This short tour of the idyllic islands of Harris and Lewis is the perfect balance of discovery, travel and hospitality. Travelling as a small group you’ll experience a magical blend of island life, pre-historic legend and breathtaking scenery.
Inverness to the Outer Hebrides
We start our tour by crossing the impressive Kessock Bridge and enjoying the grandstand views over the Moray Firth. After crossing the Black Isle we shall make our way through the rugged landscape of the western Highlands.
We’ll make a stop to visit Corrieshalloch Gorge and see the dramatic Falls of Measach dropping some 150 feet into the ravine below.
The fishing port of Ullapool sits on Loch Broom and is where we board our ferry for the crossing of The Minch to reach Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis. The sailing will take 2 hours 45 minutes and our cruise-ferry boasts extensive lounge and dining facilities.
On arrival in Stornoway it is a short drive to our accommodation for the next two nights.
We start the day with some free time so that you can discover the bustling port of Stornoway. Together Harris and Lewis make Scotland’s largest island. These islands have been inhabited for over 6,000 years and there is a real sense of history as we will discover as we spend today discovering Lewis.
Our first visit of the day is to the Butt of Lewis where a lighthouse stands warning passing ships of the nearby rocks. This is the most northerly point of the Outer Hebrides. Due west from here is nothing but the North Atlantic until you reach Newfoundland, Canada!
The astonishing Callanish Standing Stones is our next visit. Archaeologists believe that these 15 foot (5 m) stones were placed here by Neolithic people sometime between 3,000 and 1,000 BC and the site is rated second in importance only to Stonehenge.
Another point of major historical interest is the impressive Dun Carloway Broch, an Iron Age stone fort known to have been built more than 2,000 years ago. This is one of the best preserved fortified towers in Scotland and it’s beautifully located with wonderful views over Loch Carloway and the sea beyond.
The neighbouring island of Harris is our destination today. The mountainous scenery that we shall experience as we cross from Lewis to Harris was formed millions of years ago and is some of the oldest rock on the planet. The northern section of Harris is almost lunar-like.
Our first stop is to Tarbert, the island’s main town which rises steeply from the pier. We’ll then enjoy the views over the Sound to the little island of Taransay, made famous in the BBC television programme "Castaway”.
Harris is famed for the production of Tweed cloth and there is an opportunity to see the fabric being hand woven in the traditional way when we visit a local weaver – a truly fascinating process.
Luskentyre Beach which appears never-ending is our last stop of the day so you can enjoy some beach combing. Look out for the machairs which sit behind the beach. These green grassy plains are covered in a mass of wild flowers in the summer.
Sadly our island interlude has come to an end and we catch the ferry back to the mainland and make our way to journey’s end in Inverness.