Berneray and Back

Updated: May 14, 2018

"What is this life, if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare" Henry Williamson

I had just finished reading Tarka the Otter, a must for any naturalist, when I was choosing my next destination for a wild adventure. Inspired, I searched for the best places in the UK to find otters. It didn't take me long; the Outer Hebrides. Vast windswept beaches, backed by an imposing mountain ridge. It's an exposed and furrowed landscape, and best of all, it's totally legal to wild camp! Cue a long hike, and immense pleasure at sitting and watching a family of otters for three days with an island pretty much to myself.

Kit List

  • Karrimor Bobcat 55-65 Rucksack

  • Vango Banshee 200 Tent

  • Vango Adventure 5 self inflating mat

  • A second hand sleeping bag I can't remember the name of...

  • Jet Boil

  • Karrimor Weathertite Coat

  • Sprayway Windstopper Fleece

  • Craghoppers Midlayer

  • Rab Baselayer

  • Berghaus Waterproof Trousers

  • Hanwag Tatra Boots

  • Some crap walking socks from Amazon

  • Lots of porridge and Ainsley Harriot cous cous

Top tips for camping in the Outer Hebrides


As well as seabirds and seals, definitely keep your eyes peeled for whales and dolphins around the coast and on your ferry trip over to the islands - I managed to see 2 minke whales, a pod of common dolphins and heaps of porpoise!

Unless higher up, a lot of the standing water is brackish and salty, use the hostel or ask politely at a local croft for a water refill.

Avoiding obvious farmers fields, there is a plethora of beautiful wild camping locations. The Western beaches are sensational!

If travelling outside of summer, check the Northern skyline at night for signs of the Aurora Borealis.


Enjoy! And let me know if you've ever been or are planning to go - would love to reminisce!

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© 2019 by Tom Young