Hebridean Discovery Small Group Tour - 3 day tour
Hebridean Discovery Small Group Tour
3 day / 2 night tour
Although the neighbouring islands of Harris and Lewis share the same landmass, they are distinctively different, as we’ll discover. On Harris, you’ll find some of the finest beaches in all of Europe and spectacular mountains too. On Lewis, discover pre-historic sites, vast moors and magnificent lighthouses. Conveniently based in the historic port of Stornoway, all these attractions and much more can be easily be discovered.
Small Group Tour - travel in an intimate group of just 16 passengers
Dunrobin Castle - explore the grand home and gardens of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland
Harris Tweed - visit a traditional weaver to see how Harris Tweed is produced
Callanish Standing Stones - discover the mystical standing stones that date from Neolithic times
Luskentyre Beach - take a walk along this stunningly beautiful beach
Movie locations - 2001, A Space Odyssey, Brave and Barry Lyndon
Guest house accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Inverness - Dunrobin Castle - Stornoway (Isle of Lewis)
After leaving Inverness, we enjoy grandstand views of the Moray Firth as we travel over the Kessock Bridge.
After travelling through the Black Isle, we will cross the Cromarty and Dornoch Firths to reach Golspie. Here, high above the town, sits a statue of the First Duke of Sutherland, who came to notoriety during the Highland Clearances.
The ancestral home of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland is Dunrobin Castle, which is our first stop today. This magnificent castle is said to resemble a French chateau, and inside you'll be able to see some of the 189 rooms, including the grand dining room and the library, complete with 10,000 books.
A popular attraction is the falconry display that takes place in the formal gardens.
We'll explore the Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve, which is one of the most important geological sites in Europe. We'll discover more than 3 billion years of history during our visit and hear about the fascinating mysteries locked up in the landscape that surrounds us.
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 our arrival, it's a short drive to our accommodation.
Overnight: Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (2 nights)
Day 2 - Exploring Isle of Lewis
Although they share the same landmass, Harris and Lewis are considered separate islands. Having been inhabited for over 6,000 years, there is a real sense of history here, as we will discover.
Today we will explore the Isle of Lewis.
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, and due west, there is nothing but the North Atlantic until you reach Newfoundland, Canada!
The astonishing Callanish Standing Stones is our next visit. Archaeologists believe that these 5 metre (15 ft) stones were placed here by Neolithic people sometime between 3,000 and 1,000 BC. 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 has a beautiful location overlooking Loch Carloway and the sea beyond.
The weaving of Harris Tweed cloth has, traditionally, been an important home-based industry for islanders.
Our last visit of the day will be to a local weaver to see the fabric being handwoven in the time-honoured fashion – a truly fascinating process.
Day 3 - Exploring Isle of Harris
Today we focus our attention on the island of Harris.
We'll travel through the imposing hills of North Harris to reach the compact village of Tarbert, the main port serving the island.
The tiny island of Taransay has found fame as the setting for the popular TV programme, Castaway and the movie "Rocket Mail". We'll stop so you can admire the views and take a stroll along Luskentyre Beach, which appears never-ending.
Look out for the machairs which sit behind the beach - these green grassy plains are covered in a mass of wildflowers in the summer.
We return to Stornoway for some free time to explore this bustling port before our island interlude ends.
Later make for the ferry port where the MV Loch Seaforth will take us back to the mainland. On arrival in Ullapool, board the coach for the last part of the journey through the Northwest Highlands to Inverness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Small Group Tour?
With an average of just 16 passengers (and never more than 20) a Small Group Tour will provide a more intimate and flexible travelling experience.
These tours are carefully planned to travel off the highways so you’ll discover quaint villages and picturesque vistas that other tours just can’t access.
All the small group tours that we feature are operated by purpose built luxury minicoaches that feature air-conditioning, panoramic windows and comfortable seating.
Each group is led by an experienced driver/guide who will entertain and inform you with stories of our history, nature and folklore.
Comfortable guest house accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, tv and other amenities is included in the price of all tours.
A delicious Scottish breakfast is included each morning of your stay.
What are the optional extras on this tour and how much do they cost?
To give you complete choice admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour. The tour itinerary has been carefully designed to provide sufficient time for you to visit these attractions:
If you click on the links above they will provide you with more information on each attraction including current admission prices. In some cases a special discount is offered to tour passengers, your driver/guide will provide details if this applies.
Please note that credit/debit cards are not always accepted so it is recommended that you carry sufficient cash with you should you want to make a visit.
Will I hear Gaelic being spoken?
The Outer Hebrides is the heartland of Gaelic culture and the majority of islanders will speak the Gaelic language, as well as English.
Of course, there is no need to learn Gaelic to enjoy your time in the Outer Hebrides, but if you would like to learn a few words why not try:
Hello - Halò
Goodbye - Mar sin leibh
My name is - Is mise
How are you? - Ciamar a tha sibh?
I’m fine thank you - Tha gu math tapadh leibh
Excuse me - Gabh mo leisgeul
Cheers! - Slàinte!
What can I expect on the ferry crossing to Stornoway?
The crossing between Ullapool and Stornoway will take 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The MV Loch Seaforth which normally operates the route is a modern CruiseFerry that is equipped to a very high standard with an observation lounge, shops, restaurant and comfortable seating inside and out.
What meals are included ?
A full Scottish breakfast is included from day 2 onwards.
This hearty meal can consist of fruit juice; a choice of cereal; bakery basket; cooked items such as eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomato and, maybe, a taste of haggis! plus tea or coffee. Vegetarian and vegan options are always available.
Lunch and dinner are not included in the price.
During the touring day there will be a stop where you can enjoy lunch in a local pub or restaurant. Your driver/guide will be happy to suggest a conveniently located restaurant where you can enjoy good food for dinner.
- 2 nights guest house or hotel accommodation - all rooms with private bathrooms
- Location: Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (2)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (2)
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned minicoach with wifi and usb charging points
- Ferry to the Isle of Lewis
- Live commentary in English
- Services of an experienced driver/guide
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
19 Union Street
Inverness IV1 1QA
Check-in: 09:15 hrs
Tour Departs: 09:30 hrs
Tour Returns: 19:00 hrs
Concession discount applies to adults aged 60 years and above; students and children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive.
We’re really sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
Book by paying a 20% deposit. Make date changes or get a full refund with 8 days notice before travel. Click here for more information.
The price of this tour includes guest house accommodation with an en-suite bathroom.
One medium-sized suitcase/bag per person (maximum weight: 15 kilos)
In order to give you maximum flexibility admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour. See Frequently Asked Questions for more information and guidance on prices.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.
Blogs and Guides - discover insider tips and ideas
Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Rating:(5 /5) 19 Sep 2022
As above.Bernadette from Dundee, GB
Rating:(5 /5) 16 Sep 2017
Our tour guide Fergus was fantastic, extremely knowledgable regarding Scottish history and also very entertaining during our tour. Our accommodation was to an excellent standard with very welcoming hosts. I highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to visit the Scottish Highlands and if you are lucky enough to have Fergus as your guide that's an added bonus. Thanks Again for a great tour. Suzanne (Australia)suzanne from Glasgow,
Rating:(5 /5) 08 Feb 2017
To little time at Dunrobin Castle, otherwise excellent.Alan from Hobro, Denmark