The Length of the Outer Hebrides

COST: £1063 with discounts for groups of 3 or more (see 'Buy' tab) – INCLUDES ALL FERRIES BUT EXCLUDES ACCOMMODATION, FOOD AND DRINK

IF YOU LIKE EXPANSIVE HORIZONS AND ISOLATED SHORELINES OF WHITE SANDS BACKED BY WILD HILLS, THEN THIS IS THE TOUR FOR YOU. THIS ITINERARY TAKES IN THE FULL LENGTH OF THE OUTER HEBRIDES – THE ISLANDS OUT ON THE EDGE – AND WE’LL BE TRAVELLING AND WALKING ON BARRA, ERISKAY, SOUTH UIST, BENBECULA, NORTH UIST, HARRIS AND LEWIS. ENCOUNTERS WITH THE GENTLY SPOKEN GAELIC LOCALS MAKES YOU AWARE THAT YOU’VE ARRIVED IN A DIFFERENT CULTURE. THESE REMOTE ISLANDS OUT ON THE EXTREME EDGE BRING AN OTHER-WORLDLY FEEL. YOU SEEM TO SEE EVERYTHING THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS AS THE LIGHT IS SO SPECIAL UP IN THESE NORTHERN LATITUDES. THE ABSENCE OF TREES AND VAST SEA AND SKY SCAPES BRING A GREAT AWARENESS OF UNHINDERED OPENNESS. THE TOUR CONNECTS WITH THE BEST SCENERY, INCLUDING MANY FINE WHITE SAND BEACHES AND THE NEOLITHIC HISTORY ALONG WITH THE STORIES OF THE EARLY CELTIC SAINTS AMONG THE ATMOSPHERIC RUINS. THIS IS ALSO STRONGLY RECOMMENDED AS A NOVEMBER TOUR FOR THE MELLOW QUALITY OF THE SUN RIDING LOW NEAR THE HORIZON AND THE MILD TEMPERATURES THAT MAKES THIS A SPECIAL GET AWAY FROM IT ALL WHEN EVERYONE HAS GIVEN UP ON SIGHTSEEING.

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Day 1

A day of travel to this distant region, but a leisurely one for a large part as we cruise across the Hebridean Sea past many islands including the Isle of Mull and the jutting peninsula of Ardnamurchan.

Pickup in Glasgow, drive to Oban along Loch Lomond, passing the dramatic hills of Ben Lui and Ben Cruachan to the picturesque port of Oban.

Afternoon sea voyage up the splendid Sound of Mull, past Ardnamurchan point and onto Castlebay on Barra. Take up accommodation and meal out.

Evening walk from town out along a headland to overlook an island – chance to see seals and other wildlife. Grading: Easy along roads and paths. Distance: 3kms. Height gained: 15m.

 

DAY 2

Drive across the causeway to Vatersay and walk the tombolo - an isthmus with a double sided sandy beach to view the end of the uninhabited island chain including Mingulay. Grading: Moderate walking cross country over short grass and bog, then finally on the sand. Distance: 4kms. Height: 105m.

Drive north around the NW coast of Barra with lunch in a pub en route. View the ‘low-tide’ landing strip on the sands before taking the ferry to Eriskay.

Walk along the sands. Grading: Easy along roads, tracks, paths and across a sandy beach   Distance: 2kms. Height: 20m

Visit the pub overlooking the scene of the sinking of a merchant vessel full of a cargo of Whisky – the inspiration of the film ‘Whisky Galore’.

On to accommodation and a meal.

 

Day 3

Travelling north across South Uist, visiting the Celtic chapel sites superimposed by the atmospheric, crumbling medieval ruins at Tobha Mor with a fine backdrop of the hills of Southern Uist and take a walk up the machair and back round along the white sands of the shore. Grading: Easy walk along short grassy machair and along sandy beach. Distance: 3.75kms  Height: 10m

Walk to a Neolithic burial cairn and a stone circle. Grading: Easy but wet under foot. Distance: 3.25km. Height gained: 90m.

Final walk of the day around the northern part of Berneray Island and taking up evening accommodation. Grading: Moderate mostly on sandy beach, paths, tracks and roads but an ascent of a steep peak without a path. Distance: 5.5kms. Height: 123m

 

Day 4

Board the ferry for circuitous passage around the many skerries of the shallows of the Sound of Harris. Visit the medieval church at Rodel with some Celtic cross slabs.

Drive up to Luksentyre for a lengthy saunter on these delectable white sands with the backdrop of the often dark brooding hills of Harris. Grading: Easy over sand dunes and along a sandy shoreline.  Distance: 1km. Height gained: 20m

Lunch in Tarbert and drop bags off at the accommodation before an afternoon walk around the Isle of Scalpay. Grading: Easy to moderate along roads and path for the most part and boggy ground and a short section without a path.  Distance: 6.5kms. Height gained: 160m

Take up evening accommodation and meal out.

 

Day 5

Travel the long single track route to Hushinish for a good walk along the rugged coast to a remote bothy by a lochan and fantastic photo opportunities of the utter wildness and dramatic scenery of Harris with walks along pristine sands beside aquamarine seas. Grading: Moderate to difficult, along paths for half of the way, but these are very rough in parts with big rock steps at times and some significant drops. Walk over rough and bouldery ground and along a sandy shoreline. Distance: 7.25kms. Height: 220m

Returning along the long coastal road to take the pass over the Hills of Harris under the shadow of its largest peak, Clisham.

Take up accommodation at Callanish, visiting the famous Neolithic standing stone in a cruciform shape.

 

Day 6

Visit the Island of Great Bernera and walk over the rugged landscapes overlooking the Atlantic to a reconstructed Pictish house at Bostadh and down on to the impressive beach. Grading: Moderate along slippery and boggy paths and over some rock slabs and along a sandy shoreline.  Distance: 4kms. Height gained: 140m

Lunch at the island’s community run café.

Detour south to take in more of the exquisite beaches along this coast including the extensive sands of Uig. Grading: Easy on level sands. Distance: 1 km.  Height gained: 0

Head for Carloway to see a well preserved ruined broch. Grading: Easy. Distance 0.5km. Height: 10m

Visit to the black houses. Return to the same accommodation.

 

Day 7

Travel to Stornoway over the expansive moors of Lewis for the afternoon ferry.

Walks in the woodland grounds of Lews Castle and around the old town of Stornoway. Grading: Easy along level paths.  Distance: 3.5kms  Height: 50m.

Voyage across The Minch to Ullapool.

Then its Glasgow bound stopping to stretch our legs at some scenic points en route.

Either Stop en route to visit the Corrieshalloch Gorge. Grading: Easy on steep paths with a head for heights required over the suspended bridge above the deep gorge. Distance: 2kms. Height: 93m.

OR Stop to walk down to the Rogie Falls Grading: Easy along paths, steep in places. Distance: 2kms. Height: 80m

Late evening arrival in Glasgow.

COST: £1063 per person but with discounts of groups of 3 or more. Includes boat trips but excludes accommodation and food/drink. Accommodation will be booked by us in a good standard of B&B or inn and will be paid by you direct to the provider. As it will depend upon availability at the time of booking, accommodation prices vary and so we recommend you budget around £95/night for 2 people sharing a room. Single supplements are available but these vary widely from between £50-85 per person. We will quote you the exact amount once we've made a provisional enquiry with the accommodation provider.We will quote you the exact amount once you make a provisional booking and we’ve made a reservation.