“ Address: Uig / Isle of Skye / Scotland /IV51 9XU / Tel: +44 0 1470 542714 „
We've all heard the saying "it's a small world" and sometimes it's true. Well at least it was when I stayed on a campsite on the Isle of Skye and discovered that not only were the owners from my hometown of Sheffield but that one of them was actually in my brother's year at school. The campsite in question was at Uig Bay on the north west coast of Skye on the Trotternish peninsula. Uig is about 10 miles (16km) north of Skye's "capital" Portree and is best known as the place from where you catch the ferry to the Outer Hebrides. We were travelling to the Hebrides and wanted a campsite reasonably close to the ferry terminal so location wise this campsite seemed ideal.
If you are being picky Uig Bay Campsite is actually in Idrigil, which consists of a cluster of about a dozen houses just beyond Uig at the point where the dead end road ends. It is very close to the ferry terminal, which is at the pier, literally a 5-minute walk away and there's even a pub too. The campsite was established back in 1969 but was acquired by the current owners in 2001who built new toilet and shower blocks, including some facilities for disabled visitors.
I had rung ahead of our arrival to pre book a pitch but was told that they didn't take bookings, but not to worry as there was plenty of room. So on arrival I was a little nervous since the nearest campsite if this one was full was back at Portree. We had driven a long way, it was getting late and the other half was starting to get short tempered so I was relieved to discover that it was indeed not full when we arrived and that there were plenty of empty spaces.
First impressions were mixed. We liked the close proximity to the pier and Uig looked like a pretty little village, nestled beneath the mountains but the campsite itself was very close to some houses and didn't seem to be very private. Furthermore the site was long and narrow and sloped upwards so it wasn't exactly very flat.
We were told that we could pitch our tent anywhere on the grass that we liked. The area closest to the owner's house/reception was a hard standing set aside for touring caravans and motor homes with electric hook up points but the area beyond this was green and grassy. We found a suitable spot and close up discovered that the slope of the land at the bottom end of the site was actually quite gentle. It was not nearly as bad as we had originally thought, although it did get steeper towards the top, which might be a problem if the site is ever full. It is an average sized campsite with space for about 60 tents and it opens all year round.
Once the tent was up and the other half's temper had calmed a bit we both began to warm to this little campsite. The toilet block and shower area were spotlessly clean and there was also an area for washing pots and pans. Later that evening we discovered that there was piped music in the toilet and shower blocks at night, which was a nice extra touch and the following day we also found a laundry area at the rear of the shower block. The laundry area had a washing machine and dryer as well as an iron and iron board. The washing machine cost just £2 for a full load, which was very cheap. We also found out that it is possible to camp right on the seafront in front of the owners house with a view overlooking The Minch towards Harris and the Isle of Lewis and there are also some picnic tables located right on the shore here as well.
For a short stay I would recommend the Uig Bay Campsite but it is quite basic and there are no facilities for families. Then again at £10 per night for the both of us we couldn't complain and I thought that it represented good value for money. The site was kept spotlessly clean and the owner always seemed to be busy tidying up, cutting the grass etc. There are several wooden picnic tables with benches scattered around the site and the owners were very friendly and knowledgeable about the local area. They even provide a take away menu from their house offering sandwiches and light snacks, a price list is on display in the laundry area and offer bed and breakfast accommodation.
Like most campsites dogs are welcome and it is also possible to hire bikes on the campsite too. There is certainly plenty to see in the surrounding area and we decided to hire a bike on our second day as we stayed for two nights on this campsite. The bike hire cost £12 for the full day but they can also be hired for half a day at a cost of £8 or £3 per hour.
Overall I enjoyed my stay at the Uig Bay Campsite and especially enjoyed watching the ferry come and go, which is not something that I am used to seeing everyday. Its location close to the ferry terminal means that it is popular with tourists arriving off the ferry in the evening and also with those booked onto the early morning ferry the following day.
Uig Bay Campsite,
Isle of Skye,