Hebrides hopscotch question

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by timdownieuk, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    We're planning to go island hopping next week. What I don't know is whether to book all our hops now or just to book the first and last ferries and "wing" the rest depending on our mood.

    Any suggestions for island hopping at this time of year?

    Tim
     
  2. Campercaillie

    Campercaillie Read Only Funster

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    I imagine that ferries running to and from the Outer Hebrides and islands will be at low capacity this time of the year. Certainly no harm in booking the outward trip, but I would recommend leaving the others and the return open. If in your final few days an Atlantic storm is heading your way, it's an advantage to have the option of cutting it short (as indeed we did in July!!)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  3. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I thought you had to book them all at the start, I thought that was one of the reasons we did not use them due to retrictive travel plans

    Even if you don't have to I don't recall it making it much cheaper than doing your own thing when you wanted

    The one ferry cost that really did surprise me this year was North Uist to Harris, (Berneray to Leverburgh) cost as much as Skye to Harris, that alone might justify the hopper

    I would say if you can keep an open ticket do so, as previously commented weather might make a big difference to your wants, while we were there in August there we several days when ferries did not run at all

    But have fun, it is an amazing place, such a variety of scenery across the islands

    David
     
  4. bailey

    bailey

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    Be carefull at this time of the year as the storms have already started.At this time of year there are always ferry cancelations Bill
     
  5. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Most years we visit Skye with the firm intention of traveling on to the outer isle depending on the weather. This year was no different, spent two days on Skye then a gale came in from the west. We'll try again next year. Did have a few nice days though.

    Bill
     
  6. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    I wouldn't bother to book anything - just turn up and buy your ticket. I'm sure you'll have no difficulty getting on board. If you're concerned just give them a ring a week or a few days beforehand to ask if there's plenty of room on the date(s) you're thinking of for an outward journey.

    By the way, when we did the Outer Hebrides at Easter last year, we didn't even bother buying a 'Hopscotch' ticket. Just bought singles as we went - that way, you have absolute and complete flexibility on routes / crossings as you go. IE you could cut short, or make extra crossings. The routes from the mainland to the Outer Hebrides are heavily subsidised by the Scottish Government, but the inter-island ferries are not (or they weren't last year) making them more expensive mile-for-mile covered.

    Most of the inter-island ferries do not have a booking/ticket office, you pay when you get on the ferry. So when we turned up at the ramp we'd just ring the ferry company (CalMac) from the mobile to ask if there was space on the next ferry, check it was running on time and just wait for it to arrive.

    Oh, and once you've bought your first ticket all your details go in their computer, so you only need to quote your name or registration number on all the subsequent ferries - and they already have all the other info - we were impressed how easy it all was. Also how helpful the company was on the phone too - only too happy to answer any questions.

    Whatever you decide, have a great trip.

    Mike
     
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  7. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    when we went we just booked our first ferry from Oban and just turned up for the rest, im sure you have 3 months to use them from the first ferry.
     
  8. Armytwowheels

    Armytwowheels Funster Life Member

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    As others have said, just book as you go, the ferries will not be full. We went last year late September to the 11th Oct, never pre-booked anything. The lady at the ticket desk said if we were coming back of Skye on the bridge it would be cheap to pay as we go, only talking about a tenner though.

    We started in the south Oben to Barra and worked our way up. Almost wish we were doing it again this year too, you will love it.
     

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