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Your first short ferry trip leaves from Mallaig, reached by a scenic route from Fort William, and crosses to Skye. Your hotel is in the south of the island not far from the ferry port.
Sheltered by a gently curving bay, your charming whitewashed hotel sits right on the seashore, enjoying expansive views over the Sound of Sleat to the wilderness of Knoydart. This, the most southerly part of Skye, is an area of great natural beauty, often referred to as the Garden of Skye thanks to its abundant bird life and profusion of wild flowers. This is a Gaelic-speaking community and the bar is a convivial meeting place for the locals who mix happily with hotel guests, often to the accompaniment of traditional music and Gaelic songs in front of the roaring log fire. Twelve bedrooms (six in the Garden House) are decorated with pretty cotton and linen chintzes and there are four new suites in the recently restored stables, each enjoying superb views across the water to the lighthouse of Isle Ornsay. Candlelit meals in the wood-panelled dining room reflect the estate’s culinary riches, with wonderful shellfish and game featuring prominently on the menu. Langoustines are landed at the old stone pier, and oysters come from the hotel’s own oyster beds.
On the little harbour right beside the hotel is the headquarters of ‘The Gaelic Whiskies’, where you can sample an excellent range of connoisseur brands before browsing in the nearby craft shop. The surrounding area of hills, moorland, woodland and seashore offers endless opportunities for walking and drinking in the magnificent sea views. Don’t miss the enchanting walk to the Point of Sleat, from where you can gaze across to the small isles of Rum and Eigg and dream of future visits! On the way down to the Point of Sleat, it’s worth stopping off at the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle, with its fine arboretum and lovely garden. Further afield, in the north of the island, you’ll find historic Dunvegan Castle, and Portree, the bustling island capital.
Today you have time to explore more of Skye, before catching the early evening ferry from Uig in the north of Skye across to Lochmaddy on North Uist – a journey of one hour 45 minutes. Your hotel is on the edge of the village.
This striking hotel has set new standards for the islands, with its stylish contemporary interiors and boutique-style ambience, unrivalled anywhere else in the Hebrides. Each of its nine designer bedrooms offers wonderful views of Lochmaddy Bay and offers a soothing environment characterised by warm, earthy hues, subtle lighting effects and quality modern furnishings. The hotel is set in attractive landscaped gardens and boasts a decked outdoor eating area and a fully-equipped Leisure Club complete with sauna, steam room and gym. The hills and machair lands around Lochmaddy provide inspiration for the restaurant kitchen in the form of heather-fed lamb, deer, game and organic vegetables, whilst the harbour, freshwater lochs and surrounding coastal waters are an abundant source of delicious scallops, mussels, lobsters, crab, salmon and wild brown trout.
North Uist offers unlimited access to the interconnected isles of Benbecula, Grimsay, South Uist and Eriskay, all of which are ideal for walking, kayaking, cruising and wildlife-watching. Birdwatchers will not want to miss the RSPB Balranald nature reserve on the west coast – home to thousands of coastal waders and divers. Meanwhile, Lochmaddy itself boasts several unusual attractions including a camera obscura and the impressive Taigh Chearsabhagh arts centre and museum.
Your final Hebridean base is in Lewis, the northern section of the same landmass as Harris. The ferry takes just an hour and picks its way through the small islands between Berneray and Leverburgh. Time to explore the beaches of Harris as you travel north to Stornoway.
This five star guesthouse is just a few miles north of Stornoway, adjacent to a sweeping sandy beach. There is even direct access from the house to the shore, which has open views over the sea – on a clear day, the Scottish highlands can be seen across the Minch from the spacious lounge and dining area. This friendly, personally run guesthouse also serves imaginative and stylish food using locally sourced ingredients. There are just four bedrooms, all of which are very spacious with en-suite facilities. All rooms are furnished in contemporary solid oak and equipped with flat screen television, hi-fi, DVD player and even a dock for your iPod. Comfy leather chairs provide space to relax and enjoy the outlook, and all rooms have individual patio doors leading to a private decking area.
Lewis is positively bursting with archaeological treasures, notably the eerie Standing Stones of Callanish, the Pictish Carloway Broch and several blackhouse villages. With its magnificent scenery and spectacular beaches, the Isle of Lewis also offers unrivalled opportunities for hillwalkers, anglers, birdwatchers and wildlife-lovers.
With the shorter ferry crossing, your return route takes you from Harris to Skye (one hour 40 minutes) from where you can return to the mainland by bridge. Alternatively, you can cross the “Minch” to the mainland at Ullapool for a small supplement.
Hop between the islands of Skye, North Uist, Harris and Lewis, using the shorter ferry crossings from Skye.
£740 per person for April & October, £800 per person for May to September.
Price is based on two adults sharing a double or twin room for six nights on a bed & breakfast basis. The price includes ferry crossings for a car and passengers to Skye and from Skye to North Uist, then on to Harris and back to Skye. The return journey from Skye would be via the Skye bridge.
If you prefer to return to the mainland from Stornoway to Ullapool, add £15 per person.
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 itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
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.
Blessed with great weather... wonderful experience...the accommodation you booked for us was excellent. We truly loved it all.Colin & Elizabeth, Coldstream, Scotland
The information we received and your tour packet were perfect. Thanks to your crew for making our visit to your wonderful country so enjoyable.Doug & Joann, San Diego, USA
This holiday is available from April to October.
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