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United Kingdom

Scotland - Hebridean Way

Guided Leisure Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

£2,095 P.P.
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The remote and spectacular Outer Hebrides have always been a lure to cyclists seeking out tranquil roads, stunning views and ancient history. This is a place of incredible white sand beaches, turquoise seas, flower strewn meadows, rocky shorelines, awe-inspiring views and peace and tranquillity.
With Gaelic as the first language, the Outer Hebrides still retains a culture distinct from the rest of Scotland. Here you'll find a sense of pride and tradition which make the region a remarkable and unforgettable place to visit.
After time on the Isles of Barra and Vatersay, our journey heads north using ferries and causeways to hop between the islands of Eriskay, South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, Berneray, Harris and Lewis before we end on the Atlantic Coast at the Butt of Lewis.
The trip offers the unique opportunity to experience life on the islands, where the landscapes are wild and untamed, wildlife flourishes, and human history dates back over 5000 years. Highlights along the way include the Blackhouse Village at Gearrannan, the Standing Stones of Callanish, Luskentyre Beach, and bends of The Golden Road.
Our hand-picked accommodation all offer a warm welcome after a day on the bike with evening meals either taken here or at a nearby pub or restaurant.
This trip takes place entirely on well-surfaced sealed roads and is suitable for all bike types. Should you prefer off-road sections when exploring the area with us, then our Hebridean Explorer would be more suitable for your style of riding.
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Holiday Highlights

  • Riding along the Golden Road
  • Miles and miles of picture-perfect white sand beaches
  • Enjoying a wee dram at the Gin Distillery at Tarbert
  • Seeing the traditional weaving of Harris Tweed
  • Views of Luskentyre Beach over a delicious picnic lunch
  • Visiting Dun Carloway Broch
  • The awe inspiring Callanish Standing Stones

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Itinerary

Day 1
Ferry to South Uist
Non Cycling Day

The group meet-up at Glasgow International Airport (GLA) in order to transfer to the ferry that leaves from the bustling fishing hub of Mallaig to Lochboisdale on South Uist. Arriving into Lochboisdale in the evening, we have a short transfer (20 minutes) to reach our accommodation out on the west coast of the island. The crossing to the Outer Hebrides signals the start of the journey as we sail through spectacular island scenery with good marine wildlife spotting potential around the Small Isles of Rùm and Canna.

Day 2
Loop Ride of Eriskay, Barra and Vatersay
48 Miles / 77 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 950 Metres Approx.

Heading out from our accommodation in Dalibugh, South Uist, we’ve around 10 miles until we reach the ferry at Eriskay (reached by a causeway from South Uist) for our crossing (40 minutes) to the island of Barra. The magical island of Eriskay is only 3 miles long and is where in 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie landed on his way to his disastrous defeat at Culloden.

In fine weather, the ferry ride across the Sound of Barra affords great views of the offshore islands including Eilean Leathan immediately to the south of Eriskay. You might catch a glimpse of the ruin of Caisteal an Reubadair- the home of notorious pirate MacNeil. During the ride, you’ll be treated to deep incut sea lochs, rolling hills, and lovely white sandy beaches as we explore the island. Our loop ride is around 25 miles and serves as a great introduction to your time in the Hebrides. Our planned lunch-stop comes at the mid-point of the ride and is taken at Vatersay beach. Connected to Barra by a causeway, Vatersay was home to the famed Vatersay Raiders who rose-up against Lady Gordon Cathcart, their absent wealthy landlady. We’ll also slot in some time to take in Barra “Airport” where you can see planes landing on the beach!!

Our day ends with the ferry back to Eriskay before retracing our pedal strokes back to Dalibugh. Depending on ferry schedules and/or the group’s progress, the return to our accommodation may be via our support vehicle.

Day 3
South Uist to Lochmaddy
57 Miles / 92 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 350 Metres Approx.

Heading northwards, our initial riding brings us through the watery landscape of South Uist, taking in Howmore before we cross over to the “Mountain of the Ford” Benbecula. So named as in the past crossing the Uists involved fording dangerous stretches of sand at low tide. Thankfully, today the islands are connected by a series of causeways which are all bikeable.

Our next island to tick off is North Uist where just after the village of Claddach Kirkibost, we take the minor roads that will eventually bring us to Lochmaddy where we stay for the evening. For those who still have some energy in the legs, the final section can be extended by a further 7 miles along the coastal road.

Day 4
Lochmaddy to Tarbert
49 Miles / 79 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,170 Metres Approx.

Leaving Lochmaddy, we set our sights on Tarbert as we continue our route through these wonderful islands. Riding north, we follow the coast road to the Isle of Berneray, yet another place rich in wildlife and history. It’s here that we take the short ferry across the Sound of Harris to Leverburgh. The crossing offers good opportunities to see seals basking on the skerries (tiny rocky islands) as well as many different types of seabirds.

On arrival on the Isle of Harris, you will see an immediate change in the landscape with bold mountains dominating the west coast. Harris is arguably the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Outer Hebrides with its stunning beaches and rugged mountains. From Leverburgh, we follow the west coast road with incredible views – on clear days, the World Heritage Site of St. Kilda may be seen 40 miles offshore. Highlights here include Luskentyre Beach and bends of The Golden Road – a winding singletrack route through rocky east coast. Our ride ends with a great descent to the charming village of Tarbert where a stylish 4* hotel will be our base for the night. Tarbert is the main port on the Isle of Harris with plenty of places to buy world famous Harris Tweed products and with a great range of places to choose from for our evening meal.

Day 5
Tarbert to Callanish
43 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 820 Metres Approx.

Another superb day on the bike – whilst taking on the ‘cheeky climbs’ through the hills of North Harris may be challenging at times, the views are superb throughout and your reward for your efforts is an exhilarating descent back down to sea level. This area is also a great place to look for both Golden and even White-Tailed Eagles along the steep cliffs of Loch Seaforth.

Once over on Lewis, we make sure there is plenty of time to check out the Standing Stones of Callanish near Loch Roag. This mysterious stone circle dates back over 5000 years and is a remarkable place to visit, especially in the late afternoon when it is usually deserted. Our overnight hotel accommodation is only a handful of miles from the stones and is where we’ll take our evening meal tonight. Should there be time, we also hope to schedule in a visit to the weavers at Leurbost

Day 6
Callanish to the Butt of Lewis
35 Miles / 57 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 500 Metres Approx.

Our final day of riding as we head-up to the Butt of Lewis follows the west coast and is full of historical and cultural interest. Heading north, we soon pass the ancient Dun Carloway Broch before reaching the Blackhouse Village at Gearrannan. Now beautifully restored, this traditional style of building survived for centuries before almost disappearing in the last half of the 20th century. The site now offers an insight into what island living was like not so many years ago.

Along the way, we’ll also see the The Whale Bone Arch at Bragar which is situated close to our lunchtime spot. Perched on the Atlantic at the very edge of Europe, the Butt of Lewis is a spectacular and fitting place to end our journey. After celebratory drinks, we head back to our accommodation at Callanish for our final night in the Hebrides.

Day 7
Depart Callanish
Non Cycling Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

In the morning we catch the ferry back to Ullapool on the mainland from Stornaway with exact departure subject to the ferry schedule.

We then transfer you back to Glasgow Airport (GLA) where you pick up your cars, hop on a train, plane, or perhaps extend your holiday. This is an amazing drive with breathtaking scenery on all sides, allowing you a few more photo opportunities before we bid you farewell.

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The Cycling

Terrain

Mostly following a National Cycle Network route, with some added sections to enjoy the best of the islands, The Hebridean Way uses a combination of quiet country roads and some short sections of track. Most of the surface is tarmac.

We recommend hybrid bikes but almost any type of bike would be suitable with semi-slick tyres fitted on mountain bikes and hybrids, and touring tyres fitted on road bikes.

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Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3-4 : Moderate/Active

Moderate/Active – Aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 holidays. Suitable for the leisure cyclist who rides frequently, and who’s comfortable with some moderately challenging climbs. Some of the terrain may vary, potentially including sections of uneven or unpaved ground.

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Holidays that are graded as a 3-4, will have aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 holidays. These tours are suitable for those who keep themselves relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on the bikes at the weekend. Your preference may be for flatter terrain, but you don’t mind tackling some hills, the occasional steep climb and some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc.). It might be however that on some days the distances will be longer than a standard grade 3 trip, or some of the climbs may be quite challenging. You may also require some previous experience of tackling some uneven / unpaved ground to comfortably and safely ride certain sections of the route.

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
28/05/2023
Fully Booked
Return Date
03/06/2023
Duration
7 days
Price
£2,095.00
Start Date
02/07/2023
Guaranteed
Return Date
08/07/2023
Duration
7 days
Price
£2,095.00
Start Date
06/08/2023
Guaranteed
Return Date
12/08/2023
Duration
7 days
Price
£2,095.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

B) Meals as itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full support service including a guide qualified in First Aid and a back up vehicle carrying spares, snacks and extra equipment not needed on your bike

D) GPX files available upon request

E) Pick up and drop off at Glasgow International Airport (GLA)

F) All ferry & local boat services

What's not Included Cross

A) Personal clothing and equipment

B) Travel insurance

C) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.

D) Bike & helmet rental (available if required)

E) Travel or flight costs and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

F) Single room option (may be available if required)

G) Entrance fees to cultural or historical sites and visitor centres

H) Other optional activities

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The Essentials

Travel Options

This tour starts in Lochboisdale and finishes in Butt of Lewis.

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. To join the airport transfer on arrival, you’ll need to arrive into Glasgow airport (GLA) time TBA (usually around 06:30am) for the transfer to Mallaig, from where we will take the ferry to Lochboisdale.

At the end of the tour, we will transfer the group back to Glasgow airport arrival time TBA (generally late afternoon). Please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

Exact travel arrangements are dependent on ferry timetables, which are normally published around January each year. Please contact the Skedaddle office before making any travel arrangements

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your holiday. Please check with us before making any travel arrangements, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers. If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

In the UK we use good quality 3 or 4 star hotels, B&Bs, inns and family-run guesthouses that are cycle friendly, located close to the cycling route and showcase the style and hospitality of the area you are visiting.

Where possible we prioritise locally owned businesses and those offering locally sourced food, drink and speciality products. This all promotes sustainability in-line with our responsible travel policy.

All our UK trips are operated on a double/twin-share basis. Single occupancy rooms can be provided for a supplement and are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Bike Hire

If you would like to rent a bike we have both hybrid and electric bikes available.

The hybrid bikes are generally Giant Roam or Liv Rove with a large 27 speed gear range, semi-slick tyres and a relaxed riding position. Our electric bikes are generally Giant Entour E+ Disc pedal assist bikes with batteries suitable for the daily distances on this holiday but please bear in mind that the range can depend on several variables. You can chat to our team to get the most from riding your e-bike. The e-bikes some come in both step-through and cross-bar frames and we may be able to allocate your preferred style on a first come, first served basis.

Helmets are provided with all our hire bikes along with an emergency repair kit, including a spare innertube and a bike pump. Panniers can be provided on request.

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