The isles of Barra and Vatersay are the most southerly inhabited islands in the Outer Hebrides and the most westerly in the UK.
Barra is approximately 23 square miles in area. The south of the island is served by a single track road connecting the many coastal settlements. Castlebay, the main settlement, is situated in a sheltered bay, where Kisimul Castle sits on a small islet not far from shore; giving the village its name.
The west and north of the island have beautiful white sandy beaches reminiscent of the Carribean (without the weather!) whereas the southeast has numerous rocky inlets. The interior of the island is uninhabited and consists mainly of rolling green hills.
To get to Barra from the mainland you can choose to catch a ferry from Oban or fly into one of the world's most scenic landing locations on the 2 mile long cockle shell beach runway. Flights can only takeoff and land at low tide so the timetable varies but there are usually flights to and from Glasgow Airport every day of the week during the summer season.
Distilling on Barra
On the island you will find Isle of Barra Distillers - the most westerly distillery in Scotland and the first legal distillery on Barra.
Isle of Barra Distillers is the brainchild of Katie and Michael Morrison. Michael is from Barra and is proud of his island roots. The couple's dream was to create a future for their family on the island and to contribute to its economy.
The first batch of Barra Atlantic Gin was distilled out with Scotland in August 2017 although it did feature the key botanical of Carragreen Seaweed which was collected from around the coastline of the island. It wasn't until May 2019 that Katie and Michael's dream could be fully realised when they received the required licences to open a distillery on the island.
In Spring 2021, plans were unveiled to build a purpose built whisky and gin distillery and visitor centre that would create around 30 jobs on the island. The new distillery will be built with sustainable materials and powered by renewable energy. If everything goes to plan, the distillery will be opened in 2023.
Barra Atlantic Gin
The multi award winning gin is made using a total of 17 botanicals including Carragreen Seaweed. The inclusion of the seaweed ensures that the gin has a piece of the island in each bottle. The seaweed is hand gathered from the coastlines and shores of the island and gives the gin a beautifully refreshing maritime flavour.
A London Dry Gin, we recommend serving Barra Atlantic Gin as a classic G&T with plenty of ice, Walter Gregor's Original Tonic Water and finished with a wedge of pink grapefruit.
To find out more about Isle of Barra Distillers, click the link below: