Keep an eye out for seals from the ferry to North Uist, the island has Europe’s largest breeding colony, with 9,000 pups born each year. North Uist is also perfect for birdwatchers: the nature reserve at Balranald is the best place to go looking for the secretive corncrake, as well as lapwings, redshanks and oystercatchers. North Uist has some of the highest peaks on the Outer Hebrides, climb up the steep cone of Eaval on a clear day for glittering views across to St Kilda. You can go sea kayaking and scuba diving, or head to one of the secluded beaches for a chance to watch otters on the shore. For a peak into the Neolithic history of the island, go to Barpa Langass, a 5,000-year-old burial chamber thought to be the burial place of a chieftain. Don’t miss a trip to the Hebridean Smokehouse, either, for a real taste of the exceptional seafood smoked in the traditional way.