Wednesday 15th September
Destination: South Uist
Today, we need to head further south on South Uist and after a wash and brush up, we leave our friendly poultry behind.
We stop to photograph some highland cattle and eventually come across a distillery at Nunton House on the B892. It’s revealed to us – because of its blue plaque – it has gone down in the history books as the place where the Nunton Farm Land Raid occurred in 1923.
This was the culmination of aggrieved tenant farmers determined not to be pushed around.
In the 1800s, the area was run by Colonel Cluny, a ruthless landowner, who was involved in the notorious land clearances, forcing many to emigrate to Canada. After his rule ended, the remaining tenant farmers ran Nunton Farm. The 1886 Crofters Act gave security of tenure and fairer rent. However, the Act did not return crofting land to the men from which it had been taken. The British government then did not follow through on its promise to return land to men who had fought in the Great War. Nunton Farm was subject to a land raid by returning servicemen, which then saw the land split into crofts.
As we look around the farm buildings, we are told that nothing much has changed since the 1800s with original cobbled stable floors still in evidence.
We continue further south, through a watery landscape and suddenly discover a couple of wild Shetland ponies adjacent to the road. The animals look completely at home in this unforgiving, rugged countryside.
Further on, we pass one of the newish schools. Recently, there has been much investment in roads and infrastructure including schools. Most of the small junior schools have been closed and consolidated into a few main ones, together with a couple of secondary schools. It means that the new schools have more pupils and that there are a minimum amount of buildings to maintain.
Later on we head to Kilbride Cafe campsite. This is the nearest one to Lochboisdale harbour, which is where our return ferry departs from to Mallaig, on the mainland.
Finally towards the end of the day, we are treated to a magnificent sunset, which we watch from a large outcrop of rock, above one of the many white sandy beaches.