Callanish, Isle of Lewis
Callanish, Isle of Lewis

Grand Tour of the Outer Hebrides

5 days From £675

27 March 2019

Late March is an exhilarating time of year to visit the Outer Hebrides when the westerly winds can whip up the ocean into a spectacular display of crashing waves and foaming surf.

This extended tour has proved extremely popular, offering as it does a unique opportunity to travel the length and breadth of the Western Isles. Our grand tour takes in all the beauty and diversity of this very special environment with eleven different islands and four ferry trips included. Two comfortable hotels ensure that this holiday is as relaxing as possible while at the same time offering great variety and the sense of a true journey of discovery which will live long in the memory.

Our odyssey begins as we travel via Glencoe and Glenfinnan to Mallaig and take the ferry to Lochboisdale on South Uist, continuing via the causeways that link the islands to Benbecula, our base for the first two nights. From here we visit the islands of Eriskay; Vatersay with its fantastic sandy beaches, and Barra, including visits to Castlebay Heritage Centre and Cockleshell Beach, used as the island’s airport.

A captivating journey follows as we travel by ferry from Berneray to Leverburgh and continue north through the magnificent mountain scenery of Harris to the Western Isles’ ‘capital’ Stornoway. From our base here at the comfortable Cabarfeidh Hotel we explore the rolling moorland of Lewis, with visits to the remarkable Standing Stones of Callanish, the tranquil little Norse Mill at Shawbost and the distinctive Black Houses at Gearannan. Our return route takes us by ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool.

What's included?

  •  Accommodation
  •  Services of a professional tour manager
  •  Comfortable coach travel throughout
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Ferry crossings
Book Now £695 Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £120

Tour highlights:

  • Four scenic ferry crossings
  • The unique airport at Cockleshell Beach
  • 5000 year old standing stones
  • The tranquil location of the Norse Mill at Shawbost

Tour details

Dates 27 March 2019 - 31 March 2019
Duration 5 days
Cost £695 Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £120 Balance due by 2 January 2019
Activity Level Moderate
Tour code BWGT519A

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
Perth 0530 1600
Kinross 0600 1630
Dunfermline 0615 1645
Edinburgh 0645 1715
Glasgow 0800 1830

Subject to minimum numbers, the following pick-up will be served by feeder coach and passengers will join/leave in Perth:

Dundee - (Departure time) 0500 (Return time) 1630

Please note while we are unable to pick up in Inverness on Day 1 we can drop off there on the last day (1200 approx).

Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Book Now or call 01334 657155 if you have any questions

27 March 2019: Itinerary

We depart from our designated pick-up points and head north, stopping en-route for refreshments (not included), travelling via Glencoe, Fort William and Glenfinnan to Mallaig. From here we sail to Lochboisdale in South Uist, cross to Benbecula, the ‘stepping stone’ between the Uists, and continue to our accommodation at the Isle of Benbecula House Hotel, where dinner will be served on arrival.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Dark Island Hotel, Benbecula

After our full Scottish breakfast we will depart for Barra, travelling via the little island of Eriskay, just three miles long and two miles wide, with a great sandy beach known as Prince Charlie’s Bay – Bonnie Prince Charlie having landed here in July 1745. From Eriskay we make the short ferry crossing to Barra and have a tour of the island, including a visit to Cockleshell Beach, the unique runway whose use is governed by the tides. On approaching the airport keep an eye out to the left for the much loved former home of Sir Compton Mackenzie, the author of ‘Whisky Galore’, which is forever associated with the island. In fact, it was on the neighbouring island of Vatersay, which we will visit by means of the causeway linking the two islands, that the classic film adaptation was made.

Late afternoon we make the reverse journey back to Benbecula and our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Dark Island Hotel, Benbecula

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and take the mid-morning ferry from Berneray to Leverburgh at the southern end of Harris and visit St Clement’s Church at Rodel, built on top of an earlier structure in the 16th century by Alasdair Crotach, 8th chief of the Macleods of Harris and Dun Bheagan. The church tombs are among the most spectacular in Scotland. There are outstanding views as we travel along the coast, including the island of Taransay of ‘Castaway’ fame, and the wonderful beaches at Horgabost, Borve and Scarasta. We will pause for refreshments (not included) in Tarbert, before continuing through the mountainous countryside of Harris which eventually gives way to the rolling moorland of Lewis. We continue to the island capital of Stornoway and our comfortable hotel.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Cabarfeidh Hotel, Stornoway

This morning after breakfast we will travel to the west coast of Lewis for a visit to the 5,000 year old Standing Stones of Callanish. Undoubtedly the most remarkable antiquity in the Western Isles, this collection of almost 50 stones forms a well-marked megalithic avenue, comprising 19 monoliths, ending in a circle of 13 stones, with a great cairn at the centre. Entry to the Visitor Centre is included.

From here we move on to the Black Houses at Gearrannan, typical of the crofting settlements which until relatively recently were found throughout the Western Isles.

The final visit on our circular tour is the Norse Mill at Shawbost, where barley grain was ground into meal by Viking settlers. A short walk past a small lochan leads to two beautifully restored little thatched buildings with a fine view to the ocean beyond.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Cabarfeidh Hotel, Stornoway

This morning we check out of the hotel and take the morning Caledonian MacBrayne ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool which takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. Breakfast is served on board. We then continue our homeward journey, arriving back at our original pick-up points during the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast

27 March 2019: Additional Info

27 March 2019: Accommodation

Located in the heart of the Hebrides with easy access for day trips to Harris and Lewis in the north and Eriskay and Barra in the south.

This property is 9 minutes walk from the beach. Set within in its own attractive gardens, this modern 4-star hotel is ideally located on the outskirts of Stornoway, just across the road from the golf course leading onto historic Lews Castle grounds.

Rightly known as 'Stornoway's finest hotel', the Cabarfeidh (pronounced cab-ar-fay) provides a relaxing base for both business and leisure travellers. It is also bookable for functions or meals in the Solas Restaurant.

There’s a diverse range of shops, serving local and tourist needs. Visitor attractions include an excellent museum of local history, the Lewis Loom Centre where you can learn about the history of Harris Tweed and the delightful grounds of Lews Castle.

27 March 2019: Enquiries

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