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, arguably, some of the finest beaches in Europe and spectacular mountains. On Lewis discover pre-historic sites, vast moors and spectacular lighthouses. Conveniently based in the historic port of Stornoway all these attractions and much more are easily discovered.
Price range: £365 - £475
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 - hotel upgrade option available
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 where, high above the town, sits an astonishing statue, 27m (90') high. This is of the First Duke of Sutherland, whose agents were involved in the most notorious of the Clearances in the Highlands during the 19th Century. We’ll hear more about this sad episode in the history of Scotland and contrast the fate of the tenants, who were forced from their homes, with the grand opulence of Dunrobin Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Sutherland. Our optional visit to Dunrobin will give you time to explore the castle and its extensive 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 about the mysteries that are locked up in the rocks during our visit.
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.
Overnight: Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (3 nights)
Day 2 - Exploring Isle of Lewis
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. 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!
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.
The weaving of Tweed cloth has, traditionally, been an important home-based industry for islanders so when we visit a local weaver, on our last visit of the day, there will be an opportunity to see the fabric being hand woven in the time-honoured fashion – a truly fascinating process.
Day 3 - Exploring Isle of Harris
Today we concentrate on the neighbouring island of Harris. We’ll travel through the imposing hills of North Harris to reach the little village of Tarbert, the main port serving the island.
The little island of Taransay has found fame as the setting for the popular TV programme, Castaway as well as the movie "Rocket Mail”. We’ll stop so you can admire the views and take a stroll along Luskentyre Beach, which appears never-ending. This is a great place to 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.
We return to Stornoway for some free time so can explore this bustling port before our island interlude comes to an end when we catch the ferry back to the mainland and head to journeys end in 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, wifi, usb charging points 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. You can choose to upgrade to hotel accommodation, at extra cost, if you wish. A delicious Scottish breakfast is included each morning of your stay. If you’ve got more time to spare a series of extraordinary itineraries has been created by combining one or more shorter tours. Seamless in operation these unique holidays allow you to discover even more of Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. A feature of these tours is that you will travel with a different driver/guide and fellow travellers for each portion of the itinerary.
What are the optional extras on this tour and how much do they cost?
To give you maximum flexibility the cost of admission fees and other optional extras are not included in the tour price. This gives you complete freedom to choose as the mood takes you. On this tour the optional extras are: ( ) Please note these prices are given for guidance only and may be subject to change without notice. The age limit for child discounts can vary. Credit/debit cards are not always accepted so you should plan to have sufficient cash with you should you wish to purchase any of these optional extras.
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 is a new CruiseFerry which 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 consists 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 lighter Continental 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
From Platform 7
Inverness Bus Station
Inverness IV1 1LT
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.
The price of this tour includes guest house accommodation with en-suite bathroom. You can up-grade to hotel accommodation at extra cost during the booking process.
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.