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Walks on the Galson Estate

Updated: Mar 17, 2022

There are endless walks along the coast of the estate. The coast can be accessed from most villages and you can walk along the coast in either direction for as long as you like. Walking between the Butt of Lewis lighthouse and Port is particularly stunning, as is the walk between Galson and South Dell. When walking, please be mindful that you may be walking through crofter's fields with livestock – always close gates and keep dogs on leads. (See here for visitor information/guidelines)

1. Eoropie Circular Walk

This circular walk incorporates many of the must-see sights of the Galson Estate. Beginning at the white sands of Traigh Shanndaigh in Eoropie [pronounced Try Hownt-eye], you will ascend over the cliffs towards the dramatic Butt of Lewis Lighthouse. From here, progress on through the village of Eoropie, passing a 13th century temple dedicated to St Moluag, a contemporary of St Columba, one of the most important saints involved in the diffusion of Christianity. The road will then lead you back to your car.


Duration: 1 -2 hours Difficulty: Hard Condition: Some parts boggy underfoot. Sensible footwear and waterproof clothing recommended. Bring a map – mobile phone signal is often poor.

Some high, exposed clifftops and sheer drops feature on this walk. Shut all gates you open and keep dogs on a lead. Emergency Coastguard number: 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Route description:

1. Park at the Eoropie playpark, which is signposted from the road. Walk down the path and turn right towards the beach. Pass through the gate. Following the fence line on your right, head towards the gate in the fence line. Either pass through this gate now, or have a stroll on the beach first, Traigh Shanndaigh. Large Atlantic waves crash onto these white sands, creating perfect photographic opportunities come rain or shine.

2. After passing through the gate in the fence line, head towards the first brown waymarker post on the coastline. You will pass a fisherman’s memorial on your left. Follow the coastline round to another beautiful hidden beach which is called Cunndal. Continue past this beach to another gate, which you pass through. Keep following the waymarkers along the coast.

3. By now you should be seeing the towering Butt of Lewis Lighthouse in the distance. Keep well inland as you continue following the waymarkers towards it – the clifftops have sheer drops and the wind is often high at these exposed points. If you are lucky, here you can see White-tailed Eagles soaring high above. These sea eagles have the largest wingspan of any eagle – sometimes up to 8ft (2.45m)!

4. Once you have reached the Lighthouse. You can explore the surrounding area but unfortunately, members of the public are not permitted to access the lighthouse. The Lighthouse has been automated since 1998. When you are ready to leave, begin to follow the road or the coastline away from the Lighthouse. You will soon arrive at a small but beautiful beach, Port Stòth. Bricks were landed on this beach in 1862 when building the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse and amazingly, in 2016, one of these bricks was found buried in the sand here.

5. When you are ready, continue on this road towards the village of Eoropie. As you approach the village, on your left, you will see a small, single storey church set back from the road – this is Teampall Mholuaidh, St Moluag’s Church, a 13th century church dedicated to St Moluag, a contemporary of St Columba. To visit, turn left onto the road to your left at the cross roads , and then left again onto the track which leads up to the church. The church is open to the public to visit. It has no electricity but is still in use today for worship. When you are ready to leave, follow the road until you see a right turn. This will take you back to the car park.


2. Skigersta Circular Walk

This circular walk takes you out to the vast wilderness of the Skigersta moorland where the peats are cut for much of the Ness community. It also takes you past a village of ‘sheilings’ where people used to live in the summer months when their livestock were on the moor.

Duration: 3- 4 hours Difficulty: Moderate Condition: Some parts boggy underfoot. Sensible footwear and waterproof clothing recommended. Bring a map – mobile phone signal is occasionally poor. Some high, exposed clifftops and sheer drops feature on this walk. Shut all gates you open and keep dogs on a lead.

Emergency Coastguard number: 999 and ask for the Coastguard

1. Park at the quay and take the path down to the beach by the house that sits facing the beach. At the far side of the beach a small track leads up onto the moor above the bay. Follow the numerous tracks around the bay, jumping over some patches of soggy ground and continue along the coast and past an archway set back from the coast. The first small headland has two cairns built on them, said to have been built in memory of local men who died in the second world war. It is worth noting that the ground inland from the coast can be very heavy going with bogs and tussocks that are quite exhausting to navigate, the best ground is closer to the coast. Following sheep trails is often the best idea but keep a comfortable distance from any cliff tops, they can be very high!

2. You will pass an inlet where a small waterfall drops to the shore below. Head along the fence line a short way to find the stile. This is where you should cross the fence. From here the coast is wild and lofty. You will soon pass a rocky beach (confusingly this is also called Cuidhsiadar) where seals often congregate, drop down onto the beach and up the other side to continue along the coast.

3. You will pass the monument (white cairn) to John Wilson Dougal who was a Geologist who first described some of the Hebridean rock types. Seabirds gather in large numbers by the monument. There are several places where small burns cross the coast to empty into the ocean and the ground can be boggy.

4. Eventually you will come to the valley that hosts the Abhain Dubh river in a place called Cuidhsiadar. Follow the trails up the northern flanks of the river to the houses. The buildings here are at the site of an ancient settlement and were mostly built as ‘Sheilings’ to shelter crofters whose sheep were grazing on the moor.

5. To return to Skigersta, follow the gravel road for 4 km. You will see where the local people have, and still do, get their Peats for heating and cooking along either side of this road. Peat cutting is a laborious process, and, in the summer, you will often see families out cutting, turning or transporting their peats down the road in trailers behind antique tractors lovingly maintained for this annual ritual.


3. Baile an Truiseil - Siadar Uarach/Iarach

Ballantrushal - Upper Shader/Lower Shader Village Loop

This circular walk will take you through the villages of Lower and Upper Shader [Siadar Iarach/Siadar Uarach] and Ballantrushal [Baile an Truiseil]. ‘Siadar’, also written as ‘Siadair’, means ‘farmstead’ and derives from Norse. Baile an Truiseil, thought to mean ‘The Farm at the Truiseil Stone’, refers to the standing stone located within the village, which you can visit as part of this walk.

Distance: 5.69km / 3.53 miles Duration: 1 – 1 ½ hours Difficulty: Easy

Condition: Sensible footwear and waterproofs are normally recommended. Bring a map – mobile phone signal is often poor. Active crofting (farming) communities use the land. Shut all gates you open and keep dogs on leads.

Route description

1. Park just in front of the old school in Airidhantuim, at the side of the road. Facing south, head straight and take the first right onto New Road. Continue straight. When you come to the end of New Road, you will see that it becomes a single track - follow this track and you will reach the shore. 2. Walk along the shore heading left, until you reach the river, and cross the river at the bridge. Follow the road to the junction, then take a left and follow this road to the main road. On your way to the main road, on your right you will see Clach an Truiseil, the ‘Stone of Compassion’, a standing stone larger than those at Callanish. Clach an Truiseil stands at 6 metres high (20ft) with 2 metres (6.5ft) hidden underground. Its purpose remains a mystery, but it is said that a princess is entombed inside the stone. 3. Once at the main road, take a left and follow the road to the start point, walking through the village. On your right-hand side, you will pass Loch Duin. You can now either continue on the road to meet your car, or, if you wish, you can detour to visit Steinacleit by taking the road on your right. Steinacleit is a Neolithic stone cairn which sits atop a hill, discovered in 1920 when local crofters were digging for peat. It is uncertain what it is supposed to represent; theories vary from a settlement , chambered cairn, or possibly a homestead. There are information panels onsite for further information. At the entrance to the site, you will also see a fishing platform, which was constructed by local school children with help from a joiner in 2020.

4. Borve Loop

This walk begins and ends in Melbost Borve/ Mealabost Bhuirgh. As you head along the coast, you will see much natural beauty, with the mighty Atlantic Ocean by your side. You will also notice the remains of Dùn Bhuirgh in the distance, a powerful ancient broch that would once have stood at 30ft high. Tobar Lui, a well from which drinking water was taken, will be at the side of the road upon your return to your car.

Distance: 4.47km/ 2.277 miles Duration: 1 – 1 ½ hours Difficulty: Medium

Condition: Sensible footwear and waterproofs are normally recommended. Bring a map – mobile phone signal is often poor. Active crofting (farming) communities use the land. Shut all gates you open and keep dogs on leads.

Route description

1. Turn off the main road (A857) into Melbost Borve. At the junction, turn left, and park at the road end. Follow the trail taking you through the gate and over the small bridge. Once you reach the second gate, cross the concrete bridge and follow the coast until you reach a small bothy and track. Follow this track to the gate.

2. Go through this gate and follow the track to the road. Here, go through the gate and take a left at the crossroads, following the road until you get to the Borgh Pottery on your right and the old and new bridges. Borgh Pottery opened over 40 years ago and is a working studio; well worth a visit when it is open. When you are ready, continue the same way and go left up the hill, passing the crossroads at the top of the hill.

3. Carry on along the road until you reach a junction on your left with a gate, cattle grid and one of our famous concrete bus stops. Cross the road and go through this gate, following the road on your right. In the distance, here you will see Dùn Bhruigh, where once an ancient broch stood. At the side of this road is a well, Tobar Lui, from which people would have taken drinking water. At the bottom of this road, take a left, and follow the road back to the starting point.

Looking to refuel? Teas, coffees and food are all available on the Galson Estate. Click here to see our local cafés and restaurants.

Toilets – toilets are located at: UOG Galson Campsite, Eoropie Playpark, Spòrsnis. Donations to use any of these services.

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