If you are travelling north in the Western Isles, Carinish, or Cairinis, is the first settlement you reach after crossing the causeway that takes you to the island of North Uist.
The first thing you are likely to see when travelling in this direction is a large white building that used to be the Carinish Inn, but has since been converted to a church. You are unlikely to notice it, but half a mile before you reach the Carinish Inn, the main road, single track at this point, passes right through the centre of the Carinish Stone Circle. It goes without saying that this was in better condition before the road builders arrived.
Cairinis is a scattered settlement spread around a junction between the A859 and a minor road meeting it from the south west. A tourist sign points to a small car park on the left of the main road, from where a path leads for a quarter of a mile over fields to the remains of Teampull na Trionaid, or the Church of the Holy Trinity. This is believed to have been founded by Bethag, daughter of Somerled, in the 1100s.
En route to the Teampull na Trionaid to pass over the site of he Battle of Cairinis, fought here in 1601 between a raiding party of MacLeods from Harris and the resident MacDonalds: following a marital dispute. The battle is said to be the last fought in Scotland using traditional weapons: and the outcome was the slaughter of the raiding MacLeods.
Cairinis's remaining hotel is the Temple View, and having passed it on the right, the main road continues northwards, passing the Carinish Village Hall on the left plus a number of isolated crofthouses: some modern, some much more traditional.
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