/ Outer Hebrides Campervan Tour
Thinking about touring the Outer Hebrides in the van this September, sailing from Oban - Barra - Eriskay (Uists) - Harris and Lewis - Ullapool.
Just wondering if anyone can reccomend any sights, things to do, places to stay etc?
The beehive houses half way between Morsaig lodge and Kinloch Resort.
The medieval houses on Great Bernera.
Cnip/Valtos - visit the Viking watermills behind the beach.
Hushinish and the beach opposite.
The Church at Rodel.
The machair peninsula north of Grenitote (North Uist)
Have a look at the Outer Hebrides Bird of Prey Trail
Tolsta beach, north of Stornoway
Also have a look at the WalkHighlands site - plenty of walks from gentle strolls to mountain ascents. Every walk has a lots of info and photos.
Hope you have a great time I was there in April and want to go back. It is a wildlife paradise.
Park next to beaches, make breakfast in the dawnlight, lose yourself in the wildness and the weather. Go to huisnish but do it midweek to avoid the hordes. The beaches on uist are deserted and wild. Go to berneray and park near the hostel, but then walk round the island to the west beach.
take a surfboard
Borve campsite on Barra
The whole west coast of South Uist is one huge beach
Loch Sgioport on South Uist
Some nice looking campsites there. I envy you.
Another thing about visiting Callanish.
If you can get your hands on a booklet called something like "Shedding light on the Stones" which is on sale up there, do so. It's an interesting read but also details around maybe 13 or 14 monuments in that area. There's a remarkable concentration of them, something to do with the passage of the moon doing something that's more or less unique for the British Isles in when viewed from that area.
Anyway, it allows you to make a day of visiting the various sites.
Just facing the 400 mile drive home tomorrow after a magical trip to Orkney initially then Lewis, Harris and the Uists. Got the 0620 ferry back from on sunday yes sunday morning. Broke the journey for 48 hours in Glencoe.
So forgive the spelling but highlights...
Dolphins following the ferry
Huishnish beach looking at Taransay from Harris.
Callenish stone circle.
Harris Tweed shop in Tarbert... Go on, its itchy but nice!
Campsite at Horgabost on South Harris, very rough and ready but fabulous.
The Butty Bus at leverbrough ferry terminal. The best worst burger and tea van in the world.
Lovely little cafe just north of the ferry arrival on Berneray, then drive NW across the Machair to a stunning beach through Borve. The swimming is beautiful, ideal for the Regie Perrin approach to beach swimming.
The Uists are just a delight from end to end. We went to the fab community museum on S Uist but the scenery is unbelievable so you don't need to find much else.
Camping in the Machair is a bit weather dependent maybe (many will disagree) but the options are many.
Use as many local shops as possible, there are a couple of really quirky local supermarkets which were more fun than the Co ops.
Have a great time
Also if you want pictures of the stones without people in them go early in the morning before it officially opens.
The climbing......... Obviously.
Oh, and the scallop shack on the pier just before the Cnip turn off on the road out to Uig. If nobody's there you just take a tub of scallops from the fridge and use the honesty box
We were on Harris earlier in the year. In no particular order:
Camping at Horgaborst.
Camping at Uig sands - though it seems to be turning into a caravan park
Driving down past Hushinish castle. Its one of those roads that just winds and winds with fantastic views. You can camp at the end on the beach.
Callanish is fantastic, if you look in one direction.
The Golden Road.
Looking for seals.
Wandering in the hills of Harris.
Looking for eagles.
in addition to the ideas above:
1. It’s well worth going on a ranger walk in North Harris:
2. Ceapabhal (Northton, Harris)
3. The Postman’s path to Rhenigidale (Harris)
4. The Lewis Loom Centre (3, Bayhead, Stornoway) is the best tweed shop ever
5. Caolas Gallery Harris for great cake and photos
6. Skoon Art Cafe for great coffee and paintings (Golden Road, Harris)
7. Lickisto Blackhouse Camping (Golden Road, Harris) is an experience not to be missed
8. The walk to Glen Cravadale from Huisinis (Harris)
Do it! You won’t regret it!
Top of the hill above Berneray hostel you get views of St Kilda.......if its clear.
Boat trip around Mingulay if its possible?
People in the photos are a good measure of scale,I would take a lightweight tripod and be the only figures in the photos ( but perhaps not obviously so) .
Inhave occasionally seen 'photo posts' provided for people to put their cameras on to take a timer photo, they are a good idea, I don't know why more attractions don't provide them.
That is a good point about the use of shops, one of the gripes I have heard from locals about Camper vans/caravans, is that they tend to stock up with everything before they go, and spend little on provisions , other than perishables, on the islands.
Not sure how true that is, but it sounds credible.
> Inhave occasionally seen 'photo posts' provided for people to put their cameras on to take a timer photo, they are a good idea, I don't know why more attractions don't provide them.
I've seen those scattered about some places. Absolutely dreadful idea - mindless photography by numbers, almost worse than selfie sticks.
It is worth reading about the clearances before you go - it helps understand why the landscape is like it is. The 'golden road' is a great example of this.
> That is a good point about the use of shops, one of the gripes I have heard from locals about Camper vans/caravans, is that they tend to stock up with everything before they go, and spend little on provisions , other than perishables, on the islands.
> Not sure how true that is, but it sounds credible.
To be honest I read that as advice before we went over and it really made sense. We had some emergency stuff with us just in case but bought everything else over there. Made a point of not filling up with fuel either and used the garages on both Lewis and on S Uist. I dont begrudge paying £1.40 per litre over there.
Being a newby to the camper van thing I struggled a bit with just pulling up in the Machair and staying the night. We did it a couple of times, left nothing behind etc, but even so I felt better about paying a very modest fee to stay in a campsite.
Probably totally inaccurate, but my first impression was...
Orkney - vans welcome and facilities provided in the expectation that you will wildcamp.
Harris - wildcamping actively discouraged and plenty of signs, barriers and boulders stopping potential sites from being used.
N and S Uist - pretty ambivalent but few facilities in place.
Fabulous places that need thriving communities to remain so.
This is great to see and really important for camper van visitors to NW highlands and the islands:
> Use as many local shops as possible, there are a couple of really quirky local supermarkets which were more fun than the Co ops.
> Have a great time
Sounds like you had an awesome trip!
It was fab. Important note is that all vehicle drivers employ "the finger". I first experienced this on Islay last summer.
You must reciprocate or really bad things happen. Don't wave or you will look silly.
Thanks for all the input, much appreciated! Have settled on doing a week across Barra and the Uists then a week on Harris on Lewis - fingers crossed for the weather to align now! Thanks again.