Highlights:

  • Explore the extraordinary Callanish standing stones on Lewis, more than 5,000 years old and rivalling Stonehenge in importance
  • Visit the Harris Eagle Observatory and scan the skies for the rare and beautiful golden eagles which make the island their home
  • Learn about the history of the Macdonald clan on Skye and visit the ruins of a castle where Flora Macdonald, who helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape to the island was married more than 250 years ago
  • Enjoy an evening of traditional Scottish food and music and get some tips on the Gaelic language.
  • Stay in a 17th-century former hunting lodge, still owned by the high chief of the Macdonald clan

The procession of islands, islets and reefs that form the remote Western Isles off Scotlands northwest coast boasts some of the most wild, beautiful and contrasting landscapes in Britain.

Turbulent seas boil around dramatic coastlines and hardy islanders still pursue the age-old activities of crofting, fishing and weaving.

Each Hebridean island retains its own special character, from Lewis heather-blanketed rolling moorland with its scattering of small grey cottages to Harris, land of high mountains, with an interior moon-like landscape.

On Skye the stark rise of the jagged Cuillin ridge drops to a surprising soft sand beach. Here, it seems, time has stood still and the splendid isolation means that wildlife and nature have been able to flourish.

We discover mysterious ancient stones, learn some Gaelic, sample a dram or two of whisky, scour the skies for elusive golden eagles, and learn about the bloody history of this part of Scotland, which sent so many islanders to the New World to forge a new life.

Sunday Overnight: Borve House Hotel

Meet at Stornoway Airport on Lewis, and go straight to the Neolithic Callanish Standing Stones (please arrive wearing appropriate footwear and jackets). Welcome dinner at our hotel.

Monday Overnight: Borve House Hotel

Head to the dramatic, northern extremity of Lewis; possibly the windiest spot in the UK! We'll stop at the home of local islanders, who will host us later in the evening for dinner and music. Also visit the Ness historical society to learn about the island's culture, and get some tips on speaking Gaelic.

Tuesday Overnight: Harris Hotel

Further south in Harris, we'll follow the Harris walkway, past Lochanan Lascadail and some wonderful hills, glens and lochs. We lunch at our next hotel where Matt, the ranger for North Harris, awaits to tell us about the area's golden eagles. After lunch, we drive the short journey to the Harris Eagle Observatory, where Matt helps us scan the glen for the magnificent birds soaring overhead.

Wednesday Overnight: Harris Hotel

Today's walk in South Harris showcases the area's diversity: from the wild barren rock of the east to the white sands and fertile machair that grows only in northwest Scotland. There are fabulous views of the machair lands and white beaches fringed with fields of wild flowers.

Thursday Overnight: Hotel Eilean Iarmain

Head ˜over the sea to Skye', but not before enjoying our final hike on Harris, exploring a small loch and the abandoned village of Direacleit. We lunch on board the ferry and, on arrival in Uig, drive to the island's main town, Portree, with its multi-coloured houses and bustling port. We'll follow the coastal path with extensive views of the harbor, finishing with a cream tea. The final leg of the day's journey, takes us through the Cuillin Hills, to our hotel in the fertile Garden of Skye.

Friday Overnight: Hotel Eilean Iarmain

Walk from the hotel into the surrounding woodlands and enjoy stunning views of the Sound of Sleat. After lunch in a wonderfully positioned Inn on the isle of Oransay, we explore the grounds and history of Armadale Castle, former ancestral home of the MacDonald family, one of Scotland's largest clans. Tonight, the Farewell Dinner at our hotel.

Saturday

After breakfast, The Wayfarers transport you to Inverness or Fort William for your onward connections.
Easy-Moderate
'Picture a paradise of powder white beaches and Atlantic waves, dark moor and rugged mountains, amazing wildlife and a rich and vibrant culture. I can't wait to show it to you!' Philippa Besant, Walk Leader
Terrain: Gentle hill walking, woodland tracks, well laid trails. Options for more or less vigorous walking. Likely strong winds at times and damp under foot. Waterproof boots and wet weather gear essential. 8-10 miles walking per day.

TRIP DETAILS

6 nights from
$4,495.00
per person, double occupancy
(Single Supplement $675.00)
Our Wayfarers friends' Price is $4,270.00

Dates

From May 20 to May 26 (more dates)
Request booking
Arrival: Stornoway Airport
Departure: Mallaig (onward train travel from Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street Rail Station also included)

Activities

Walk Classic
Outer Hebrides Map

Hotels - Where we stay

Borve House Hotel

Borve House Hotel

Situated in an idyllic location on the stunning west coast of the Isle of Lewis, the Borve House offers elegant and modern accommodation, with a traditional island welcome. The nine comfortable bedrooms offer state-of-the-art TV's with national and international TV and radio stations, WiFi internet access and tea and coffee making facilities. The well-stocked bars offer a range of local and international beers, wines and a tempting selection of malt and blended whiskies from throughout Scotland. Award winning Head Chef Alan MacRitchie uses the finest local produce to deliver a range of classic and creative dishes in the restaurant.

Harris Hotel

Harris Hotel

A warm welcome awaits you at this well-established hotel, which has been family owned and run for more than 100 years. Harris Hotel was built in 1865 by the 7th Earl of Dunmore, and was originally called the Tarbert Hotel. At the time, he owned the North Harris Estate and built the hotel as a "sporting retreat" for anglers. The original visitor books, stretching back to the 1880s, are still kept on the premises, and show a number of famous guests have stayed here over the last three centuries. J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, signed the visitor book in 1912, then at the height of his fame as a playwright. He even took the time to etch his initials on the dining room window, which can still be seen today. All rooms have flat-screen televisions, hair dryers and hot drinks tray. The downstairs areas have free WiFi access for mobile devices. The menu offers an extensive choice of dishes using the freshest of local ingredients, including fresh fish, shellfish, lamb, beef and venison served with a modern and contemporary flair.

Hotel Eilean Iarmain

Hotel Eilean Iarmain

Eilean Iarmain is an enchanting, privately owned, 19th century traditional hotel of unique charm and character, where time appears to stand still. Nestled in a picturesque bay in the south of Skye, with beautiful views over the Sound of Sleat and the distant hills of Knoydart. The local community and the Gaelic language and culture is at the heart of Eilean Iarmain. The Am Praban bar regularly hosts live music with local musicians and singers, where you can listen out for the mellifluous sound of the islands native tongue.
There is free WiFi in the lounge, and room service and laundry service are available.

Start planning your trip

What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation

  • Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
  • A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
  • Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
  • Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, culture, peoples, flora and fauna
  • Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
  • All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
  • Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
  • First-class accommodations with cultural and historical interest
  • All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
  • Wine with dinner
  • On-trail snacks and refreshments
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants