Mangersta Croft

Explore the great outdoors - on foot, by bike, by boat.

Landscape and Wildlife:

The Landscape in the Uig area of the Isle of Lewis offers a microcosm of every kind of environment that the Outer Hebrides/ Western Isles are famed for:

Headlands with high cliffs, sea stacks and sea arches, populated by sea-bird colonies. The cliff-tops are a unique environment of serpentine heath, jewelled by colourful flowers like Spring Squill, Moss Campion, Scot's Primrose and Sea Pink in Spring and Summer and rings of Funghi in the Autumn.

Over 17 shell sand beaches, with crystal clear water, ranging from tiny hidden coves to the vast expanse of sands around Uig Bay.

Machair, one of the rarest habitats in Europe, fringes the beaches. Here a combination of nature and human cultivation has produced grassland rich in a wide variety of wild flowers. Orchids, hare-bells, lady's bedstraw, wild carrot, thyme, bird's foot trefoil are a just a few of the species that you can often find within 1 square metre of machair soil.

Sea lochs cut deep inland and off-shore islands are scattered all around the coast. Colonies of seals and basking sharks are frequently spotted in these waters. Dolphins and whales also pass by the coast from time to time. There are puffin and gannet colonies on the Flannan Isles which lie 20 miles off-shore.

Vast tracts of moorland pocketed with freshwater lochs, many are full of brown trout, the smaller lochans are often covered with white Water-lillies, and Bog-bean.

The highest hills on the Isle of Lewis. Mangersta is located at the foot of Mealaisbhal, summit height 574m. Burns, waterfalls and rivers wind there way from the hills to the sea.

The variety of landscapes in one small area makes Uig an ideal location for wild-life watching. Otters, red deer, gannets, fulmars, a snowy owl, golden eagles, buzzards, ravens, red-throated divers, golden plovers, lapwing, herons, oyster-catchers, sky-larks, moss carder bees, and the common blue butterfly are amongst the many species that you are quite likely to see on a holiday.

With very little human development, history remains etched into the land. There are archaeological sites all around, burial cairns, promontory enclosures, ancient field systems, the walls of villages and black-houses abandoned during the Highland Clearances and the tumbled stones of Norse mills wait to be discovered on a coastal walk.