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Hotels in Benbecula

Benbecula is a small island in the Outer Hebrides, which lies between North and South Uist. A small, flat, low-lying island, Benbecula is dotted with lochs and lochans and is linked by a causeway to the Uists. Benbecula has historically been a very strong Gaelic-speaking area and many of the locals can still be heard speaking in their native tongue today.

Popular with locals and visitors alike, Benbecula is blessed with beautiful beaches, sand dunes and pretty machair (fertile low-lying grassy plains), typical of this part of Scotland. This all makes the island the perfect destination for a quiet getaway or weekend walking break.

Military history

Benbecula has a long military history, and an airfield to the north, built during WWII, became the control centre for the Hebrides rocket range. The range was established during the Cold War and is now better known as Benbecula Airport. An army base was established here in 1958 and is one of the main employers on the island.

Sightseeing

One thing that Scotland has in abundance is stunning scenery and fascinating wildlife and Benbecula is no different. Walkers and cyclists staying in a Benbecula hotel can look forward to spotting owls, eagles and even otters as they make their way over moorlands and around tidal bays. Horse enthusiasts can find a riding school in Balivanich, and here riders can discover the beauty of the island on one of the many well-schooled horses.

History

Mostly flat, Benbecula has only a single hill, Rueval, which stands at 407ft. The path to the summit can be easily accessed, and goes past the cave where Bonnie Prince Charlie allegedly hid while waiting for Flora MacDonald to arrange his escape from the Red Coat Army following the bloody Battle of Culloden.

The ruined Borve Castle stands on the island's west side on the same spot that sheltered the chiefs of the Clanranald for centuries.

Food and drink

For a traditional, family run Scottish dining experience, visitors should try The Stepping Stone restaurant, situated at the airport junction in the heart of Balivanich. The restaurant uses local Scottish produce whenever possible and is well worth a visit.

For a wonderful taste of island cuisine try Island Deli, a quaint little deli café serving coffee, tea and hot chocolate, warm paninis, cakes and soup in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Towards the back of the café, guests can find a small shop selling a wide range of cheeses, cured meats and a selection of other delicatessen foods.

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