TOBHA MOR (HOWMORE)
In the heart of the South Uist machair, next to the ruins of a 13th Century monastery.
A peaceful hostel set on the machair of South Uist. There is plenty of history to explore close to the hostel … Howmore Monastery (50 metres); Flora MacDonald’s birthplace (7 miles); the ruin of Ormiclete Castle (4 miles); the ancient machair track running from Polachar Inn in the south to Carnan in the north passes within half a mile of the hostel; the Atlantic Ocean is a little of half a mile away, the beach stretches for miles both north and south.
- Open all year
- Grid Ref: NF75759 36433 (OS Landranger Sheet No. 22) and GPS location: 57° 18’ 9.96” N, 7° 23’ 18.99”W
- 16 Beds in three shared rooms. Two dormitories of 6 beds. One dormitory of 4 beds. There are no private rooms. None are ensuite.
- Each bed has a mattress and mattress cover, a duvet and duvet cover, and pillows with pillow cases. It is compulsory to bring your own quilted or sheet sleeping bag. Sheet sleeping bags may be hired for the duration of your state at a cost of £3.
- This is simple hostel providing basic facilities for walkers and cyclists. We are not a luxury hostel.
- Charges: The current fees are set out here
- How to get the best out of a visit to our simple hostels
- Please also read our terms and conditions
- Hostellers may camp within the hostel grounds in small tents. The hostel is surrounded by croft land. We cannot give you permission to camp on this land. Our charge for camping is per person not per tent.
- Parking is available at the public car park in front of Howmore church. Loading and unloading is permitted on the track from public highway (our wayleave) but no parking is permitted.
- No advanced bookings are taken. For this reason we cannot predict availability even the day before your visit. However, no-one is ever turned away.
- No dogs other than assistance dogs are allowed in the hostel.
- The warden lives nearby. When you arrive please complete the register and pay your fee (if they warden is not there please use one of the envelopes provided and place this in the Honesty Box.
- The Hostel Maintenance Organiser is Peter Clarke. Please report any maintenance issues including issues relating the equipment and facilities of the hostel. Peter can be reached at Howmore@gatliff.org.uk
- The hostel lies in a Conservation Area and its accommodation buildings is thatched. The hostel is described in the book “A Survey of the Thatched Buildings of Scotland” and the pages on the hostel may be viewed here.
Inside the hostel
- Common Room/kitchen: A cosy room with dining area and coal burning stove.
- Fully equipped self-catering kitchen: microwave oven, gas rings, cutlery, crockery, pans, tea towels.
- Toilets and Showers: Separate toilet and showers, with instant hot water units.
- Basic barn adjacent for bike parking or other equipment (unheated).
- Beds in four shared rooms.
How to find Howmore Hostel
- From the main island road (A865) take the turning marked “Tobha Mor”. The hostel is the white stone thatched building with a porch entrance, by the church, at the road end.
Buses and ferries
- Bus stop half a mile from the hostel, at the junction with the village road, on the main road. (There is a bus shelter.)
- Route W17 from Eriskay ferry to Berneray Hostel passes within half a mile of the hostel.
- Please check the current timetable on the local authority’s web site. www.cne-siar.gov.uk
- Please check the current timetable for the Harris to Berneray Ferry on Cal Mac’s web site www.calmac.co.uk
- Shops. Lovats store and Post Office at Carnan 7 miles to the north on the spinal road. Please note that the Post Office is open whilst the shop is open. https://www.nisalocally.co.uk/stores/western-isles/isle-of-south uist/Carnan
- There is a large Co-operative Store in Creagorry 8 miles to north on the spinal road. There is also a Co-operative Store at Daliburgh 10 miles to the south on the spinal road towards Eriskay.
- Petrol Pump at Cregaorry motors on A865 11 miles to the north.
- Cash machines is at Lovats, Carnan and the Co-operative in Creagorry There is also a cash machine at the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lochboisdale
Walks from the hostel
- There are fine coastal walks along the unique Hebridean machair track (oldest road in the Outer Hebrides) with superb scented flora in season.
- South Uist’s highest peaks are all within easy reach: Hecla (606m; 1988ft), Beinn Corradail (527m; 1729ft) and Beinn Mhor (620m; 2034ft) – South Uist’s highest mountain. (Howmore hostel is the closest hostel to these peaks) ; Loch Druidibeg Nature Reserve, 2 miles; Flora Macdonald’s birthplace, 7 miles; ruin of Ormiclate Castle, (Clanranald) 4 miles.
- See our Explore around Howmore page
Howmore e-book and Audiovisual
There is a 9-minute AV on the hostel and the surroundings of Howmore. For more information and a view of the AV visit this page.
The AV has been converted into an e-book and will be available to download for reading on smart phones and small devices like Kindles and tablets. The e-book may be downloaded here in PDF format.