October.
Summertime is usually the period when the weather is most stable, but the winds can be pretty strong. When camping on Barra island or any other Scotland island, always bring a raincoat. The general rule of thumb when camping anywhere in the UK is to expect rain. Waterproof equipment is your best friend during such camping trips.
If you are into photography, Barra has much to offer. From beautiful landscapes, diverse wildlife, and plenty of different wildflowers. Oh, don’t forget the beautiful sandy beaches too. You might wonder, what’s some other equipment good for this camping trip?
- Storm cooker – Prevents spread of wildfires, portable, easy to use
- Waterproof tent – Obviously you need a tent, but make sure it’s waterproof too. You can read our 5 Best Tents for Heavy Rain buying guide if you don’t know where to find one.
- Reserve socks – It’s super easy to forget those, but also super bad when your only pair gets wet.
- Portable charger – Whether it’s for your phone or camera, don’t miss out on beautiful shots.
- Swimming shorts – When you see those incredible sand beaches, you’ll want to rush in.
5 campsites in Barra you can’t miss
If you would rather enjoy your time at official campsites, we got you covered. We did some research for you and made a list of 5 campsites in Barra that you can book. Take a look at this map we got, and also check the description for each individual campsite.
The campsite is very close to the seaside, but there are also “Loch an Ail”, “Lochan nam Faoileann”, “Loch Scotageary” and “Loch Ob” lakes that you can visit nearby. For those that don’t know it, “Loch” is a Scottish/Irish word for a lake.
There are seven hard-standing pitches with hook-ups and 10 with optional hook-ups. Also, you can book “Solas” which are bedroom cottages or Lodgings. Each unit has a different price, depending on your wants and needs.
From 6£ to 90£ per day. The cheapest option is to camp in a tent, while the most expensive one is a lodging room. The price for the lodging room is based on 4 people though. You can also get it for 30£ if you are solo or 50£ if there are two of you. Check the prices here.
183 Bolnabodach, Isle of Barra, HS9 5UT.
Things to do around
- Loch fishing
- Bird watching
Located on the northern end of Barra island, very close to the seaside. If you want to explore the rest of the island you can always book a taxi or take a bus. The majority of the most beautiful sandy beaches are in the northern part of the island, so if that’s what you are looking for, this is one of the best campsites for it.
Just as with the previous campsite, the pricing depends on the type of service you are getting. You can get a single-person tent for 10£ per day or a motorhome for 21£ per day. There is also an electrical hook-up possibility for 4£ per day. Besides that, there are also pods with beds and kitchens that you can rent. Read more about it on the official website for this campsite here.
Eoligarry, Isle of Barra HS9 5YD, UK
Located only 100 meters from the big white sandy beach, this campsite will fill your heart with plenty of beautiful views to enjoy. This campsite dates back to 2013, it is a certified site and run by a small family. It’s in a good location to shelter against strong winds.
Plenty of different wildlife such as seals, dolphins, otters, and more animals can be seen nearby.
By staying at this campsite, you gain access to different facilities. These facilities include a toilet, refuse disposal, shower, laundry, and dishwashing facility. It’s affordable with prices as low as 12£ per day. Also, you can arrange a boat to rent if you wish to explore the seaside a bit more. The prices can be found here.
2 Eoligarry, Isle of Barra HS9 5YD, UK
If you would rather stay in a cabin than a tent, there is a solution for you as well. The solution is called “Tiny Wee House”. It’s located near the dun that’s been preserved since the Iron Age called “Dun Cuier”. If you want an awesome view while remaining inside, this is the ideal cabin for you.
The cabin is fully equipped, including a gas oven and two gas hobs. You don’t have to worry about comfort either as it has a very comfortable double sofa bed and a single mezzanine inside. A hot water shower is also a big bonus for this cabin. As the owners of this cabin say “This really is the perfect place to get away from it all.”.
The 80£ per day price is fair considering you don’t share the cabin with someone else and the location is great.
House, Cuithir, Isle of Barra HS9 5XU, UK
If you like to explore islands and nature, but you’d rather sleep inside, you should consider Heathbank Hotel. Located very near the sea, it’s surrounded by beautiful green nature. There are six different rooms to choose from, and the facilities included are:
- Flat Screen TV
- USB Sockets
- Bottled water
- Licensed bar
It’s worth noting that credit cards are accepted on-site.
The price starts from 70£ and goes to 100£ per day, check all prices here.
Northbay, Isle of Barra, Castlebay HS9 5YQ, UK
While camping in Barra is not as popular as on some other islands, it has everything you need for a perfect camping trip. From sandy beaches to a wide variety of flowers, animals, and more. The prices are not high and you can camp in the wild if you don’t want to stay at a paid campsite.