Wild scenery and Scottish hospitality at the very edge of Britain
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple options available
1 - 2
Join us on a week of exploring the Outer Hebrides, also known as the Western Isles, as we make our way from north to south visiting all 5 of the main islands and having countless adventures along the way. With comfy accommodation and easy guided walks every day, you’ll truly get the time to appreciate this distant part of the UK.
The Outer Hebrides are a group of islands far off the western edge of Scotland, composed of rolling rocky hills, sandy beaches, thousands of lakes and streams, and a spectacular coastline. Whether you want to stroll along the beach, climb hills, or just enjoy the peace and quiet of these vast islands, there’ll be something here for you on this sociable weekend of wandering.
In a nutshell:
- Explore the Outer Hebrides on 6 days of easy guided walks, island-hopping our way from north to south.
- Get the chance to see the best local crafts, eat out at local restaurants and generally take it all in during this adventurous but relaxing week.
- Relax in our comfy accommodation, with all transport on the islands provided so you can enjoy yourself while we worry about all those ferries!
- Marvel at the views, from craggy hills to miles of seashore and freshwater lakes, where we can search for wildlife and breathe in the very freshest of fresh air.
Outer Hebrides Trip Dates:
- Saturday 20th – Sunday 28th June 2020
- Saturday 18th – Sunday 26th July 2020
About the Area
Look at a map of the UK and you’ll see a great set of islands, shaped like a curved shield, protecting Scotland from the North Atlantic. These are the Outer Hebrides, a vast array of hundreds of isles ranged with hills, beaches, cliffs, and over 7500 freshwater lakes. You’ll find gaelic spoken as the main language in most communities, and the chance to see wildlife wherever you look, whether soaring in the skies or basking in the sea. The views from the hills are breathtaking, over to the Atlantic on one side, or East to the Isle of Skye and the Scottish mainland far in the distance. The land is perfect for walkers to explore, and there are some excellent trails. Beyond the outdoor adventures, there are great cafes and craft shops so you can discover the cosier and more indulging side to the Hebrides.
We will all meet up in Glasgow in the morning of day one, then there is no getting away from it there is a long drive ahead as we drive through the Scottish Highlands to Ullapool and our ferry over to Stornoway. On our arrival in Stornoway we will check into our cosy guest house accommodation.
Our itinerary for these days remains open and flexible, as there’s just so much to see and do in the Outer Hebrides we’ll consider what the group is interested in and what the weather is looking like. Most days will revolve around setting out for an easy guided walk, perhaps into some hilly terrain, through the valleys or along the extraordinary coast.
For each of these days, we’ll start with breakfast and then give you the chance to make a packed lunch – there’ll be plenty of food to keep you going!
Alongside the walks, we’ll factor in plenty of sightseeing, from ancient sites, castles and wildlife, to art and craft shops and perhaps a boat trip to the smaller islands. One moment we’ll be searching for whales out at sea, and then we’ll be strolling along a section of the Hebridean Trail gazing out over the thousands of lakes that lie inland.
During the 7 full days we’ll be making our way south, moving accommodation as we take in the 5 large isles of Lewis & Harris, the Uists, and Barra. We finish our week at the southern end of the Outer Hebrides, on the Isle of Barra.
Here are some ideas to show you the kind of walks we’ll be going on:
Crossing South Harris:
This circular walk, mostly on the old ‘coffin route’ from coast to coast on Harris, will take us from the east to the west and back again. We’ll pass craggy hills, experience the thrill of passing from the sea to the ocean, and see the wildflower machair and beaches of the west. Staying at a low level between hills, this is an excellent day out to explore the wild.
Calanais Standing Stones:
This incredible set of standing stones, an ancient monument from pre-history, is a must-see for the week. We’ll enjoy a visit to the stones and then head out on a short coastal walk to visit two other stone circles and see the village of Calanais, giving you a better impression of how the famous stones fit into the landscape. With the sea always visible beyond the stones, this is truly a special day out.
The Butt of Lewis:
Taking in this coastal walk to the most northerly point in the Outer Hebrides (other than the tiny chunks of rock that reach above the waves further north) will really give you the impression of the wild Atlantic. Waves will crash below, we’ll admire seabirds darting around the cliffs, and on our path we’ll pass everything from prehistoric mounds to the 19th century lighthouse that stands right on the northern point.
At 799m, An Cliseam is the highest peak on the Outer Hebrides, and if we feel like a hill day then this could be the perfect answer. Standing in the famous hills of Harris, this peak can either be tacked direct, for a steep but quick day out, or we can enjoy a longer journey around the horseshoe. Views will be spectacular, taking in most of the Western Isles and possibly east to the Isle of Skye. You’ll certainly get a fantastic impression of how the islands all fit together.
Today is the day we leave the Outer Hebrides behind after 7 magical days exploring this unique and special place. We jump on the ferry back to Oban before driving into Glasgow.
- 8 nights hostel accommodation, split between Harris and Lewis, Uist and Barra.
- Glasgow collection, all travel during the trip including ferries.
- 7 days of guided day walks – please note any excursions or other extra activities will incur an additional charge.
- Breakfasts and packed lunches for full walk days, please note evening meals and food on the travel days, 1st and last are not included.
We will be collecting you from Glasgow at 10am on the Saturday morning, before heading to Ullapool and the ferry over to Stornoway. We will return you to Glasgow on the last day for about 5pm.
What our members have to say...
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016