Isle of Grimsay

Our home island of Grimsay lies just south of its much bigger neighbour island, North Uist. To the south are the myriad sandbanks, channels and small islands of the so-called North Ford, beyond which lies the island of Benbecula.


Grimsay is a small friendly island offering a surprising variety of landscape and outlook. Crossing the western end of the island is the main north-south road through Uist, connecting with North Uist and Benbecula by means of causeways. A narrow winding road circles Grimsay, with crofts running from the rocky shores up towards the low hills and many lochs at the interior of the island.

At the east end of the island is the main settlement of Kallin, with its fishing harbour, boats and seafood businesses, a lively cultural centre at the old school.

There's also the Grimsay Boatshed where historic boats are restored and new boats built and which is the heart of the annual Grimsay Boat Day held each May - a lively and popular day for islanders and visitors alike.

The Barn lies off a minor lane that runs from the circular road at the 'business units' east and down to the shore. This area enjoys wonderful views across the Minch towards Skye and the Small Isles of Canna and Rum, and the much closer island of Ronay, along with many other lesser islands, all uninhabited but with abundant wildlife. The ancient ruins of St Michael's Church [Teampull Naomh Mhicheil], on a low hill close to The Barn, offers a wonderful and romantic viewpoint.

teampull naomh micheil

Grimsay - its many inland lochs, and in particular its shore line and adjacent channels, is rich in wildlife. Gulls quarter the shore line, otters hunt and play in the shallow water and on the rocks, and gannets are often seen diving for fish in the deeper channels. Owls are as likely to be hunting during the day as at night, beating along steadily at little more than two or three metres or so above ground. With patience and a little luck you may well also see sea (white-tailed) eagles, kestrels, sparrow hawks and other birds of prey. 

Gaelic is still the language of every day, and used by younger people as well as the oldest, maintaining a thread of continuity that runs back through the troubled times of the 19thC clearances, the Jacobite troubles of the 18thC, the power struggles of medieaevel times, to the Viking rule and far beyond.grimsay iron age wheelhouse

Judging from the number of known archaeological sites dated to that period, Grimsay was probably well populated in the Iron Age. There is a particularly fine example of a wheel-house, the typical house type of those times, close to the north coast of the island: although some distance from the circular road, it is readily found and is well worth visiting - but please take care not to damage the fragile remains.  It has been proposed to use this site as the basis for a full reconstruction.

Below are more images from around Grimsay in all seasons and weathers.

 


 


If you have pictures of your own visit to Grimsay you'd be happy to share through this web page, you can email them to simon[at]thebarngrimsay.co.uk.


Site Last Updated - 01/01/2018 14:41:57
(c)2011-2012 Simon Davies & Joanna MacKinnon
with contributions from Jonathan Bridge
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