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Photo of two people walking on the machair, next to a flag, with a blue sky and white cloud behind.

Solstice Soundwalk

Extended mix! The Lionacleit Machair Soundwalk now has new content from Anne MacLellan while the route covers more ground along the machair tracks. Perfect listening for everyone who enjoyed the original and for anyone who hasn’t yet been treated to the Soundwalk experience! 

Join us on the longest evening of the year for a walk along the machair listening to this fresh edit of environmental sound, music, ecological ideas and song, followed by refreshments and chat with the Lionacleit allotment group. 

A soundwalk is a mapped route which uses GPS to link to a soundtrack through an app, playing the composition in coordination for a beautifully extended experience of the place you walk through. 

“Just the most incredible, enlightening time. I’ve never heard anything quite like it!’

Composed for Taigh Chearsabhagh by our musician-in-residence, Duncan MacLeod, this soundwalk was developed for An Gàrradh as part of the Dandelion project. Duncan is joining us for another season of sonorous creativity with new soundwalks in the works in collaboration with the community. 

This soundwalk along Lionacleit machair explores the traditions and ecology of the habitat. From the Gaelic word for this low-lying grassy plain, machair is one of Europe’s rarest yet most species-rich habitats. It exists only on the exposed west-facing shores of Scotland and Ireland, 70% of which is found in Uist. Generations of low-intensity crofting have shaped this unique landscape and encouraged wildlife over millennia. Developed in partnership with the local community, this work combines spoken narratives, field recordings, and compositions with archival sound recordings from Edinburgh University’s School of Scottish Studies, that chart over 70 years of living tradition. 

You can listen to the Lionacleit soundwalk composition online here. 

Useful information

There is no set start time for the walk – drop in whenever you like between 6-8pm. We will be waiting at the parking area and start point to get you going on your soundwalk.

To find us, turn off the main road at the Dark Island Hotel and follow the track past the main hotel towards the wind turbine. 

The What3Words code for the meeting point is ///abstracts.chain.soft

To experience the soundwalk, you will need to download the free app Echoes on a smartphone. We recommend you do this in advance where possible. A selection of wired and Bluetooth headphones will be available, or you can bring your own if you prefer. Headphone adaptors and splitter cables are also available for those who wish to share their smartphone. 

The walk route is relatively rough terrain that is usually dry. Please bring suitable clothing and footwear, bearing in mind the changeable weather here. We recommend bringing some sunscreen and a bottle of water. 

The nearest toilets are inside the Dark Island Hotel, or the Sgoil Lionacleit building which is open until 9pm. 

Image credit: Sorcha Monk.