THEY are connected by a long string of causeways and are home to hundreds of lochs.

Now a major campaign is being launched – with marketing even on the streets of Manchester – to make visitors more aware of the charm and beauty of the sparsely populated Uists in the Outer Hebrides, which are often overlooked by tourists.

READ MORE: 'People used to think they had to get off the island, now they see Uist as a place they don’t have to leave' 

North Uist and South Uist are linked by causeways running via Benbecula and Grimsay, and the entire group is known as the Uists. Among them the islands  have less than 6,000 residents, but they are home to Europe’s biggest missile test range, incredible historic sites and remarkable wildlife such as golden eagles, wading birds and otters.

Flora MacDonald, who helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape after Culloden, was born in Milton in South Uist and the island is home to a nature reserve and a number of sites of archaeological interest, including the only location in the UK where prehistoric mummies have been found.

Now CalMac Ferries is set to launch a new national marketing campaign ahead of the 2019 tourism season, designed to raise awareness of Uist as an “unmissable getaway.”

READ MORE: Uist is becoming a magnet for young people who are flocking for peace, tranquility... and poor internet connectivity 

Andrew MacNair, head of marketing at Calmac Ferries, said: “The Outer Hebrides are becoming one of the most talked about tourism destinations the world over, and The ‘Sea Uist Soon campaign has been created to ensure a successful tourism season in 2019. 

“After operational issues endured last season, we wanted to continue to support the region not only with our services, but by working alongside the local 
tourism industry to promote all that’s great about Uist.”