It will be a struggle to contain the excitement when you find Hushinish Campsite!… This park-up is everything a van lifer could hope for and more. The entire facility makes all other park-ups look silly; you wonder how it is that there aren’t more of these dotted around the entire United Kingdom! The Hushinish Gateway & Campsite is a leading example of how van life tourism should be applied.
This blog has been put together as a descriptive guide to Huishinish Campsite. Read on to discover how to find and what to expect at the Hushinish campsite, including details on the beach, the facilities, and the surrounding area so you are ready to have the best experience possible during your visit.
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How to Get to Hushinish Campsite & Beach
Hushinish is located at the end of the B887. The Hushinish beach postcode is HS3 3AY – you can use this to set up your satnav. This is approximately a 40-minute drive from the main road between Stornoway and Tarbert.
For the majority of the route, the road is narrow with the precariously loose ground on either side. It is for this reason, that the route is not recommended for larger motorhomes if you are not a confident driver.
En route, you will pass ‘The North Harris Eagle Observatory Car Park‘, the chimney of the ‘Old Whaling Station‘ and the stunningly beautiful ‘Amhuinnsuidhe Castle‘ which will take you by surprise from the roadside – you won’t miss it!
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- Awesome Wild Camping Park-Ups
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The beach is located as far west as you can drive in Harris, alongside the town of Hushinish. Hushinish (or Huisinis) Beach is a bay of turquoise waters, fine sand, and a rugged backdrop of hills and lochs. The Hushinish Beach Walk has long been popular with visitors of both locals and mainlanders, especially during the summer.
Inevitably, the number of visitors had to be eventually accommodated by facilities to avoid any damage to the precious local ecosystem. The North Harris Trust has done a fantastic job in managing these expectations between locals and visitors alike, by building the Hushinish Gateway in 2017.
Hushinish Campervan Site
Once you begin to approach Hushinish, you’ll first come across the campervan site in a sheltered spot overlooking the sea. The furthest away gate is your entrance, which is kept closed to keep the cattle away. A quirk to the location is the herd of very photogenic Highland Cows that can often be seen lazing and grazing in the area.
The campervan site is operated on a 'first come, first served' basis, you will not be able to book in advance.
There are five electric hook-up points on this campervan site, but the electricity supply is turned off between the winter months of November and March.
As well as electricity, this site also provides a refuse collection with one large bin within the fenced premises. Fresh water and a Chemical Disposal Unit are available at the Hushinish Gateway further down the road. Keep reading for more details regarding these extra facilities.
Payments for the use of this site are based upon donations. It’s recommended that £15 be paid per night for the use of this enclosed area of hard standings with electrical hook-up points. These donations can be deposited in a box on-site, or submitted via a text message.
There is one unmanned, small-in-size building that is the centrepiece of the Hushinish Campsite & Beach – it’s called the Hushinish Gateway. This shelters the toilets, showers, information boards, donation boxes, a few picnic tables, and a wonderful view overlooking the beach.
It’s important to note that this shelter is only open roughly between 8 am and 8 pm, from Monday to Saturday. The building will remain closed on Sundays. Nevertheless, one bathroom is still accessible from the outside for 24 hours, every day of the week.
There are great showers at the Hushinish Campsite which are hot, immaculate and a good size for families. Like many facilities on the island, they are set up with an electrical meter which costs £1 to have the shower running for 3 minutes. Multiple coins can be added to the meter at once to ensure a continuous flow of water. The meter will beep to alarm you that your time is running out.
There are three toilets available at the Hushinish Gateway. There is one male, and one female bathroom inside the building. Additionally, there is a unisex bathroom that is open 24/7 around the back of the facilities.
Chemical Disposal Unit
The CDP is coin-operated. You can access the payment point via the grey box mounted on the fence to the right. Insert three one-pound coins to open the CDP lid. There is also a phone number to report any problems, should you come across any. This facility is available for £3. This enables its use for 4 minutes and approximately 50L of water.
Rubbish & Recycling Bins
There are two large general waste bins located in the main car park. Both car parks also have recycling bins for plastics, cans and glass bottles. Inside the gateway building, there are also smaller recycling bins.
Electric hook-ups are only available within the fenced campervan site that is located within a 2-3 minute drive before you reach the Hushinish Gateway. Other than those, electricity is also available inside the Gateway building where you will find a few standard household plugs to charge any electrical equipment you may have.
There is a freshwater standpipe situated next to the Chemical Disposal Point, by the Hushinish Gateway building.
There are plenty of honesty boxes positioned inside and outside the Hushinish Gateway. Your money can be inserted via the provided envelopes. If you are short on cash, then donations can also be made by texting ’10CAMPING’ to 70460 to donate. This donation will not cover any extra change you spend on the shower facilities or chemical disposal unit.
There are two main areas for parking on either side of the Hushinish Gateway, one of which is gated and isolated with a cattle grid to keep livestock out. Please completely avoid parking on the machair. This is not permitted due to its fragile nature.
The ground markings should be adhered to, thus ensuring the maximum amount of people can enjoy the facilities. However, this does mean that the park-up can often feel over-crowded as if vans are parked up like sardines. With this in mind, please be careful when you are opening doors in the strong Hebridean winds. It’s up to you whether you think this cramped space is a disadvantage to Hushinish Gateway Campsite when you can, at the same time, enjoy well-kept facilities and fall asleep to the sound of waves rolling onto the beach.
The strengths of every individual’s mobile coverage will vary considerably along the route to Hushinish. It will range from no signal to a fairly decent 4G connection. At the Hushinish Gateway, you are unlikely to receive any signal unless you are on the EE network. In my experience, with my mobile wifi router setup, I was able to reach around 39Mbps. This enabled me to continue working and have Zoom calls from the comfort of my own van.
TIP: I recommend using the provider called 'To The Moon'. This network shares EE's network which has the best coverage in the Outer Hebrides. With 'To The Moon', you are not bound to any contract. You can use the code '5341WL' to gain 100% cashback once you renew your bundle the following month.
It’s absolutely amazing that the North Harris Trust and Hushinish Crofters provide these parking facilities free of charge. It’s even more amazing that the area is also equipped with such facilities. One can only hope that the cooperation between local residents and tourism in Hushinish can be used as a great example of how both parties can live in unison with each other, and the local environment. To encourage such initiatives towards van lifers and motorhome owners, please be generous enough to give an appropriate donation to contribute towards the upkeep.
On that note, if you ever find yourself in the Outer Hebrides, then head along to Hushinish to take advantage of what the area has to offer. Not only will the facilities put you at ease; but the beach and the surrounding beaches, lochs, and hills will keep you exploring for days.
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