The South Uist Bus

We have looked at South Uist people haymaking on this blog. South Uist is one of the Outer Hebrides some 80 kilometres from anywhere on the West Coast of mainland Scotland. That’s over twice as far as England is from France.

In the middle of the island there is a bus/coach depot. South Uist is, perhaps, a bit time warped, but children throughout the island need to get to school so coaches exist. The resident population numbers almost 2000 and they are spread out over 120 or so square miles. Most of the buses and coaches were relatively modern, but one, beautifully painted, represented a past age.


It is in the livery of MacBraynes – a company now subsumed into Calmac but from long ago inspiring this anonymous verse.

The earth belongs unto the Lord
And all that it contains,
Except the Scottish Islands –
For they are all MacBrayne’s.

The bus is a Bedford (probably almost as old as me) and it reminded me so utterly of the bus my then fiancée and I took from Wick to John o’ Groats back in 1970. A bus like this was then in front line service.

But back to South Uist. It’s a fantastic little island and amongst its attractions was a superb, modern museum (where they didn’t allow photography).There is a café associated with the museum where they serve a superb hot chocolate.


Yes, that’s marshmallow slowly melting into it. I’m sure that’s not traditional South Uist fare, but on a day which was just a bit cold and damp, by heck it was welcome.

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2 Responses to “The South Uist Bus”

  1. Youth Hostelling in 1970 | Locksands Life Says:

    […] Next day we got the train to the far North – up to Wick and from there we got a bus which memory tells me was like the MacBrayne’s bus we saw much more recently on South Uist. […]

  2. John o’ Groats Bus | Locksands Life Says:

    […] position.  We have seen one more recently, preserved on the wonderful island of South Uist (click here). Looking back, this is probably very much an equivalent vehicle in terms of antiquity. The […]

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