The Isle of Eriskay is situated between the Islands of Barra and South Uist, a mere 3 miles long and 2 miles wide with some wonderful white sandy beaches. On one of these beaches the exiled Bonnie Prince Charlie first set foot on Scottish soil, when he was landed here by the French frigate Doutelle on 23th July 1745.
Eriskay is quite famous for another reason, on the 5th February 1941 the SS Politician ran aground on the mainly Catholic Island, while on route from Liverpool to Jamaica and New Orleans. In her cargo she was carrying 28,000 cases of Scotch malt whiskey. Her crew were saved and some of the whiskey had already been liberated before the local customs officer and police arrived.
In 1949 a film was released based on a book by Compton MacKenzie called ‘Whiskey Galore’ which is based on the story of the SS Politician. In the film the ship becomes SS Cabinet Minster and Eriskay is the dry island of Todday, the whiskey becomes 50,000 cases and filmed on location on the Isle of Barra. We bought the DVD in the airport at Barra and watched it in our motor home, it was brilliant and Barra’s high street has hardly changed at all.
We really only passed through Eriskay, but we did stop at the new causeway to have a look at the plinth of the opening. These causeways that now span some of the Islands are so important in keeping them populated and they also quite good for exploring these beautiful Islands