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Days 1-3 – Cruise the Inner Hebrides from Oban
Your holiday begins from the Scottish port of Oban with an unforgettable sojourn in some of Scotland’s most picturesque sheltered waters with The Majestic Line . In a few short days you will see some of the country’s most dramatic west coast scenery up close and enjoy the opportunity to uncover local history and culture and sample delicious cuisine. Along the way, you’ll have the choice to soak up the scenery onboard, or hop ashore and explore at several stops. The cruise will include stretches around the inner Hebridean islands, Loch Linnhe, Glencoe, Tobermory and Loch Sunart, and will also take you beyond well-known destinations to explore a variety of hidden coves and inlets en route.
A lovingly converted fishing boat, your lodgings onboard will be appointed with every comfort. Alongside your stylish en-suite cabin sits a relaxed dining saloon for communal meals, an observation saloon and three outdoor decks – one of which is primed for live-action wildlife watching as you travel. A skipper, engineer, chef and bosun will be accompanying you on this trip- with a maximum of 11 guests onboard, you can relax and enjoy the best Scottish hospitality at sea.
The menu is freshly prepared each day to a very high standard, featuring the freshest local fish, shellfish, lamb, beef and venison as well as speciality produce such as cheeses and preserves. Individual tastes and dietary requirements are happily taken into account.
Days 4 -5 – Isle of Barra
After waving a fond farewell to your cruising adventure, spend a little time in Oban – perhaps grabbing some delicious fresh seafood for lunch. You will then embark on a somewhat larger vessel, the Caledonian Macbrayne ferry to Barra, to begin the self-guided portion of your holiday. Do look out for whales and dolphins as you cross the open waters! The destination of the day is the tiny island of Barra in the very south of the Outer Hebrides. On arrival, pick up your hire car and make the short drive to your first small hotel.
Your hotel on Barra
Originally built as a church and mission house in the mid-nineteenth century, your whitewashed hotel enjoys a fine location overlooking the bay, within a short distance of both the ferry port and Barra’s unique airstrip at Cockle Strand.
The hotel has five comfortable en-suite bedrooms furnished in a contemporary style. The cheerful public bar is a wonderful place to spend an evening listening to the friendly locals share their colourful tales of island life, perhaps also choosing to indulge in the catch of the day from their small seafood menu.
What to see and do on Barra
Take a walk along the sparkling white sands of Cockle Strand. Make sure you check the flight times so you can catch a plane landing at low tide – an unforgettable sight. Drive or cycle north to Eoligarry to see the springtime profusion of primroses and gaze across the sound, where the islands of Fuday, Eriskay and South Uist are waiting in the distance. Alternatively, head south to Castlebay, the island capital, and visit Kisimul Castle, only accessible by boat, the restored ancestral home of Clan MacNeil. Stop off at the highly informative Heritage Centre, or perhaps enjoy delicious coffee and cake at the local post office. A must visit is Vatersay, located across a short causeway, with its glorious twin beaches.
Days 6 -7 – North Uist
Leave Barra behind today as you travel to Eriskay via ferry. From here, meander along the waterside roads of Uist towards your next destination of North Uist– the causeways between each island are a particular delight.
Your Hotel on North Uist
A modern hotel full of contemporary interiors, this lodging offers a stylish ambience unlike anywhere else in the Hebrides; seven of the eight bedrooms offer wonderful views of Lochmaddy Bay. The surrounding landscapes provide inspiration for the restaurant kitchen for both the home-style lounge bar menu and the upscale main restaurant, imaginatively appearing on the menu in the form of heather-fed lamb, deer, game and organic vegetables, whilst the surrounding waters are brimming with delicious scallops, mussels, lobsters, crab, salmon and wild brown trout.
What to see and do on the Uists
The causeway connections in this part of the Outer Hebrides provide unlimited access to Benbecula, Grimsay, South Uist and Eriskay, meaning you will never tire of things to do. For lovers of the outdoors, walking, kayaking, cruising and wildlife-watching can be found in abundance, and the RSPB Balranald nature reserve provides a perfect stop for keen birdwatches. If you would prefer to stay closer to you hotel, Lochmaddy is home to some unusual attractions, including a camera obscura and the Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre.
Days 8-9 – Isle of Skye
Today you will retreat towards the Inner Hebrides as you travel by ferry over the sea to Skye. Take some time to begin uncovering this most beautiful isle before heading to the island capital of Portree, where you will find your hotel.
Your hotel on Skye
Located within peaceful wooded grounds, and yet simultaneously very close to the hustle and bustle of Portress, your hotel has been owned by the same family since its construction over 200 years ago. Although it has a country house feel, the friendly, relaxed atmosphere will make you welcome instantly, with this feeling only enhanced by the family portraits, log fires and heirlooms scattered across the public rooms.
What to see and do on Skye
Your incredibly central location is an ideal base to explore this, the largest of the Hebridean islands. Travel north to Dunvegan Castle and the stunning Trotternish Peninsula. Venture south and you will find an entirely contrasting landscape in the Sleat peninsula – also known as the ‘Garden of Skye’. Visit Armadale Castle and wander through the gardens or take advantage of the countless walking opportunities available and admire views of the impressive Cuillin mountain range en route.
Days 10-11 – Harris
Head back towards the Outer Hebrides today as you cross by ferry to beautiful Harris. Your hotel for the next two nights is located in the south of the island.
Your guest house on Harris
If you are seeking quiet solitude in beautiful surroundings, this four-star guest house should tick your boxes. You will feel at home from the moment you arrive with a traditionally warm Hebridean welcome, and you can unwind as you gaze at the peaceful loch that your room will overlook. You may feel a million miles away from civilisation, but in reality you are just a few minutes’ drive away from the lively town of Tarbert.
What to see and do on Harris
Harris is renowned for its magnificent beaches and spectacular scenery, making it a haven for hillwalkers, divers and wildlife fans alike. Keep your eyes peeled for golden eagles, buzzards and more swooping overhead. For lovers of history, the 15th Century church of St. Clements has wonderful medieval tombs and wood carvings that are sure to delight.
Day 12 – Lewis
Your next destination, the Isle of Lewis, is located within the same landmass as Harris, so rather than take the ferry you can relish driving across a barren ‘moonscape’ terrain as you venture forward to your next destination. Take your time to really enjoy the journey before arriving at your final accommodation, located on the edge of the main town of Stornoway.
Your guest house on Lewis
Your family-owned accommodation is home to just two recently refurbished en-suite bedrooms – so you know personal service comes as a guarantee. Your hosts will delight in ensuring your stay here is as comfortable as possible, serving up a delicious, locally sourced breakfast to set you up for the day alongside providing recommendations for anything you might want to see or do during your stay.
What to see and do on Lewis
Lewis provides a myriad of activities that will appeal to a whole manner of tastes. Explore millennia of history as you delve into your archaeological treasures such as the eerie Standing Stones of Callanish, the Pictish Carloway Broch and several blackhouse villages. If you would prefer a more vibrant atmosphere, Stornoway is home to a lively arts scene, where traditional music and crafts can be found in local pubs and shops. Combined with the outstanding scenery throughout the island, spending time here is a quite special experience.
Day 14 – Return Home
Your touring holiday comes to a close today as you return your hire car in Stornoway and jump on a flight on a small plane bound for Glasgow. Edinburgh and Inverness can also connect with Stornoway – do let us know if you require one of these alternatives for your onward travel.
This Scottish island odyssey covers many of the Hebridean islands. Your holiday begins with three nights cruising around the West Coast and the Isle of Mull, followed by a ten-night road trip around the islands of Barra, the Uists, Skye, Harris & Lewis.
Availability on the cruising portion of this holiday is strictly limited on set departure dates. On submitting your enquiry, we will respond within 24-48 hours to advise availability for the whole trip, which can then be confirmed on payment of 25% deposit.
Single cabins may be available – please express your interest in this on enquiry and we will check and confirm a price for single occupancy for the total holiday.
The price includes:
Automatic transmission cars can be arranged given advance notice for a supplement of £10 per day.
Due to conditions imposed on our supplier by insurance companies, the maximum age for a UK licensed driver on this holiday is 79, and 75 for a driver from overseas.
A day trip to St. Kilda can be added on from the Isle of Harris for an additional cost of £205 per person. As travel to St. Kilda is weather dependent, the exact day of departure may be subject to late change. If the trip does not run a refund of the excursion fare will be made. Please enquire for more details.
All accommodation is carefully selected and researched by us, predominantly featuring small, family-owned hotels – contact us for more detailed information. We will do our best to accommodate room preferences subject to availability at individual properties.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday
All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.
We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.
|Departure Date||Starts From||Nights||£ per person (2 sharing)||£ per person (single)|
|Saturday 18 Jul 2020||Oban||13||£ 2925||£ Price on request|
|Tuesday 11 Aug 2020||Oban||13||£ 2925||£ Price on request|
|Tuesday 15 Sep 2020||Oban||13||£ 2925||£ Price on request|
To reserve your place(s) on this tour, please call us or complete the form below, making sure to select your departure date from the dropdown menu and advise of any special requirements. We will hold your place(s) for 48 hours and contact you with details of how to confirm your booking by payment of the per person deposit.
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