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You’d almost be tempted to make sure you fly to Barra. Even if you have a car, a tourer or are pedalling around Scotland and the Hebrides using your very own two legs, a travel exception should probably be made at some point to land on Barra by plane, as this is the only airport in the world which uses a beach as a landing strip – and it’s also been voted the most stunningly scenic airport on earth by pilots in the know. It’s possibly also the easiest trip possible from Barra Airport to Croft 183 Caravan and Camping Site on the east of the island, given that the owners will pick you up from here or the ferry – and drop you off again when it’s time to go home.
Surrounded by striking Scottish sea views and with three fishing lochs on its edge, Croft 183 Caravan and Camping Site is a small family-run site not far from the Barra capital of Castlebay, where there are several other little touches to make you feel welcome: a campers’ lounge with kitchen facilities, TV, DVDs, games and info on what to see and do in the area; a special area for dog walks; a play park, and phone sockets and hairdryer added to the launderette. Pitches come in hardstanding or grass with optional electric hook-up, with a fully-equipped holiday cottage also available sleeping up to six.
There are patio areas and a barbecue for sitting out to watch the sunset, and campfires are allowed if you want to fry up those cockles you harvested from An Tràigh Mhòr (yes, the same beach your plane landed on; look for the wind sock to see when it’s safe to scavenge). For other supplies, there’s a shop on site, a Co-op supermarket and restaurants/hotels in Castlebay and around the island: buses to the supermarket and to Castlebay stop a minute from the croft.