Outer Hebrides in February

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by chrisinplymouth, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. chrisinplymouth

    chrisinplymouth Funster

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    Hi, we have been to mainland Scotland several times in February and had some amazing times.

    This year we are considering staying on the west coast and would like to take the ferry from Oban to Barra, then travel up through the Uists, Harris and Lewis, returning via Stornaway to Ullapool..We have a 7.5m van.

    Would appreciate any advice or tips from anybody who has already done this route . ( e.g. campsite availability or places to get water, empty tanks etc ...... or anything that might be of interest. )

    Many thanks in anticipation.

    Chris
     
  2. Gizmouk

    Gizmouk Funster

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    We've just got home from Scotland.
    We were going to do the exact same route from Oban through the Western Isles, then back to Ullapool.
    There's only one ferry a day from Oban to Castlebay - which in our case was cancelled two days running, and delayed to late crossing on the third day. However on the third day, with time ticking by we decided to cut our losses and get a refund and do the NC500 instead.
    My point is - don't be surprised if the sailings are delayed / cancelled - and have a back up plan.

    Quite sad that we missed out on the Western Isles, as we found the eastern part (Inverness to John O'Groats) of the NC500 such a let down - the A9 being much the same as the A12 on a rainy day. But made up for it by stopping in Gairloch (4 days) and then Killin (3 days) for a bit of house hunting :)
     
  3. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    Won't it be a bit cold? Brrr :(
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Sure as hell won't see any brass monkeys. Your island would be much better.
     
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  5. chrisinplymouth

    chrisinplymouth Funster

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    Don't mind the cold....
     
  6. chrisinplymouth

    chrisinplymouth Funster

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    Thanks....we a allowing 3-4 weeks so hope we can be flexible...
     
  7. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    We did more or less the same trip in May/June for three weeks traveling back from Tarbet to Uig. I think you will find most, if not all campsites closed. Plenty of wild camping though. Chemical waste disposal is available at Leverburgh pier and Berneray pier, most public toilets ask you not to use them. Water is available at most of the cemeteries though this may be isolated in the winter.

    We enjoyed brilliant weather, however, we live on the West coast and would not entertain the Western isles in February in a motorhome, we get gales from January through to March, no snow though. All the roads are very exposed and the ferry service is erratic at this time of year.
     
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  8. chrisinplymouth

    chrisinplymouth Funster

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    That puts a different slant on it....
     
  9. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Please do visit the Western Isles, they are fantastic, but perhaps not in the winter. The beaches are the equal of any I have seen in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Pacific, in fact anywhere, just a bit cooler. I even went swimming, so good.
     
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  10. chrisinplymouth

    chrisinplymouth Funster

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    I get the bit about storms...I lived on the Isles of Scilly for 3 years. I think the way forward is to get to the Oban area and watch the weather forecasts. If it shows a break in the weather go over, if not stay on the mainland and go look for some snow. Would still be interested on water waste facilities if anybody can help.
     
  11. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    You may have a better chance of the ferry running from Uig on Skye. And less chance of :sick: . A much shorter sea trip, just need to change your Outer Isles route.
     
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  12. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    look at Calmac web site, I am pretty sure they quote where they have facilities

    as already posted above certainly Leverburgh does, I seem to recall a few do

    another tip is do not use blue or any chemical, some sites where you can dump say no chemicals

    there are now more sites and I reckon they may well be open all year to get revenue, there will always be people like us prepared to go anytime

    just bear in mind how little daylight there is then, these were from Durness last January (15) photo with dog and shadow was midday

    IMG_0102.JPG IMG_0120.JPG

    BTW I do know Durness isn't on the western isles, but that is as close as I have got in winter (so far)

    Sango Sands is open for anybody turning up, free to pitch, electrics £6 / night, you unwrap your own post

    they even turned water on for me to top up before I left (y), dump grids available as I suspect most sites even on the Western Isles would be, a few emails will soon find out :)
     
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  13. chrisinplymouth

    chrisinplymouth Funster

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    Thanks.... We may well do that CWH.... Or even the trip from Ullapool and maybe confine ourselves to Lewis and Harris this time. Really depends on the weather. Anyway we're not in any hurry.
     
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  14. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    As above with daylight, in February there is only about 8 1/2 hours of daylight.
     
  15. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    My daughter was at university on Lewis. The college closed mid-Dec to early Feb because of the cost of light and heat. VERY short days and long nights. She was there two years (loved it but was beginning to get bored by the end of the second year), her third and fourth year were at Perth.
     
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  16. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    Think road equivalent tariff fares (big discount on standard fares) would be in place during February. Check CalMac website for details https://www.calmac.co.uk/ret/about.
     
  17. chrisinplymouth

    chrisinplymouth Funster

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    Thanks all.....we will see what February brings.
     
  18. Dogeared

    Dogeared Funster

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    We did the Outer Hebridies four weeks ago, we got battered all over the place, even on sheltered (I use the word loosely) pitches. When the wind and rain dropped it was great, but the nights were pretty turbulent.

    Worth it, but believe me, the seas in February can be pretty vile, you will need to choose your crossing times with care.
     
  19. obanvanman

    obanvanman Funster

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    We did same in march this year. Very stormy, she slept fully clothed for several nights convinced the van was going over...and we are 5T:eek:
    Nice site in Castlebay but exposed. We stayed at croft 183, it was so stormy we ended up in their hostel. Really nice people.
    Lots of places to wild camp on the Uists but not many to get rid of smelly stuff.
    Harris is stunning Lewis is vast, lots of history but pretty bleak.
     
  20. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Just a thought, but here in Scotland we've been enjoying a series called Grand Tours of the Scottish Isles with Paul Merton on the BBC. It should be available on iplayer if you're interested. He was on the Hebrides last week and tonight was the Isle of Skye. Good programme.
     
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