Callanish, Isle of Lewis
Callanish, Isle of Lewis

Scenic Scottish Tours

Grand Tour of the Outer Hebrides (5 Days)

Autumn 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, Fort William, Invergarry and Kyle of Lochalsh and across the Isle of Skye to the ferry port at Uig. From here we take the early evening sailing to Lochmaddy in North 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 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

Today's Price
$1,345

Deposit: $150 Single supplement: $180

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 September 4 2019 - September 8 2019
Duration 5 days
Cost
Today's Price
$1,345
Deposit: $150 Single supplement: $180 Balance due by June 12 2019
Activity Level
Tour code BWGT519E

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
Aberdeen 1230 2030
Inverurie 1300 2000
Elgin 1400 1900
Forres 1415 1845
Nairn 1430 1830
Inverness 1500 1800

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 1-800-782-0295 if you have any questions

September 4 2019: Itinerary

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.

Dinner will be served in the evening.

Meals include: 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 Gearannan, 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.

Dinner will be served back at our hotel in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Cabarfeidh Hotel, Stornoway

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 Horgabost, Borve and Scarasta. 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 Dark Island Hotel. Dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, 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 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.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Dark Island Hotel, Benbecula

This morning we check out of the hotel and take the morning ferry from Lochmaddy in North Uist to Uig on Skye. 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.

Meals include: Breakfast

September 4 2019: Additional Info

September 4 2019: Accommodation

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.

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.

Situated 300m from a secluded beach. "Machair" tracks close to the hotel entice you to stroll though the profusion of wild flowers, listening to corncrakes, oystercatchers and lapwings.

Our cuisine offers the finest and freshest of local produce from local crab, lobster and peat smoked salmon to the best of venison, Highland beef and island lamb. Our menus change regularly to match the seasons and local landings. Vegetarian and other special diets are catered for.

There is a choice of family, double, twin-bedded and single rooms in three standards - deluxe, standard and economy. All our rooms include colour TV, radio, tea and coffee making facilities hair dryers and en suite bathrooms.

The hotel is fully licensed with a fine selection of malt and deluxe whisky, a well balanced wine list and a choice of Hebridean ales.

 

September 4 2019: Enquiries

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