Grand Tour of the Outer Hebrides - 6 Days
This extended tour of the Hebrides 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 nine 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 with the ferry crossing from Ullapool to Stornoway. From our base in Stornoway 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, along with Lews Castle and Museum, the historic St Columba’s Ui Church and the windswept Butt of Lewis with its distinctive lighthouse. A captivating journey follows as we travel south through the magnificent mountain scenery of Harris and by ferry to North Uist, continuing via the causeways that link the islands to Benbecula, our base for the next two nights. From here we visit the islands of Eriskay; Vatersay with its fantastic sandy beaches, and Barra, including visits to Kisimul Castle and Cockleshell Beach, used as the island’s airport. Our return route takes us from North Uist to the Isle of Skye and its mist-covered mountains before returning to the mainland via the Skye Bridge.
|Inverness||14.00||does not return to Inverness|
Subject to minimum numbers, the following pick-up will be served by feeder coach and passengers will join/leave in Perth:
Dundee: 0945 1630
Please note all pick-ups are subject to minimum numbers and 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.
Your Departure date
Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £200
Keeping you safe on your next tour
Day 1 -
We depart from our designated pick-up points and head north, stopping en-route for refreshments. We will continue to Ullapool in time to catch the early evening Caledonian MacBrayne ferry to Stornoway, which takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. Dinner will be served on board. On arrival in Lewis we will transfer the short distance to our comfortable accommodation at the Cabarfeidh Hotel.
Day 2 -
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, a reconstruction of the type of grain mill used originally by Viking settlers and by islanders up until the 1930s. A short walk past a small lochan leads to two beautifully restored little thatched buildings with a fine view to the ocean beyond.
Dinner will be served back at our hotel in the evening.
Day 3 -
This morning, following breakfast, we shall visit the Lews Castle and Museum where we can meet the famous Lewis Chessmen and view the Outer Hebrides as never before in a wrap-around audio-visual presentation.
This afternoon we will visit St Columba’s Ui Church at Point, just outside Stornoway, one of the most important archaeological sites on the Isle of Lewis. It was the main church during the medieval period and is a burial place for the Macleod chiefs and the Mackenzies who controlled the island in later years.
We then drive up to the most northerly tip of the island, home to generations of sturdy seafarers. At the Port of Ness we will see the harbour that has seen the local seaman off on many a mission and at the Butt of Lewis we will view the unique Stevenson lighthouse that stands sentinel here, surrounded by the swell of the restless ocean.
Dinner is served in the evening.
Day 4 -
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and travel south to Harris, which in contrast to the rolling moorland of Lewis is more mountainous – this is apparent within minutes of crossing the ‘border’ into Harris with a magnificent mountain vista to the right as the road climbs over the hill. There are further outstanding views as we travel along the coast, including the island of Taransay of ‘Castaway’ fame and the wonderful beaches at Scarasta, Horgabost, Borve and of course Luskentyre, which was voted among the world’s 25 Top Beaches in 2020. Continuing to the southern end of Harris we 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.
We then take the ferry from Leverburgh to Berneray on North Uist, and continue over a series of causeways (keeping a careful eye out for otters) to Benbecula, the ‘stepping stone’ between the Uists.
We are based for the next two nights at the Isle of Benbecula Hotel. Dinner is served in the evening.
Day 5 -
After our full Scottish breakfast we will depart for our excursion to Barra, travelling first through South Uist, where we will visit the statue known as Our Lady of the Isles by Huw Lorimer, which was commissioned after the MOD proposed the construction of the missile testing range on Benbecula, and visit Lochboisdale, where there will be an opportunity for lunch (not included).
We continue 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 by boat to Kisimul Castle, the only surviving medieval castle in the Western Isles and the seat of the Clan MacNeil. The castle features a great hall, kitchen, chapel, dungeon and 60-foot tower, together with a shop. We will also visit 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. In the course of our tour today we also hope to see some of the hundreds of species of wild flowers that grow on the island, particularly on the machair, the fertile, grassy pastures that lie between the moorland and the sea.
We return via the Eriskay ferry to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.
Day 6 -
This morning we check out of the hotel and take the morning ferry from Lochmaddy in North Uist to Uig on Skye. Breakfast is served on board. On arrival on Skye we will drive across the island, enjoying the views of the Cuillin Hills whose jagged peaks are often wreathed in mist, and cross to the mainland via the Skye Bridge and continue our homeward journey, arriving back at our original pick-up points during the evening.
Tour dates & prices
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Availability|
|2 September 2021||BGHO210902||2 September 2021 (Thursday)||7 September 2021 (Tuesday)||£1,175
|£100||£200||Book your trip|
|28 September 2021||BGHO210928||28 September 2021 (Tuesday)||3 October 2021 (Sunday)||£1,125
|£100||£200||Book your trip|