Western Isles

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by WillH, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Has anyone done the Western Isles hopscotch with CalMac? I am going north, up the west coast, in mid October and fancy doing Lewis, Harris and the Uists before going to Skye. At that time of year do you think it necessary to book.

    Any local knowledge would be appreciated especially about beach parking on the islands as we would just wild camp when out there.

    many thanks
    Bill

    :Cool:
     
  2. Stephen & Jeannie

    Stephen & Jeannie Read Only Funster

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    check out the calmac website ! after 19th october the new subsidised winter fares for the longer crossings come into force..as for beach sites,download google earth and there they are ! i have been up there many times and the ferry fare equates with no campsite fees ! however,dont leave it too late in the year as the winds up there can be hurricane force. :thumb:
     
  3. Linda and Steph

    Linda and Steph Funster

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    We've just returned from there, we did book the ferries just in case but they weren't full.

    Here's a list of where we stayed:

    Uist - Shellbay, on Benbecula (expensive but clean and friendly)
    Harris - a nice 'honesty box' site about 10 miles up the coast from the ferry port (clean and cheap but no hook-up)
    Lewis - Laxdale Caravan Park
    Skye - We stayed in a lovely park near the Kyle of Lochalsh. (We had planned on staying in Plockton but they've banned overnight parking :Angry:)

    Have a great time, we did. :BigGrin:
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  4. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Hi Bill
    I toured the Outer Hebrides two years ago in my campervan and booked Hopscotch 8 with CalMac which enabled me to do the lot.

    On both Lewis and Harris there are plenty of places to 'wild camp' and i would recommend travelling down each and every little B road where you will find some of the most breathtaking views. In particular, one not to be missed is the B887 in the sw of Harris, a narrow winding 'dead end' road leading to Hushinish. The small beach right at the end there is simply stunning and along the way you will pass remnants of the old whaling station, a tiny little school, and Amhuinnisuidhe castle which is privately owned.

    Whilst on Harris another 'must see' is a visit to the island of St Kilda. This is an example of island 'life' at its most extreme. Once inhabited by a small number of people it now remains as it was when the last inhabitants left. The trip is not cheap (£140) and it lies approx 60 miles west off Harris so is a lengthy boat trip and subject to both weather conditions and available places on the boat. Pre-booking is essential. Unfortunately when i was there the trip had to be cancelled at the last minute due to weather.

    By comparison i found the Uists a bit disappointing. Very barren and not many places to wild camp or for that matter to see.

    You don't mention visiting Barra. Missing that out would be a big mistake. One of the smallest inhabited islands it has a unique beauty all of its own and also totally unique in having its own airport where scheduled flights land daily on the 'runway'......the beach! And though not openly encouraged, everyone who visits Barra in a mh or camper can wild camp right by the 'runway'!!

    Finally, i would suggest booking your crossing if you are sure of what dates you are going. The ferries are not only taking tourists, they regularly carry islanders back and forth.

    I never stayed on any site at all and wild camped the entire three weeks i was out there, but size of van could dictate a lot here....my van is a swb Transit!
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  5. iain4702

    iain4702 Read Only Funster

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    Hi Bill, My wife and I Picked up our new BESSACARR E560 on 220708 and set off to nWestern Isles FOr 16 days.Had a fabby time. If you want more info. on our trip feel free to give us a call on01875615104
    Regards Iain & Evelyn
     
  6. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Thanks for all the advice, so far we are looking at a fairly short trip to Lewis/Harris and the Uists. As it will be October we don't expect too much of the weather anyway and a short crossing from Uig will be easier on my dog.

    This could just be the recce for a longer trip as my wife has never been to Shetland before and she has family up there.

    Many thanks

    Bill
     
  7. iain4702

    iain4702 Read Only Funster

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    Habitation door stay

    Bill have you had a problem due to there not being any stay with the result that ddor slams shut and is damaging the fly screen if fully extended.
    Regards Iain
     
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