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Travelling to South Uist

Travelling to South Uist

If you’re planning a trip to the Outer Hebrides, South Uist is a must visit destination. This beautiful island is known for its stunning beaches, rich history, and unique culture.

In this guide, we’ll detail the different ways you can get to South Uist, so you can plan your trip with ease.

Getting to South Uist

When planning your trip to South Uist, you can consider two forms of transport to get there – ferry and plane.

Below, we’ll detail each option to help.

By Ferry

Ferries are the most popular way to get to South Uist with two routes to choose from. CalMac Ferries operate a service from Mallaig to Lochboisdale during the summer, and from Oban’s ferry terminal during the winter.

The crossing from Mallaig takes around 3 hours 30 minutes, while the journey from Oban takes an estimated 5 hours 10 minutes. You can view their winter timetable by clicking here.

By Plane

If you’re travelling from further afield, you can choose to fly to South Uist. Loganair operates flights from Glasgow, Inverness, and Stornoway to Benbecula Airport, which is located between North Uist and South Uist.

Below, you’ll find the estimated journey times from each location:

From Bencecula airport, you’ll need to either travel by car or bus to South Uist, which is 17 miles away. It’s estimated to take 30 minutes by car/taxi and 1 hour 40 minutes by bus.

The Benefits of Travelling by Ferry

You have two options to choose from when travelling to South Uist – sailing or flying. Many visitors to South Uist opt to take the ferry to the island for a variety of reasons.

Below, we’ll discuss the benefits of choosing to take the ferry when travelling to South Uist:

More Affordable

As expected, sailing by ferry is more affordable than flying, particularly if you’re travelling with family or in a large group.
For example, one way flights to Benbecula from Glasgow can range between £180 to £280 for each passenger. Compare this to a return ticket on the ferry from Oban costing around £30.00 per adult, or £95.00 for a family of four (two adults and two children).

As you can see, there’s a significant difference in price between the two forms of transport. Opting to sail to South Uist could save you upwards of £500 per person compared to flying from Glasgow.

Dog Friendly

Visiting South Uist isn’t only a great holiday for you, but also your four-legged companion. The island’s wide open landscapes are a great opportunity for your dog to let loose!

Travelling via ferry to South Uist with your dog is no additional cost. However, if you’re travelling by plane, bringing your dog onto the flight can cause issues and cost you much more.

Loganair, the flight operator to South Uist, only allows dogs on certain types of planes. One of the planes used to travel to South Uist can’t allow dogs onboard at all. If the plane does allow pets, there is a charge of £50 one-way.
This is also subject to availability of space on the plane, meaning, if the flight is expected to be busy, you may not be allowed to bring your dog with you.

The Opportunity to Explore Oban & the Scottish West Coast

Choosing to travel to South Uist by ferry provides you with the opportunity to explore Oban, Mallaig, and the gorgeous West Coast of Scotland.

Oban is known as the capital of the West Coast, and for good reason. The town is full of attractions to explore, incredible restaurants, luxury hotels, unique shops, and much more.

By using Oban as a hub before boarding the ferry, you’re only a short drive from some of the most interesting parts of Scotland, such as Glencoe and Inveraray.
If you choose sailing over flying, you can turn your trip to South Uist into a discovery of the West Coast.

While you’re there, make the most of your visit by staying in our unique, luxury, and dog-friendly hotel. Click here to learn more.

Bring Your Own Transport

One of the biggest reasons to choose sailing over flying is that you can bring your own transport! South Uist, like many Outer Hebride islands, is very rural. Public transport is available; however, without your own transport, you’ll be restricted in what you do and where to go.

This is especially important for those who’re based in the UK. Bringing your own car is more cost effective than hiring one on the island.

Once You’ve Arrived

Once you’ve arrived on South Uist, there are several ways to get around. You can hire a car or bike or choose to walk to explore the island. There is also a bus service that runs from Monday to Saturday, and timetables can be found on the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar website.


If you’re travelling in a motorhome or campervan, or planning on camping, there are two official campsites and facilities available. Here’s a list of the official campsites in South Uist, with a link to each of their websites:


If you’re planning on staying in a hotel during your stay in South Uist, you have a good amount of options. Below, you’ll find a list of the top-rated hotels found around South Uist, with links to their website:

Exploring the Area

Once you’ve arrived on South Uist and are settled, it’s time to explore! There are plenty of things to see and do. From beautiful beaches to historical sites, there’s something for everyone.

The Hebridean Way cycling route runs through South Uist, and there are plenty of walks and hikes to explore, notably the long and difficult Beinn Mhòr trail!

There are also plenty of opportunities for fishing, in the estimated 800 lochs found in South Uist and the neighbouring island of Benbecula, most of which contain wild brown trout. Don’t forget to check out the local Gaelic arts and culture, and take a tour to learn more about the island’s history.


South Uist is an amazing adventure for those who love the outdoors – fishing, cycling, or hiking are all in abundance on South Uist!

If you’re making your way over during CalMac Ferries’ winter timetable, you’ll be departing from Oban. Our fantastic seaside town has a lot to offer visitors who are looking for a true Scottish West Coast experience. While in Oban, you should consider staying at No.26 By The Sea – our unique, luxury, and dog-friendly hotel.

To learn more about us, you can view our all fantastic rooms by clicking here.