Barra and Vatersay are the southernmost inhabited islands in the Scottish archipelago of the Outer Hebrides. Barra having one of the three passenger airports on the archipelago, it’s one of the region’s most popular destinations despite its small size and population. For Vatersay (known in Gaelic as Bhatarsaigh), without an airport and connected only to Barra (Bharraigh in Gaelic) by a causeway, visitor numbers are somewhat smaller.
With their visitor numbers combined however, both islands have managed to inspire a long-running art project that also serves as something of a visitors book. The Barra Bunting is an initiative of Beairteas Bharraigh where anyone who visits either island can submit a flag to be part of the bunting.
Visitors’ flags intended for the bunting can be made using a template available online and then either delivered in person or sent by mail. In addition to the bunting, Beairteas Bharraigh has also organized a similar initiative where Christmas trees are built out of patches crocheted by volunteers and then placed in Barra and Vatersay.
Know Before You Go
Stretches of the Barra Bunting can be found on the Community Halls of both Barra and Vatersay. Barra's, located in the community of Castlebay, is normally only open for events, whereas the one at Vatersay is regularly used as seating space for the Hall Café, which is open from 11 am to 4 pm Monday to Saturday, and noon to 3 pm on Sundays.
Other stetches of the artwork are occasionally displayed on a temporary basis across Scotland, most commonly on other islands of the Outer Hebrides.