Highlands & Hebrides Discovery

This three-centre holiday is designed around fabulous walks amid varied and stunning land and seascapes. We spend two nights on the Isle of Skye, three on Harris and two in Ullapool on the mainland's west coast

This three-centre holiday is designed around fabulous walks amid varied and stunning land and seascapes, whist gaining an understanding of the rich cultural history. We will spend two nights on the Isle of Skye, three on Harris and two in Ullapool on the mainland's west coast.

The drive from Inverness to Skye follows the north shore of Loch Ness and takes us through Glen Shiel which was once the scene of the Jacobite defeat on May 11, 1719. We will stop at Eilean Donan Castle, much photographed since its restoration during the 1920s.

We spend one-and-a-half days walking on Skye before crossing the Little Minch to Harris. This Outer Hebridean island boasts a landscape of striking contrasts: rugged mountains to the north; white sandy beaches, turquoise ocean and flower-strewn machair on the southwest; rocky bays and lochans on the southeast. Here, at a crofter's cottage, we see the traditional weaving of Harris Tweed.

Travelling north across the narrow border into Lewis we visit the standing stones at Callanish. The 50 stones were erected at least 5000 years ago and the reasons for their alignment and relationship to three smaller stone circles and other monuments nearby remain a mystery.

Finally, we cross the Minch to Ullapool on Loch Broom. This lively fishing village where whitewashed buildings curl around its harbour, has much to offer, including live traditional music in the local pubs. A walk in the Assynt area, a geologist's paradise north of Ullapool, promises a memorable conclusion to this unique Highland experience.

Highlights

  • Three-centre holiday exploring some of Scotland's finest scenery
  • Stunning walks on Skye and Harris
  • Visit the standing stones at Callanish
  • Explore the unique landscape of Inverpolly Nature Reserve

At a Glance

From £1165 per person
Single room: a limited number of single rooms are available from £140

Grade
Duration8 Days
LocationHighlands Mainland & Islands
StartInverness Station @ 13.30
FinishInverness Station @ 10.30
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Route Map


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At a Glance

From £1165 per person
Single room: a limited number of single rooms are available from £140

Grade
Duration8 Days
LocationHighlands Mainland & Islands
StartInverness Station @ 13.30
FinishInverness Station @ 10.30

Itinerary

The itinerary for each day’s walk is given below however; alternative walks may be undertaken dependent upon the weather and group fitness.  On such a day, the leader will carefully choose an alternative guided by the group interest.

Saturday – Isle of Skye

Your North-West Frontiers guide collects you from Inverness at 1330 from the railway station. We will drive along the shores of Loch Ness and through beautiful Glen Shiel to the Isle of Skye. On the way, we have time to stop at the famous Eilean Donan Castle, which was originally built about 1220. Drive on to your accommodation in Portree.

Sunday – Isle of Skye

Today we travel to the southern part of Skye for our hike in the rugged Cuillin Mountains. We’ll walk from Glen Brittle to Coire Lagan, a glacier-carved cirque in the heart of the range. You will be impressed by the exciting feel of the place. Whilst travelling around Skye and later Harris/Lewis, it is not unusual to hear snatches of the Scottish Gaelic, the indigenous language of the area. Gaelic culture and heritage still pervade the atmosphere.

Monday – Skye to Harris

In the morning, we spend time in Trotternish, the north-east corner of Skye. We walk to the Quiraing, a spectacular ‘forest’ of pinnacles and rock formations, from where we will enjoy dramatic views. We catch the afternoon ferry to Harris departing from Uig at 1400 and arriving in Tarbert at 1545. After settling in at the hotel, we go for a short walk not too far from Tarbert. Here, the oldest rock in Europe (800 million years), Lewisian gneiss, creates a unique landscape of hummocky hills and scattered lochans.

Tuesday – Isle of Harris

Today’s walk starts from the tiny settlement of Rhenigidale on the east coast from where we will follow the old postman track to Tarbert. This is a great walk with wonderful views out along the coast and the surrounding hills. Later in the afternoon we go to see Harris Tweed woven in a crofter’s cottage at Luskentyre on the wonderful west coast of Harris and we’ll have a contrasting walk along one of the many white beaches.

Wednesday – Isle of Harris

The drive to the start of today’s walk is full of interest: we pass an old whaling station at Bunavoneader and the road runs past the door of Amhuinnsuidhe Castle (pronounced ‘avin-suey’).
It was built by the Earl of Dunmore in 1868, and has been bought by the local community. We follow the coastal path from Hushinish to the sandy beaches opposite the island of Scarp.

Thursday – Standing Stones, transfer to Ullapool

Today we will travel back to mainland but before we do we visit the megalithic (between 3000-1500 BC) standing stones at Callanish on the neighbouring Isle of Lewis. From Stornoway we catch the 1400 ferry for the crossing to the lovely west-coast fishing village of Ullapool. The 2½ hour ferry ride will offer us great views of the northwest coast and the Summer Isles.

Friday – Ullapool

We drive through the rugged scenery of Assynt just north of Ullapool – a land of mountains, lochs, rocky headlands and rich plant & animal life. Also here we find Lewisian gneiss, creating a unique landscape of hummocky hills and scattered lochans, dominated by the individually shaped Assynt Mountains. We have a full day walk in this impressive area.

Saturday – Inverness

This morning after breakfast we will return to Inverness. The drive takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. We will be back at Inverness station around 10.30. This is in time to catch trains going south to Glasgow and Edinburgh.


What's Included

Included:

  • 7 nights bed and breakfast in comfortable hotel and guesthouses
  • 7 x dinner and 6 x (packed) lunches
  • 6 days walking with a qualified and experienced NWF leader
  • All road and ferry transport during the trip

Excluded:

  • Travel to and from Inverness
  • Travel insurance
  • Miscellaneous expenses like drinks, entrance fees etc

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