History of North Uist

The first waves of settlement were made in North Uist by early Celts, Bell-Beaker people and Picts.

Legend has it that Dun na Cairnach cairn on North Uist is the tomb of the son of King Cruthine, who is said to be founder of the Pictish Kingdom.

The Vikings attacked North Uist around 800 AD. The resulting waves of Scandinavian migration were the consequence of these attacks, and this Northern overlordship of the Outer Hebrides would continue for 168 years. The Isle of Man was the centre of such a lordship, and after the loss of King Haakon IV of Norway at Largs, the Outer Hebrides were returned to what was now the Kingdom of Scotland.

There has been a massive decline in the local population of North Uist during the last couple of centuries, as in many other Scottish islands. The depopulation of the islands is a tragic fact, which may be impossible to remedy as many headed off to the cities of Central Scotland, London and beyond to make a living. There is however much in the way of economic benefits through tourism which alleviates the economic situation of North Uist and other islands in the Outer Hebrides. The reality of a sparse population is in fact a huge benefit for tourists who are looking for empty, white sandy beaches and remote landscapes for their contemplation, meditation and rejuvenation. That discovery awaits visitors to North Uist today, and is one of the things making this a special and truly magical place to visit.

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