Please drive carefully. Look out for straying livestock and use passing places to permit overtaking. Further information on driving safely in the outer Hebrides is available on our Safe Road Travel in the Outer Hebrides (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) webpage.
The Outer Hebrides is a very popular area to visit, and is becoming increasingly so for campers and visitors with caravans or campervans. There are a number of licensed sites throughout the islands which are well equipped with good facilities. Some of these may be shut or have restricted availability so please check before you visit.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 being brought into island communities by people who are unaware they are infectious, the Scottish Government is encouraging anyone planning to travel to a Scottish island to test before travel. You can order rapid Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) for delivery to your home anywhere in the UK and they should arrive within 24-48 hours. Further information is available from NHS Western Isles (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)
Further guidance on travel is available from the Scottish Government (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is part of the Waste Aware Scotland Campaign, promoting the 3 Rs - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Many people focus on the Recycle message but Reduce and Reuse are more important in the minimisation of waste.
- Reduce waste by avoiding over packaged items, repair broken goods and refuse un-necessary bags at shops.
- Reuse containers, furniture and clothes and give unwanted items to charity. Use re-chargeable batteries and avoid disposable items such as razors, paper plates and nappies.
- Recycle cans, glass, paper and plastics.
Please use the main Recycling Centres (detailed below) to minimise pressure on the smaller recycling points throughout the islands; the smaller recycling points in popular locations get filled very quickly in the season, making them unavailable for the local communities.
Campers/Campervans don’t have to book in to dispose of their waste. You can also get rid of your black bag waste free of charge at the Recycling Centres.
Please check the times of opening as some centres are not open every day.
Toilets and Chemical Toilet Disposal Points
An updated map of the facilities that are known to be open is available Public Toilets, Recycling Centres and Chemical Disposal Points (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)
If you are aware of any errors in this list please email firstname.lastname@example.org (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).
The official Tourism Information (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) website for the Outer Hebrides also has updated information for visitors.
Both visitors and islanders should check this list as a number of facilities that would normally be available are closed. Those with chemical toilets are advised to plan their trip so that they can safely dispose of chemical toilet waste at a suitable facility.
Toilet facilities are only open in certain locations and at reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing and hygiene measures. Make sure to ‘go’ before you go and only use public toilets if you really need to. If you cannot use a proper toilet then here are some tips:
- Be mindful of your surroundings and try and be discrete.
- Carry hand sanitiser
- Carry nappy bags for keeping used paper/wipes
- Pees - do at least 30 metres from lochs or streams or other open water
- poos– do as far away as possible from well used areas, buildings and farm animals as well as lochs, streams or other open water
- poos – bury in a shallow hole and ensure well covered/turf replaced or bag it and bin it
- bag all wipes/paper and dispose of all waste properly
- wash/sanitise hands
Following this advice will help protect the environment and minimise the health risks that occur when the proper facilities are not used.
There have been increased reports of chemical toilet waste and other rubbish being dumped at points throughout the Western Isles. Everyone has a duty of care to deal with their waste in a proper manner. The Fixed Penalty Notice for fly tipping in Scotland is £200. As with other forms of littering, dumping waste is illegal and can lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £40,000. It could also result in the vehicle involved being seized.
Barbecues and camping go hand-in-hand. Ensure you familiarise yourself with the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning when using barbecues by reading the following safety guidance.