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Renting in Barra, Western Isles

  • Amelia Townsend
  • 29th May 2023
  • 9:14am
Renting in Barra, Western Isles

Renting in Barra, Western Isles: An Overview

Barra is a small island located in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. It is the southernmost inhabited island of the Western Isles and is known for its stunning white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and rugged landscapes. The island has a population of approximately 1,200 people, making it a tight-knit community where everyone knows each other.

Historical and Cultural Background

Barra has a rich history and culture that dates back to prehistoric times. The island was inhabited by the Picts, Vikings, and the Clan MacNeil before becoming a part of the Kingdom of Scotland in the 15th century.

The island has a strong Gaelic culture, and the Gaelic language is still spoken by many of the residents. The island’s traditions and customs are celebrated through various events and festivals, including the Barra Folk Festival, which attracts musicians and visitors from all over the world.

Popularity among Renters

Despite its small size, Barra is a popular destination for renters looking for a peaceful and tranquil life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The island offers a range of rental properties, including traditional croft houses, modern apartments, and spacious family homes.

With its stunning natural beauty, friendly community, and rich culture, Barra is an ideal location for those seeking a slower pace of life. Whether you’re looking for a short-term rental or a long-term home, Barra has plenty of options to suit all needs and budgets.

In this blog series, we will explore everything you need to know about renting in Barra, from the best areas to live to the cost of living and local amenities. So, if you’re considering a move to this beautiful island, stay tuned!

Housing Options in Barra, Western Isles

Types of Properties Available

There are a variety of housing options available for renters in Barra, Western Isles. The majority of properties available are houses, but there are also some flats and apartments available for rent. Many of the houses available are traditional Scottish cottages, which are popular with renters looking for a unique and picturesque living experience.

Average Rent Prices

The average rent prices in Barra, Western Isles, vary depending on the size and location of the property. For a one-bedroom flat or cottage, the average rent is around £500 per month, while larger properties can range from £700 to £1,000 per month. It’s worth noting that rental prices in Barra tend to be slightly higher than in other parts of the Western Isles due to the island’s popularity and limited housing options.

Popular Neighbourhoods for Renters

The most popular neighbourhoods for renters in Barra include Castlebay, the largest settlement on the island, and Vatersay, a picturesque village located on the southern tip of the island. Both areas offer easy access to local amenities such as shops, restaurants, and public transport links.


If you’re looking for a unique and picturesque place to live in the Western Isles, renting in Barra could be an excellent option. With a range of traditional Scottish cottages and modern flats available, there’s something to suit every taste and budget. In the next section, we’ll explore transportation and connectivity in Barra, so keep reading to find out more.

Transportation and Commuting in Renting in Barra, Western Isles

Barra is a small island located in the Western Isles of Scotland. Despite its remote location, the island is well connected to the mainland, making it easy for residents to commute to nearby cities and towns.

Public Transport Options

Barra is served by a regular ferry service operated by Caledonian MacBrayne, which runs from the mainland port of Oban. Visitors and residents can also fly to the island via its small airport, which has regular flights to Glasgow.

Once on the island, there are local buses that run between its main settlements, as well as a community minibus service that can be booked for trips around the island.

Accessibility to Nearby Cities and Towns

Despite its remote location, Barra is well connected to nearby cities and towns. The ferry service to Oban, for example, provides easy access to the mainland, where visitors and residents can catch trains to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and other major cities in Scotland.

The island’s airport also offers regular flights to Glasgow, making it easy for residents to travel further afield.

Average Commute Times

Commuting times on Barra are relatively short, thanks to the island’s small size. It takes just a few minutes to travel between its main settlements, while the ferry journey to Oban takes around five hours.

Despite the longer ferry journey, many residents find that it’s worth the trip for the opportunities and amenities that are available on the mainland.

In conclusion, renting in Barra offers easy access to nearby cities and towns, thanks to its regular ferry and air services. Commuting times are short, and residents can enjoy the best of both island life and the mainland. To find out more about local amenities in Barra, Western Isles, read on.

Local Amenities and Facilities in Barra, Western Isles

If you are considering renting in Barra, Western Isles, you will be pleased to know that the area is well-equipped with a range of local amenities and facilities. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect:

Shopping Centres and High Streets

Barra has a small selection of shops and stores, including a Co-op supermarket and a Post Office. However, for a wider variety of shops, you may need to travel to the nearby town of Castlebay. Here you will find a range of independent retailers, as well as a larger Co-op supermarket.

Parks and Recreational Areas

Barra is home to a number of beautiful beaches, perfect for enjoying a leisurely stroll or a day out with the family. Vatersay Bay and Traigh Mhor are both popular spots, while Kisimul Castle, located on its own island, is a must-see attraction.

Healthcare Facilities

There is a small hospital in Castlebay, as well as a number of clinics and dental practices in the surrounding area. For more specialist care, you may need to travel to the mainland.

Educational Institutions

Barra has a primary school, Castlebay Community School, which caters for children from nursery age up to secondary level. For further education, students often travel to the mainland to attend college or university.

Overall, if you are considering renting in Barra, Western Isles, you can rest assured that you will have access to a range of local amenities and facilities. To find out more about leisure and entertainment in the area, read on!

Leisure and Entertainment in Barra, Western Isles

If you’re renting in Barra, Western Isles, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to leisure and entertainment options. From traditional pubs and restaurants to cultural attractions and local events, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant community.

Pubs, Restaurants, and Cafes

Barra is home to a variety of pubs, restaurants, and cafes, each offering a unique atmosphere and menu. Whether you’re looking for fresh seafood, locally sourced meats, or a traditional Scottish breakfast, you’ll find it here. Some of our favourites include the Kisimul Cafe, the Craigard Hotel Restaurant, and the Castlebay Bar.

Cultural and Historical Attractions

Barra is steeped in history and culture, and there are plenty of attractions to explore. Visit the Kisimul Castle, a 15th-century fortress located on a small island in the bay, or the Barra Heritage and Cultural Centre, which showcases the island’s unique traditions and history. You can also take a guided tour of the island, which will take you to some of its most beautiful and historic sites.

Sports and Fitness Facilities

For those who like to stay active, Barra has plenty of sports and fitness facilities to choose from. There’s a local sports centre with a gym, swimming pool, and fitness classes, as well as outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and kayaking. You can also join one of the island’s many sports clubs, which offer everything from rugby and football to golf and tennis.

Local Events and Festivals

Barra is known for its lively local events and festivals, which take place throughout the year. One of the most popular is the Barra Live Music Festival, which brings together local and international musicians for a weekend of music and fun. Other events include the Barra Agricultural Show, the Barra Atlantic Challenge, and the Castlebay Christmas Lights Switch-On.

So if you’re renting in Barra, Western Isles, you’ll never be bored. With so much to see and do, this vibrant community is the perfect place to call home. Read on to find out more about the community in Barra, Western Isles.

Community and Lifestyle in Barra, Western Isles

Barra, Western Isles is a small island located in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. With a population of just over 1,000 people, Barra is a tight-knit community that offers a unique and peaceful lifestyle.

Demographics and Diversity

The population of Barra is predominantly white, with a mix of Scottish Gaelic and English spoken on the island. The island has a small but growing population of younger people, as well as a significant number of retirees. Despite its small size, Barra has a diverse range of occupations, including fishing, tourism, and crofting.

Safety and Crime Rates

Barra is known for its low crime rates and safe environment. The island has a strong sense of community, and residents tend to look out for one another. The island’s remote location also contributes to its safety, as it is not a target for most types of crime.

Social Clubs and Networking Opportunities

Despite its small size, Barra offers a range of social clubs and networking opportunities for its residents. The island has a community centre that hosts events and activities throughout the year, including ceilidhs, music festivals, and sports tournaments. There are also several clubs and societies on the island, including a book club, a gardening club, and a fishing club.

Overall, Barra offers a unique and peaceful lifestyle for those who are looking for a tight-knit community and a safe environment. Renting in Barra can be an excellent opportunity for those who want to experience the island’s unique way of life.

Read on to find out about the pros and cons of living in Barra, Western Isles.

Pros and Cons of Renting in Barra, Western Isles

Advantages of Renting in Barra, Western Isles

Barra is a beautiful island located in the Western Isles of Scotland. It has a small population of around 1200 people and has a close-knit community. Renting in Barra offers several advantages:

  • Affordable rent: The cost of living in Barra is relatively cheaper compared to other towns in the UK. Renting a property in Barra is affordable, and tenants can save money on accommodation costs.
  • Scenic location: Barra is a stunning island with beautiful beaches, rugged hills, and breathtaking landscapes. Renting a property in Barra allows tenants to enjoy the natural beauty of the island.
  • Community spirit: Barra has a small population, and people are known to be friendly and welcoming. Renting a property in Barra allows tenants to become a part of the close-knit community and experience the local culture.

Potential Drawbacks or Challenges

While renting in Barra has its advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks or challenges:

  • Isolation: Barra is a remote island, and tenants may find it challenging to access essential services or amenities. The nearest town, Oban, is a ferry ride away, and bad weather can disrupt ferry services.
  • Limited job opportunities: Barra has a small economy, and there are limited job opportunities available. Tenants may need to commute to other towns or work remotely.
  • Harsh weather conditions: Barra experiences harsh weather conditions, and tenants may need to be prepared for storms, high winds, and heavy rain.

Comparison with Other Towns in the UK

Compared to other towns in the UK, renting in Barra has its unique advantages and challenges. While Barra offers affordable rent and a scenic location, it may not be suitable for everyone due to its isolation, limited job opportunities, and harsh weather conditions. Tenants who are looking for a close-knit community, a peaceful lifestyle, and natural beauty may find renting in Barra a perfect fit.

Conclusion: Renting in Barra, Western Isles

Overall, renting in Barra, Western Isles can be a fantastic option for those looking for a peaceful, scenic lifestyle. The island community is welcoming, and the area is filled with natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor activities. Here’s a recap of key points to consider:

The Pros:

  • Stunning scenery and peaceful lifestyle
  • Welcoming island community
  • Opportunities for outdoor activities
  • Affordable rental prices compared to other parts of the UK

The Cons:

  • Isolated location with limited access to mainland amenities
  • Challenging weather conditions at times
  • Limited rental property options compared to larger cities

If you are considering renting in Barra, I would highly recommend doing your research and visiting the area before making a decision. It’s important to understand the unique lifestyle that comes with living on a remote island and ensure that it aligns with your needs and preferences.

Right Rent has a range of available rental properties in Barra and the surrounding areas. Be sure to check out our property listings and find your dream home today!

Overall, renting in Barra can be an excellent choice for those seeking a peaceful, picturesque lifestyle. With affordable rental prices and a welcoming island community, it’s definitely worth considering for your next move.

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