Outer Hebrides – any advice?

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  • Outer Hebrides – any advice?
  • Premier Icon allfankledup
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    Scarista and luskentyre. Awesome places.

    We landed on Harris late on a saturday evening a few years back. Harris was mostly closed on the sunday, plan your shopping on the mainland….
    Awesome place, beaches, golden road, brochs, brilliant.

    Any advice welcome!

    Take a windbreak!

    We shouldv’e been on South Uist 2 weeks ago, but weren’t. 😥

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    Balranald on N Uist. Great campsite in an RSPB reserve. Right next to a beach (and a bay for kayaking). Anne does lovely scones and cakes. I feel a wee bit guilty recommending it as I don’t want it to get too busy 😉

    Take a walk up between the Crogearraidh Mor and Maari before sunset to watch the sun sinking over the Vallay strand.

    The ferry between Berneray and Leverburgh is worth it just as a sightseeing trip

    Seilebost beach on the west of Harris, beautiful.

    irelanst
    Member

    Anything not to miss?

    The fishing – unbelievable brown trout and sea trout fishing.

    mcmoonter
    Member

    The Anchorage on the pier in Leverburgh serves very tasty Scallops.

    If you fancy a nice pub dinner, Lochmaddy Hotel on North Uist just next to the ferry is lovely. Excellent whisky selection too!

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    Oh – have a meal at The Decca in Ness. Pre-booking essential. An experience you’ll never forget.

    Premier Icon convert
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    We are off the the Outer Hebrides in a couple of weeks – 11 days on the islands, 2 of us (no kids), the van, a sea kayak, swimming kit and a couple of bikes (though more for getting about than hard core riding). Travelling South to North – Barra, South then North Uist, Harris and Lewis. Focus will be some big swims and chilling on beaches where weather and midge allow. A bit of photography/filming, lots of reading and some proper down time.

    Anything not to miss? Slightly unclear about which island we’ll want to spend the most time on. Obviously the answer might be the one we happen to be on when it stops raining. But with a van and it being the summer hols we’ll have to book the inter island ferries just in case (though you can change your reservations if there is space).

    Any advice welcome! Excited, it’s one of the only parts of the UK I’ve not been to.

    Premier Icon convert
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    Thanks for the great suggestions so far. A couple of ones I knew about already but good to have reinforced.

    cozz
    Member

    we were up there last year

    the anchordge in leverburgh is indeed great for food, and the village shop is excellent

    Premier Icon Oblongbob
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    Just back from a week in Harris. In terms of touristy things, the Callanish stones obviously worth a visit, but go early or late to avoid the crowds. The blackhouses were good for a visit to see what like was like in Lewis way back…in the 70s! Didn’t realise it was that recent that the last folk moved out of them.

    Weirdly enjoyed the Harris tweed mill tour that I was dragged along to. Carloway broch was a lovely wee 10 min wander with the kids on a sunny morning. Liked the beach at the top of Bernera, with the Iron Age house, I forget the name.

    We loved luskentyre beach and we were based in Seilebost just around the coast in a wee cottage. Where we were the tide goes out and exposes about a like if beautiful beach, which was also great.

    I got a few rides in: coffin road loop from Seilebost, postman trail loop (minging day but brilliant ride) and a 40 mile loop on the road bike round south Harris taking in the Golden Road with the wife, which was lovely – I’d recommend the Golden Road if you want a great half day spin.

    Really wished I’d had my sea kayak with me when I was on the beaches. So much to explore! There was a sit on top at he cottage, and took the kids out in that in the shallows a couple of times.

    Very jealous.

    Premier Icon Oblongbob
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    Oh, scarista house Ian great if you want a top notch meal…need to book in advance. Doesn’t look like much, but proper top quality dining. Second vote for the Anchorage. Also, Get nice pies and other food at tho wee self service with honesty box place near newton at south of Harris…maybe called croft number 5 or something.

    piemonster
    Member

    Prepare to very little, and for very little to be a lot 😀

    irelanst
    Member

    North Uist: Head down to Kallin Shelfish, just pick what you want from langoustines, crab, lobster, as fresh as you can get and you won’t get better.The smoke house near to Clachan stores is really good as well.

    Premier Icon pyranha
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    Seafood. We had fantastic paella at somewhere, I think, on S Uist. The smokery does lovely smoked scallops (can be bought elsewhere). Oh and at Leverburgh, I had great langoustines in the harbour cafe/restaurant.

    Even the slalom ferry route between Berneray and Leverburgh is great – if the weather’s good get outside and just watch as you dodge the reefs.

    The beach where the Lewis chessmen were found is nice and you can probably wild camp there. We didn’t pre book any ferries (22 ft motorhome and just checked on the day of the crossing) but we went before the English school holidays, and I don’t know how busy it gets.

    The most important thing is to slow down (applies to most of Scotland) and take your time.

    Premier Icon rone
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    Go south for Sunsets, and get a swim in the sea.

    dovebiker
    Member

    We took the camper to Harris and Lewis in May – in the main it was glorious. Harris certainly has the best scenery and beaches. We also went up to Callanish and the Butt of Lewis. The café at the top of Lewis is probably the worst service you’ll encounter anywhere – they were half-empty and decided to stop serving hot food at 12:30pm on a Saturday. Standing by the lighthouse watching a pod of 50+ dolphins was pretty special. Regret was not going to Uig on Lewis to see the chessmen. Lots of ferry traffic due to the reduction in CalMac fares – some crossings were fully booked / turning people away e.g. Uig-Tarbert so booking adviseable.

    Premier Icon convert
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    Thanks again.

    Lots of ferry traffic due to the reduction in CalMac fares –

    I had wondered about this. I half planned the same trip 4 or 5 years ago and remember thinking the ferry price was quite steep. This time the four ferries for oban-barra, bara-south uist, north uist to Harris and Lewis to Ullapool for the 6m long van and 2 of us was only £198 which seems very reasonable considering it’s best part of 10 hours worth of travel.

    IHN
    Member

    One word – Huisnuis

    Just got back yesterday there’s a great beach at sollas north uist. Better than luskentyre. Loads of good stuff that others will mention.

    On the return you MUST go to the seafood shack in Ullapool. Haddock wrap is just bloody brilliant.

    Premier Icon convert
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    One word – Huisnuis

    You are going to have to help me out here. Google only has one reference to Huisnuis (apart from the town in the Netherlands) on a wildcamping forum post about the Hebrides. OS map search throws up no such place….A slight misspelling?

    there’s a great beach at sollas north uist

    Was on the list. Peter May has a drug smuggler landing a plane on the beach in the Black Isle Trilogy and it sounded a lovely spot (apart from drug smugglers obvs).

    seafood shack in Ullapool.

    Fish and chips in Ullapool is a bit of a family ritual! When my dad was in the last days of terminal cancer living near Nairn a day trip to Ullapool to eat fish and chips on the front was his idea of (attainable) heaven. Always nice to go a relive it so I might have to go a bit less healthy. Look lovely though….maybe 2 lunches!

    tjagain
    Member

    Callanish is fantastic but if you want your own stone circle to shout at the gods from, a couple of miles from Callanish on the b8011 to the west there are two stone circles either side of the road – one standing and complete. We spent the solstice night camped amongst them.

    Think IHN means huisinish…

    Premier Icon convert
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    Actually I think he means Huisinis. Huisinis is the beach, Huisnuish is the lump overlooking the beach so you are 99% right. Looks awesome.

    Callanish is fantastic but if you want your own stone circle to shout at the gods from, a couple of miles from Callanish on the b8011 to the west there are two stone circles either side of the road – one standing and complete. We spent the solstice night camped amongst them.

    Good call. We had this is Iceland – honeypot attractions that are lovely and all but a few miles away you get almost the same but on your own. Not that Honeypot attraction in the Hebrides means quite what it means elsewhere!

    wl
    Member

    Take snorkelling kit.

    IHN
    Member

    Actually I think he means Huisinis. Huisinis is the beach, Huisnuish is the lump overlooking the beach so you are 99% right. Looks awesome.

    Yeah, that/them 🙂

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    Nah Huisinis and Hushinish are the same. The latter is just an anglicisation.

    dashed
    Member

    Look into ferries now! We’re off to Harris next weekend and were shocked to find the ferries very booked a couple of months ago! We’re a little constrained by various accommodation bookings, but we’re having to do Ullapool to Lewis rather than preferred Uig to Harris option…

    Premier Icon Davesport
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    The coastal walk from the slipway to Scarp where there’s good parking, north to a stunning and isolated beach. Take a picnic and your swimming costume.

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