The steamers were replaced by a car ferry in 1963, and the terminus you can see on the north side of Uig Bay was built. Today the service is operated by the MV Hebrides. The long pier projecting into the bay to serve the ferry is also used as a base for local fishing vessels.
A stroll along the pier is an enjoyable way to see Uig from a different point of view (see the image at the foot of the page). Be warned, though, that it can be a very busy place when the ferry is loading or unloading. And even at other times, large refrigerated lorries waiting to take prawns and crabs direct to markets to France and Spain are a common sight.
The terminus and its associated buildings provides the main focus for Uig. The rest of the village can been summarised as two pubs, two shops, two churches, two pubs, a hotel, a brewery, a pottery and a petrol station that doubles as a cafe. You will also find a range of available accommodation, including a camp site.
Two businesses are well worth a visit. The Uig Pottery offers a range of high quality pottery which is produced in their premises near the pier, where you can see it being made: its location is advertised by a sign on a yacht on a trailer! The Skye Brewery sells its own superb real ales from the brewery shop here. We recommend their "Red Cuillin" as one of the best medium bitters you are likely to find anywhere.
Further around Uig Bay you come to the very appealing Ferry Inn, one of the pubs mentioned above, which does evening meals, complete, as its sign says, with accommodation. On the south side of the bay the road climbs up past the very striking white-painted Uig Hotel, next to the equally striking (and equally white-painted) church. The Uig Hotel is probably the best place in Uig for an excellent lunch. There is also a Youth Hostel on this side of the village.
Some of the best views of Uig are to be had from the road south as it climbs out of the bay. From here you can look out over the harbour and the higher ground to the north. Close by is Captain Fraser's Folly. This circular tower is vaguely castle-like but turns out to be a folly, built as you'll have guessed from the name by the laird of the day, Captain Fraser: and it dates from the 1890s. It is on private land and not open to the public.
Tourist Attractions in Uig
Museum of Highland Life
These are just some of the things of interest in Uig district itself, but of course the surrounding area is full of places of historical and natural interest. The Skye museum of Island life is just a short distance to the north of Uig in Kilmuir, and is a must for any visitor to the area, and the little book “Discovering Skye” by Jonathan MacDonald, which can be bought at the museum, is an excellent way to get an introduction to the rich history of the Island if you are here on a short holiday.
At the top of Glenhinnisdal just before the last house there in a small memorial at the roadside to mark the place where Donald MacDonald was born at a croft there in 1750. Donald MacDonald was a famous piper, and bagpipe maker, and a pupil of the great MacArthur pipers who had a piping college at Hungladder in Kilmuir. Donald’s main claim to fame however is that he was the first to put the Famous Piobaireachd, or “Ceòl Mòr” into notation for others to read. His own book of early “Ceòl Mòr” tunes are still used today and are played at the Skye games piobaireachd competitions each year by pipers from all parts of the world.
Clach Ard Uige
(The high stone of Uig) This is a relic of an ancient stone circle which stood on the hill just above Uig. This single stone remains in this prominent position up on the hill by the Youth Hostel. It is said that in the old stories of the area great disaster will befall the community if this stone should ever be moved.
You will see this Norman style tower as you drive down into Uig from the Portree road. This is not an early Norman Tower it is a much more modern ruin. It was built by Captain Fraser, a notorious landlord of the Kilmuir Estates during the period of the Highland clearances, and was indeed originally used to collect rents from the local crofters.This building was used to house a family in Uig into the 1950s.
Take the road which goes to Sheader and runs up behind the Uig Hotel. This leads to a glen which at the top end has a number of small lochs, and small conical shaped hills, which give the appearance of a miniature landscape.You can also get a good overall view of the Fairy Glen from the Glen Conon road. You will find the entrance to this road opposite the post office in Uig. While using these roads for sightseeing remember that local people are also using these roads to go about their daily business so be careful not to block the road for others.
Take the Staffin road by the Police house in Uig. Before you get to the bridge over the river Rha you will find a stile on the right hand side of the road. If you cross over the stile and follow the path it will take you into a deep glen with a magnificent double waterfall. Be careful to stay on the path, particularly in wet weather, as the banks above the waterfall can be very slippy and dangerous.
Getting To Uig
The Caledonian MacBrayne Ferry (Calmac) from Uig to the Western Isle leaves from Uig twice a day sailing directly from Uig Bay right into the Minch. From the hills above Uig you can watch the ferry leave and see the hills of Harris across the Minch.