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Western Isles Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · September 11, 2011
Best way to tour the Western Isles  (3 Answers)

We are considering touring the Western Isles in November. I would appreciate advice on the route I should take including sailings, places to see & stay. I would prefer a round trip boarding at Ulapool and returning to Oban or vice versa but open to any advice.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 14, 2010
Colonsay Visit  (1 Answer)

Any advice on visiting Colonsay in Oct '11 would be appreciated. I'm looking at a 4 day visit, to include arrival and departure days.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 10, 2010
Travelling the Western Isles  (5 Answers)

Hi all.

I'm thinking of doing some travelling before I start University next year and really wanted to visit Scotland in particular a few of the Western Isles. I want to go for either 7-10 days in early July or mid September as I can't do anything from mid July to early September due to work.

Has anyone any experience of camping on the islands? I'm thinking of doing, Barra, both Uists, Skye, Lewis, Harris, Ullapool, YHAs are pretty much useless as there isn't one in every location. My intention is to do:

Day 1: Travel from home to Glasgow, stop the night.
Day 2: Up to Oban by train, then off to Barra for 9pm
Day 3: Barra, onto Eriskay on the 1230 ferry to Lochboisdale for 3
Day 4: Early bus to Lochmaddy, hour there then ferry to Uig (Skye)

Day 5, 6, 7, 8: Option 1.
Day 5: Over to Tarbert for 1120 then 1600 bus to Stornoway
Day 6: Day in Stornoway and Lewis
Day 7: Stornoway to Ullapool, 7am ferry. Day in Ullapool, last bus to Inverness
Day 8: Go home from there.

Day 5, 6, 7, 8: Option 2
Day 5: Day on Skye
Day 6: Head to Fort William
Day 7: Day in Fort William, sleeper train to Crewe
Day 8: Make my way home from Crewe.

Questions on the above:
Are these islands camper friendly?
I like to see things but could I see a lot in the time I would allow or are some islands worth an extra day on? Ferry times do dictate I'm afraid, this is a Tuesday to Tuesday schedule!!
What is definitely worth visiting if I was to do this?

My uncle knows quite a lot about the likes of Arran, Jura, Mull and Islay, is there enough to do on these islands for a good 3-5 days? If so, what is worth visiting? Are any of these good for camping or are there hostels/cheap B+Bs (I was born in Yorkshire (lol!!) )

Anyone any good websites for info on these islands and a link to ferry times and that? CalMac is only useful for the far western isles listed above!

Thank you in advance


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 10, 2010
car rental  (7 Answers)

has anybody got good experience with any of the car rental companies in Inverness? What type of car would you recommend?
Thanks in advance,

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · June 09, 2010
ferry reservations  (6 Answers)

a friend of mine and I are travelling to Skye, Harris and Lewis in the beginnig of August and we are wondering how far in advance (if at all) we should book the ferry tickets. We'll also have a car.
Thanks for your help.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · March 12, 2010
Is Misty Isles Boat Tour a Good Bet?  (3 Answers)

We're staying on Skye for two weeks in May. Saw the website for the Misty Isles boat tours to Loch Coruisk. Anyone taken this tour? Any advice on whether or not to take this? Cheers!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · January 30, 2010
Is it necessary to book B&Bs in advance for the summer?  (5 Answers)


We are planning to visit the Outer Hebrides this summer.

We were planning to just fly there, hire a car, drive around and stay in a different place every night. (We did that in
mainland Scotland in 2000, without any problems.) (Our plan is also to go from Stornoway to Barra and back to Stornoway.)

Do you think this is possible, or will every B&B and guesthouse be completely full?
In other words: Do you think we have to book all the accommodation (way) in advance?

Thanks a lot.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 17, 2009
From Mull to Skye  (2 Answers)

Hi, was wondering if its a good idea to take the ferry from Tobermory in Mull to Kilchoan and then drive all the way to Mallaig? I hear its a scenic drive but slow going. Or then if anyone can suggest a better route to reach Isle of skye..

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 15, 2008
Fort William  (2 Answers)

I like taking Scenic Photography where are there nice areas in Fort William I could go to for this

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 03, 2008
transport in Outer Hebrides and accom.....  (1 Answer)

Hi there,

Well I am up to the Outer Hebrides in my planned itinerary, but I am unsure about the frequency of public transport and also choosing a place to stay for a couple of days is getting difficult.
So far I will be staying 2 nights in Castlebay on Barra, then get the ferry to Lochboisdale.

From here I cant decide where to go because I cant find any info about bus services in the area and I am unsure about which destinations would be the most 'photogenic'.

Any suggestions of where to stay between Lochboisdale and Tarbert on Harris?

Is it difficult to get to Tarbert from Lochboisdale by bus?

Will I be missing a lot if I just catch a bus from Lochboisdale to Tarbert without staying somewhere in between?
I was thinking of staying in Howmore at a hostel there, but again I cant find any buses that go there.
Sunday travel seems to be a problem too.

help!! please:-)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · April 02, 2008
Driving from Ft William/Glencoe to Skye  (4 Answers)

My husband and I will be renting a car in Edinburgh, driving to Ft William/Glencoe area for 1 or 2 nights then driving on to Skye for 3 days. Should we see about the ferry from Mallaig to Armdale or go northwest on A87 to get to Skye? About how long would that trip take? Can't decide if we should stay in Portree or Uig -- I don't want to be driving much at night after dinner so would like to be able to walk back to wherever we stay (i.e. not too far out in the country). Also, if the weather is nice we might take one day to go to Lewis by ferry from Uig to see the Blackhouse Village. Is this fun? This will be in early June. Would it be too difficult to drive from Skye back to Edinburgh in one day? We are healthy 50-year-olds from New York. All help is appreciated.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · February 28, 2008


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · November 17, 2005
Archaeological tour operators

I want to tour the ancient sites - cairns, standing stones, megaliths, etc. on the Western Isles.
I know where they are, and have sites which tell me about them; don't need help with that.
However, in searching for info about them, I realised that there are a number of specialist tour operators who organise tours around such sites.
Can anybody recommend one which is reasonably priced and which does a fairly comprehensive one or two week itinerary?
(NB This relates to a query I placed in the UK forum I wish to combine the tour with a visit to the Isle of Man. My idea now is to take an arranged tour of the W.Isles, and travel on to Man to arrange my own itinerary there.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 20, 2005
St Kilda  (3 Answers)

Is it possible to visit St Kilda and if so how can it be arranged?
What overnight accomodation is available there?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · December 23, 2004
western isle tips  (8 Answers)

Hi all Can anyone tell me the cheapest way to get to the western isle's and which ferry company to use. Also any tips on where to stay and where to go oh and of course any pubs that are English friendly ha! ha! must improve my Scottish accent. Thanks for your help Carl from a wet and windy Oldham

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · October 04, 2004
ferry routes  (1 Answer)

I'm going up Barra to Lewis,Harris and down through Skye nbext week. Is there any way I can get from Skye to Tiree without going through Oban? CalMac only has the Tiree-Oban route, I believe. Also: Can I get a decent plane from Glasgow-Barra? Landing on the beach sounds delectable, but I won't do it if it csts as much as my fare from the US. Tl

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · August 18, 2003

Am I going to be the first VT member ever to go to the Western Isles! I'm off for a week to Lewis and Harris at the end of August and are looking for any must do tips from anyone?

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