Please book via Explore.co.uk , tour code AHL
Walking holiday to the Isles of Lewis, Harris and Skye in the Hebrides
Breathtaking Landscapes – Exploring some of Britain’s most pristine regions on foot.
Ancient History – Discovering Iron Age villages and Neolithic sites.
Celtic Traditions – Unearthing the history, heritage and local traditions of the Scottish islands.
Steeped in folklore and Celtic traditions, the spectacular landscapes of the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye are the perfect location for a walking holiday. We explore the distinctive Quiraing landslip, the Cullin Hills and beautiful beaches of the Isle of Lewis. We also visit the Standing Stones of Callanish, watch a tweed weaving demonstration and stay in a traditional blackhouse.
Day 1: Join tour Stornaway
Today we join the tour in Stornoway the capital of the Isle of Lewis. Lewis itself is the largest of the Western Isles and the most northern of the islands that make up the Hebrides archipelago. It was on these remote shores that the famous 12th century Norse ‘Isle of Lewis’ chess set was found, which, whilst priceless today, was sold to the British Museum in 1831 for the paltry sum of just £80. The island’s main port Stornoway was originally christened Steering Bay by Viking settlers, before the name became corrupted over the intervening years into its modern day title. We travel to the restored blackhouses, north of Stornoway, where we will spend the next couple of nights in the dormitory style accommodation.
Day 2: Explore the west coast of Lewis
A day to explore to west coast of the Isle of Lewis, including a walk through the small crafting townships to the Dun Carloway Broch. In the afternoon we walk along the cliff tops to a sandy bay and enjoy spotting the sea birds nesting along the cliffs. This evening your tour leader will organise a dinner using fresh local produce. Total walking 5 miles
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Travel to Harris
This morning we enjoy a tweed weaving demonstration with a local weaver on a traditional pedal loom before travelling to the 4500 year old Callanish standing stone circle. Perhaps the most intricate example of stone circles in the UK, overlooking the chill waters of Loch Roag. We head south over the border to the Isle of Harris, rather than being a separate island, Harris is in fact a part of Lewis itself, its separation being political rather than physical, originating back to a fraction amongst the ruling MacLeod clan of the time. We arrive in the ferry port of Tarbert with its mountain backdrop, which will be our base for the next two nights.
Included meals: Breakfast
Day 4: Exploring the southern part of Harris
This morning we take a ramble of the southern end of the Isle of Harris including the 1520 St Clements church, formerly the burial place of the powerful McLeod Clan chiefs. Take in the picturesque harbour in the village of Rodel, mostly on good paths but across a short section of pathless moreland and down the slopes to Renish Point to look for curious seals, gannets, oyster catchers, curlews and Eider ducks. Enjoy one of the enormous sandy beach and take in the glorious fertile Machair with it wild grasses, flowers and diverse array of bird species. See the winding ‘lazy’ beds, where locals piled up turf and seaweed to create ground for growing vegetables. See the old peatbanks where peats are cut then left to dry to fuel the fires over winter. Walking 5-6hrs / 9 miles
Included meals: Breakfast
Day 5: Ferry to Skye; Walk to Quirang
We take the early ferry from Tarbert to Uig on the Isle of Skye. Uig means Bay in Norse. We transfer by bus to the Quirang on the Trottenish peninsular for some of the most fantastic scenary Scotland has to offer. It is often featured on television and the silver screan, including the 2007 film Stardust. The circuit heads out above the escarpment and returns along its base. The terrain is a mix of steep heather slopes and good paths. After completing our walk we explore the Capital town of Skye, Portree, meaning Port of the King, with it’s colourful houses dotted along the harbour. We move on to Stromeferry our base for the last two evenings. Walking 4.25 miles 3-5 hours Ascent 340m
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Seal boat trip and walk from Lock Coruisk
We transfer from Stromeferry to Elgol by minibus. From the fishing village of Elgol take a one hour seal boat trip to be dropped off at the remote Loch Coruisk, one of Scotland’s most isolated and breathtaking lochs, set amidst the mighty Black Cuillin mountains of Skye. We walk north over a pass into Glen Sligachan skirting round the edge of immense Blaven (Bla Bheinn in Gaelic) to the isolated Camusunary pebble beach and over the hill and down to Kilmarie on the Broadford road. 4-5 hours 15km ascent 450m. Return to Stromeferry then on to the picturesque village of Plockton with its choice of places to eat and live folk music. Walking: 4-5 hours, 10miles, ascent 450m
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7: Tour ends in Stromeferry.
Today we enjoy short walks to the local woodlands. There is an optional boat trip to see seals or dolphins and other birdlife. Tour ends Stromferry train station.
Included meals: Breakfast