Outer Hebrides

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by lorger, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi Everyone
    We are going to the outher hebrides for easter as its my wifes 40th and just wondered if anyone could pass on any tips on must see and do things and also where to stay both wildcamp and sites.

    We are planning on traveling to Barra then heading up north then back down and cross to Skye there will be both of us and our 11 year old Daugther and not forgetting 6 month old Jack Russel pup.

    Any advice is welcome as we discover we learn small things about motorhoming everyday.

    Cheers
    Gerry
     
  2. barryd

    barryd Read Only Funster

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    Hi. We had a boys trip a couple of years ago in a VW camper. As it was a boys trip (wife not included) it did involve a lot of drinking so forgive me if my memory is not so great. Its a fab place. We didnt do Barra but did a few days on Skye and then over to South Uist, Benbecula North Uist, Berneray, Harris and Lewis and then back to Skye. Cal Mac do a hopscotch ferry ticket but you probably worked that out by now. Most of the islands are now connected by causeways.

    The Black House villiage is worth a look. I think its on Harris or Lewis and you can watch them make the Tweed. There are loads of spots to wildcamp and a few small campsites. I think it was on South Uist we stopped one night and there was a warning sign with a missile on it (it could have been benbecula) and we stopped right on the beach there. Apparantly the MOD test missiles from there. We woke up one morning and two black BMW's had appeared with a load blokes searching frantically out to sea with binoculars, followed by a couple of helicopters clearly shearching for something. They didnt seem keen to talk to us but a local later told us they were probably spooks looking for a lost missile they were testing! (dont know if its true but it made our holiday all that more exciting). We also drove onto Berneray one night in a storm which is a small island north of North Uist (apparantly a fav with Prince Charles). We camped in the dark and woke up on the north of the island over looking a fantastic beach. Spent the morning on there and we felt like we were the only people ever to set foot on it.

    The locals we met were very friendly, every time we stopped outside a pub they would drag us in and challenge us to darts, skittles, pool or whatever. Needless to say we didnt resist much. If you want supplies on a Sunday they seem to have funny opening hours. I think the Coop on Uist is only open for an hour.

    I am sure you will have a great time and if I actually think of anything useful I will add it later

    Regards
    Barry
     
  3. geoff1947

    geoff1947 Read Only Funster

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    Benbecula

    I served with the Army on the missile range on Benbecula in 1991/92. The Western Isle are fantastic both for scenery and for the friendly locals. Certainly worth a trip and I must revisit sometime but life is so full now I'm retired:thumb:
     
  4. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

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    Do try and visit Applecross-paradise.
     
  5. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Did the whole of the Outer Hebrides in 07. Pretty amazing place though i was a bit disappointed with North and South Uists.

    Barra is absolutely beautiful and for such a tiny little island, i could have easily spent more than the four days i had there. Don't miss cockleshell beach where the airport is.....unique in having the only scheduled airline where the plane lands on the beach. Its also a brilliant place to wild camp overlooking the beach/runway. In Castlebay look out for Neil, a local character with a glass eye who spends a major part of his daily life drinking, then walking around with his two border collie dogs. I shared a coffee and a chat with him...a very nice chap who just likes more than a few pints, but he's a good character who will sit and chat with anyone. Drinking seems to be a pastime of the islanders with shops stacked floor to ceiling with booze!

    When on Harris consider a trip out to St Kilda, a remote uninhabited island to the far west of the Hebrides. It has been kept virtually as it was when the last islanders left it in 1930. It is now listed as a World Heritage site. Endless books have been written about this island but you can look at a website here;
    St Kilda - National Trust for Scotland World Heritage Site
    It's not a cheap trip.....cost is about £150 for the day but it is an 80 odd mile round trip and is strictly 'weather permitting'. When i was on Harris i could not go due to the change of weather so it is literally a 'once in a lifetime' chance you may have of seeing this place.

    Another 'must see' is Hushinish which sits right at the very end of the B887 just out of Tarbert. The road is 14 miles of narrow single track. On the way look out for the old whaling station, a tiny little school, and Amhuinnsuidhe Castle, Amhuinnsuidhe Castle, Isle of Harris, Scotland you drive right past the front door! Hushinish is one of most beautiful beaches i've ever seen......simply stunning and well worth the trek out there. Extreme remoteness and tranquility.

    Lewis is the largest so you need allow plenty of time to tour around it. A good website here;
    Explore the isle of lewis

    Religion plays a big part in island life and though Barra is predominantly Catholic, moving further north into Harris and Lewis, it becomes Free Presbyterian where strict religous observance is practiced. Sundays are known as The Lords Day or The Sabbath and it's expected that all tourists respect the islanders Sundays. Unlike mainland Britain where church attendances are low with all the 'heathens' cramming the roads up on their weekly 'pilgrimage' to the Supermarkets and DIY stores....Sundays on the Outer Hebrides are refreshingly different with shops closed, roads free of any traffic....because they are all in church! It's an amazing sight. Literally everyone descends on the various churches. I saw mini buses offloading people, even biker lads parking up and walking into church in their leathers!

    I thoroughly enjoyed my three week tour there and would go back again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  6. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Ermm.....thats Wester Ross! :RollEyes:
     
  7. derekfaeberwick

    derekfaeberwick Read Only Funster

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    Still worth a detour though. :Doh:
     
  8. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Thanks so far

    Hi all thanks so far for the great replis and feel free to keep them coming no matter how small all info is good. I did think Applecross wasn't on the isles but didnt want to say just in case lol.


    Gerry
     
  9. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Yes its on the mainland but worth visiting on your way back even though it is slightly north west if you are returning via Skye.

    Head for Ardnarff on the A890 to Lochcarron. At Ardnarff on your left you will see a small car parking area which is a not to be missed viewpoint.

    This is what you get to see.
    [​IMG]

    Applecross is west of Lochcarron and the way to 'do it' is on the tiny little B road which winds its way around the coast giving some amazing views.


    On your return back down you should also stop off and view the Eilean Donan Castle, possibly one of the most photographed views of Scotland.
    [​IMG]
     
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