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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold AwardThe Telegraph Travel Awards Winner 2017

Outer Hebrides Fly-drive

Experience Barra's beach airport & maximise your holiday time in the magical Outer Hebrides.

With flight times of around an hour from central Scotland, it has never been easier to reach the beautiful Outer Hebrides with their beaches, history and general sense of escape.

In response to demand from customers, we are now able to offer one-way car hire from tip to toe (or toe to tip) of this magical string of islands.  Fly into Barra and land on the sand of the cockle beach, before heading North through the intriguing Uists to Harris, with its expansive silver sands, and Lewis to admire the mysterious standing stones of Calaneis. Then drop the car in Stornoway and fly away home. Or start in Stornoway and conclude the trip in Barra – the choice is yours on this tailor-made Scottish islands trip.


At A Glance

Best Time To Go

April - Oct. Makes a great spring or autumn trip.

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pre-book a day with a local wildlife guide in search of otters?

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Day One – Isle of Barra

Your first Hebridean destination is the tiny island of Barra, where you will enjoy the unique experience of landing on the Cockle Strand, after a short flight from Glasgow.  The flight schedule varies with the tides! After collecting your hire car, at one of our favourite airports, its just a short drive to your welcoming small hotel.

Your Hotel

Originally built as a church and mission house in the mid-nineteenth century, your whitewashed hotel enjoys a fine location overlooking the bay, with easy access to both the ferry port and Barra’s unique beachfront airstrip at Cockle Strand. In its previous incarnation as a guest house, it played host to several cast members of the classic 1948 film Whisky Galore, before upgrading to hotel status in 1974, whereupon Northbay could boast its first licensed premises since the closure of the old inn decades earlier.

The hotel has five comfortable en-suite bedrooms furnished in contemporary style, some with DVD. The cheerful public bar ‘ whose walls are over 3 foot thick ‘ is a pleasant place to sit and observe the fishing activity across the bay at Ardveenish pier, or to while away an evening listening to the friendly locals share their colourful tales of island life. Meals are served in the bar, or you can opt for the quieter dining room, whose menu features tempting island produce, with an emphasis on locally landed fresh fish and shellfish.

What to see and do on Barra

Take a walk along the sparkling white sands of Cockle Strand and spot a plane landing at low tide ‘ an unforgettable sight. Drive or cycle up to Eoligarry and feast your eyes on the springtime profusion of primroses as you gaze across the sound to Fuday, Eriskay and South Uist in the distance. Or head south to Castlebay, the island capital, and visit Kisimul Castle, restored ancestral home of the clan MacNeil. Stop off at the highly informative Heritage Centre, where you can enjoy coffee and refreshments, before perhaps taking a picnic across the causeway to Vatersay, with its glorious twin beaches.

Day Three : The Uists

Next cross the Sound of Barra by ferry to tiny Eriskay and spend the day touring through South Uist, Benbecula and North Uist, your next Hebridean base

Your hotel

This striking modern hotel with its stylish contemporary interiors offers boutique-style ambience unrivalled anywhere else in the Hebrides.  Seven of its eight designer bedrooms offer wonderful views of Lochmaddy Bay and a soothing environment characterised by warm, earthy hues, subtle lighting effects and quality modern furnishings. The hotel is set amid the hills and machair that surround Lochmaddy and 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 abundant sources of delicious scallops, mussels, lobsters, crab, salmon and wild brown trout. The main restaurant menu imaginatively reflects these culinary riches, whilst the comfortable lounge bar focuses on more informal, hearty home-cooking.

What to see and do

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.

Day Five: Harris & Lewis

The next islands to explore are in fact one land-mass, but two distinctive places, notable for the magical sandy beaches on Harris, and fabulous ancient history on Lewis. You will stay just outside Stornoway, a perfect touring centre.

Your hotel

Your accommodation in Stornoway is a newly refurbished, family owned bungalow with just two very comfortable and cosy en-suite bedrooms. The Stornoway born-and-bred host is here to ensure your complete relaxation and satisfaction, serving authentic, locally sourced breakfasts and giving unique, local advice on anything you might need to know about the Outer Hebrides.

What to see and do

With its magnificent scenery, Lewis is positively bursting with archaeological treasures, notably the eerie Standing Stones of Callanish, the Pictish Carloway Broch and several blackhouse villages. The bustling town of Stornoway boasts a vibrant social scene, where traditional music and crafts thrive in lively pubs.

Harris offers unrivalled opportunities for hillwalkers, anglers, divers, birdwatchers and wildlife-lovers with its spectacular beaches and stunning scenery. Marvel at the sight of golden eagles, cormorants and buzzards swooping down over the uninhabited offshore islands. And don’t miss Rodel’s exquisite 15th century church of St Clement’s, with its wonderful medieval tombs and wood carvings.

Day Seven – Return Home

Return your hire car in Stornoway and catch your return flight to Glasgow, with other options to Edinburgh, for onward connections.

NB  This holiday may also be offered in reverse order on certain dates, subject to availability.


This is a triple-centre holiday, featuring Lewis, North Uist & Barra with flights from Glasgow. Options between Edinburgh and Stornoway and some connecting services available from Southampton, Birmingham, Belfast & Gatwick.


£1125 per person for April & October, £1235 per person from May to September.

Prices are based on two people sharing a double or twin room ensuite for six nights on a bed & breakfast basis. Also included are return flights from Glasgow to Barra and from Stornoway to Glasgow or Edinburgh, ferry travel from Barra to Eriskay, North Uist to Harris for car and passengers and seven days’ hire of a small manual car. Automatic transmission cars can be arranged given advance notice for a supplement of £10 per day.

The holiday may also be arranged in reverse, starting in Stornoway and ending on Barra.

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.

Please note that 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. 

All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

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.


Check availability for Outer Hebrides Fly-drive

This holiday can be arranged from March to October.

To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us. We will respond to your availability check within one working day if at all possible. Please bear with us on this - we work with a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses, and other independent businesses, ensuring that you have the chance to explore off the beaten track and really get under the skin of the destination.

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