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Eriskay (Scottish Gaelic: Èirisgeigh, pronounced [ˈeɾʲiʃkʲej]), from the Old Norse for "Eric's Isle", is an island and community council area of the Outer Hebrides in northern Scotland. It lies between South Uist and Barra and is connected to South Uist by a causeway which was opened in 2001. In the same year Eriskay became the ferry terminal for travelling between South Uist and Barra. The Caledonian MacBrayne vehicular ferry travels between Ceann a' Ghàraidh in Eriskay and Ardmore in Barra. The crossing takes around 40 minutes.


Although only a small island (about 2.5 x 1.5 miles), Eriskay has many claims to fame that have made the island well-known far beyond the Hebrides. It is associated with the traditional Hebridean song, the Eriskay Love Lilt; with the Eriskay pony and the Eriskay jersey (made without any seams). It is the real Whisky Galore! island: it was just off Eriskay that the SS Politician ran aground in 1941 with its famous cargo. On 2 August 1745 the small frigate le Du Teillay landed Bonnie Prince Charlie with his "seven men of Moidart" on Eriskay to start the 'Forty-Five Jacobite Rising. An important early documentary film, Eriskay: A Poem of Remote Lives, made by a German traveller, Werner Kissling, was set on the island.

There is a well-stocked shop in Eriskay, a community centre and the Politician Lounge Bar (named after the ship which serendipitously ran aground and famously provided the island with a generous supply of free whisky). The Roman Catholic church of St. Michael's sits on a hill overlooking the main village on Eriskay. It celebrated its centenary in 2003, having been built by Father Allan MacDonald in 1903. The site of the old church is marked by a memorial garden with a statue of the Virgin Mary, overlooking the Sound of Barra.


Eriskay is traversed by a number of mountain paths and tracks, and has just a single motor road. The first stretch of that road was built in 1935, funded through proceeds from the first showing in London of the Werner Kissling film.

There is a regular bus service on the island which forms part of the "Spine Route" between Eriskay Slipway and Berneray via South Uist, Benbecula and North Uist. Services are provided by DA Travel, Grenitote Travel, Hebridean Coaches and Royal Mail Postbus, with funding from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

In 2009 the previous primitive quay facilities at the excellent natural harbour of Acarsaid Mhòr were extended and modernised, with improved vehicular access. Some smaller fishing boats continue - at least if the tides and weather are favourable - to use the shelving bay at Haun (from the Viking for 'harbour' - but scarcely with sufficient shelter to constitute a harbour in practice). Acarsaid Mhòr is also used by visiting yachts.


Tourism has been slow to develop. As of 2010 there are no hotels, two or three bed and breakfast establishments, and until recently few self-catering cottages or houses. Since the completion in 2001 of the causeway to South Uist and the inauguration of the vehicle ferry to Barra, a number of properties have been professionally renovated or purpose-built as holiday accommodation. The machair and beaches from Coilleag a' Phrionnsa to Rudha Bàn are increasingly popular with visitors travelling with their motor-homes.

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