Multi day route on Harris/Lewis

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  • Multi day route on Harris/Lewis
  • peterfile

    I’m looking for a 4/5 day off road route across Harris/Lewis, which won’t be too much for a novice (mrs file).

    We’ll be carrying our kit and looking to spend no more than 4-5 hours each day in the saddle.

    Any classic, easy routes worth considering?


    in short imho – no (*no easy, novice suitable off road route with kit)

    the classic harris route –
    would be challenging with gear/for a novice (edge paths and bloody steep),901788&st=4&ar=y&mapp=idld.srf&searchp=ids.srf&dn=693&ax=118493&ay=901788&lm=0
    the west N/S leg might be doable (arrow on loch)

    I’d guess the best best is,911683&st=4&ar=y&mapp=idld.srf&searchp=ids.srf&dn=693&ax=118553&ay=911683&lm=0
    do it W then S, S is cart track and a lovely glide with views (and I suspect campable) the first bit as I recall was fairly rideable but had some pushing and wet bits

    this bit is an old road and should be fine –,895203&st=4&ar=y&mapp=idld.srf&searchp=ids.srf&dn=693&ax=111988&ay=895203&lm=0

    do not do this (*it was in my pre gps days but there if there was a distinct ground path I didn’t find it – quite a lot of rocks and bogs though, truly relieved when I hit tarmac) w,894838&st=4&ar=y&mapp=idld.srf&searchp=ids.srf&dn=693&ax=110103&ay=894838&lm=0

    also I love Scotland to bits but I’d suggest you take enough cash so you can do a B&B if the weather goes wrong and watch out as there will be a lack of facilities and more so on Sunday

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    gusamc wrote:

    in short imho – no (*no easy, novice suitable off road route with kit)

    I’d pretty much echo that. You could do a mini-tour of the Outer Hebrides in that sort of time.

    You could do a mini-tour of the Outer Hebrides in that sort of time.

    I’d agree with that. We did a mix of road and offroad on a similar trip a few years back. We got the ferry to Lochboisdale. Rode up the west coast of South Uist – mainly on tracks through the machair and a fair bit on the beach itself. Had a bit of an explore of Loch Sgioport then on up through Benbecula and Grimsay to North Uist and got the ferry up to South Harris from Berneray. Rode the west coast route to Tarbert via Luskentyre and then back down the east coast on the Golden Road (stunning). We got the ferry back to Berneray and then caught a bus with our bikes down to Eriskay where we got the ferry over to Barra & Vatersay for a couple of days.

    Whilst on Harris I attempted the first bit of the Rhenigdale loop on a loaded bike and am ashamed to say I had to abandon it. If you wanted to overnight it, it’s be best planned as a standalone ride with light bikepacking kit I should think.

    Awesome trip from start to finish – would love to go back and explore some more.


    Thanks guys, much appreciated.

    Not too fussed about remoteness, we’re used to multi day on foot in the Hebrides, just concerned about what state my relationship would be in if I plan 25+ mile days of “torture” 🙂

    Tempted to stick to tarmac and plan off shoot routes to take in camps/views/off road riding…

    That sounds like a plan. There are plenty of trails up there – we found the problem was linking them up as a lot of them were routes to old farmsteads and the like. We took loads of interesting little diversions off the main route on our trip all of which were worthwhile.

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