Howmore Beaches (South Uist)
- Distance: 6.8 km / 4.2 miles (can be shortened or lengthened)
- Ascent: minimal
- Terrain: Tracks, quiet road, and dune paths/beach
- Start / finish: Howmore
Start the walk from the car park at Howmore (Tobha Mor) church (grid ref NF 757 364), close to the Howmore Gatliff Trust Hostel and Tobha Mor chapels.
Follow the track from the church towards the coast but turn right at the T junction on to a surfaced farm track across fields. This section of the walk provides views inland to Hecla and Beinn Mhor (the highest hills in the Uists). A 1km walk brings you to Drimsdale House where we leave the fields and head for the beach. The path beyond the gate shown on the OS maps doesn’t seem to exist, so don’t go through the gate but turn left before it and follow the fence/field edge down to the coast. As you approach the dunes a vehicle track appears and if followed will lead to a convenient gate through the fence to the dunes.
Turn left (south) and either walk along the beach or through the dunes for just over 1km. At one point you will need to clamber over a few flat rocks if you are on the beach. When the coast turns inland at a river mouth climb up onto the dunes / grass so that you can use the bridge to cross the river.
At this point, for a short walk don’t cross the river, but turn left back to the church.
Once on the other side, keep right on the grassy path, past a picnic bench, to return to the beach (or walk among the dunes if you prefer). Follow the beach for about 1km to where a vehicle track cuts inland across the machair to join a quiet tarmac road. There are options to use other vehicle tracks for a shorter walk or walk further down the beach before heading to the road if you want a longer walk.
Follow the tarmac road northwards back towards the church for about 800m, again with views across the moors to the hills. When the road turns right, a convenient waymarker post indicates a track to your left across the machair that leads back to the bridge you crossed earlier.
Cross over the bridge and this time keep straight on, still on the track, before bearing right across the grass to return to the church.
Before leaving the area it is worth spending a few moments having a look at the remains of the chapels next to the hostel.