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.
Try and spot the
salmon leaping as we enjoy a walk along the Black Water to view the Rogie Falls
then it’s a short drive to our next treat, lush Inverewe Gardens *. In stark
contrast to the remote surroundings a wide variety of exotic plants and shrubs
survive here, thanks to the efforts of the Gulf Stream.
We’ll make a stop to visit Corrieshalloch Gorge to 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.
Exploring Lewis and Harris
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 fascinating Arnol Blackhouse Museum *. A traditional blackhouse was a combination of home, barn and stackyard and this example will give you real insight into how life was lived on these islands in times gone by. The weaving of Tweed cloth has, traditionally, been an important home-based industry for islanders so when we visit a local weaver, on our next visit, there will be an opportunity to see the fabric being hand woven in the time-honoured fashion – a truly fascinating process.
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. A short distance away 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.
Luskentyre Beach which appears never-ending is our next 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.
The Atlantic coast leads us to the small community of Rodel and our last visit of the day to 16thCentury St Clements Church. There’s time to stroll around the pretty harbour before we return to our accommodation in Stornoway.
Stornoway - Butt of Lewis - Inverness
After breakfast we will make our way 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!
We return to Stornoway for some free time so can explore this bustling port.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.
* Admission fees extra