Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands

Bridging the Gap: Scarp, Great Bernera and Scalpay

Series 4 - Episode 2 Bridging the Gap: Scarp, Great Bernera and Scalpay



Remote islands are all very idyllic, but if you live on one that has no link to the mainland, it can be so frustrating that it can kill the community. Paul Murton starts by talking to former residents of Scarp, a now deserted Outer Hebridean isle, about their past lives, including their daily, male-only parliament and a rocket-powered postal system.

Then he meets Kenny, a former postman on Harris who walked an astonishing 26,000 miles during his career, delivering the mail to the community of Rèinigeadal, which was totally cut off until a single-track road was built in 1990. His final stop is on Scalpay, home to Harris Tweed.


Paul Murton journeys around the coast of the Long Island of Harris and Lewis, beginning on Scarp, travelling north to Great Bernera, then south east to Scalpay. These islands may seem to exist in the shadow of their much larger neighbours, but Paul discovers they have a distinct identity all of their own, as he hears remarkable stories of crofter rebellions, rocket mail and a rich local culture.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Paul Murton
Series Producer Kathryn Ross
Writer Paul Murton