I am just back from a magical week in North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. If you are looking for a get away from it all, buckets and spades type of family holiday then it is well worth making the time and effort to reach this beautiful and remote far flung corner of the country. 

Getting there: The ferry to North Uist takes 1 hour 45 minutes from Uig on the Western edge of Skye. On the trip across keep an eye out for seals, the island has Europe's largest breeding colony, with 9,000 pups born each year. The views are also spectacular, on a clear day you can see across to St Kilda.

Things to do: We stayed in a farmhouse on the north of the island, close to some of the most spectacular white sand beaches where children and adults alike spent happy hours building sand castles, walking along the shoreline, climbing sand dunes, and thanks to the gulf stream, swimming in surprisingly warm waters. 

North Uist certainly has more wildlife than humans so it's 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.

The island also is blessed with a vast number of both fresh and saltwater lochs where we fished for brown trout before taking them home to BBQ for supper. If fishing is not your forte then the Hebridean Smokehouse at Clachan is just a short drive away where you can pick up locally caught and smoked seafood specialities. 

If you're keen for a more active adventure, then 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. You can go sea kayaking and scuba diving. 

A more manageable stroll across the sand from Sollas, tides permitting, takes you to Vallay Island, where the ruins of a deserted Edwardian mansion, uninhabited since the 1940s, still stand. Built by the pioneering archaeologist Erskine Beveridge, his son, unlucky in love with a local lass, was drowned in the sea pool there, and the archaeologist's home is now a ruin. 

Every moment of this fun family holiday was memorable but the most magical has to be watching the sunset on a deserted beach, only me and a family of otters walking along the shoreline.