UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020
US: 1-866-740-3890
National Geographic - Best Adventure Travel Companies
Pinterest Facebook Twitter

Mountain Biking – The Hebridean Trail

main trip image

Price from: £1,195

Next trip: 13th September

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Outer Hebrides and St Kilda

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 6

56 review(s)
  • The first mountain bike journey through the Outer Hebrides
  • 280km across seven islands with some of the most unspoilt and spectacular scenery in Europe
  • Fascinating history, culture, wildlife and island hospitality

Blue Graded Mountain Biking Holidays 4-6

Our Blue grade mountain biking trips are suitable for people with some previous experience of mountain biking. You can expect around six hours of riding each day through undulating and, at times, mountainous terrain. Distances covered will typically be in the range of 40km-60km each day with the occasional longer day required due to trip logistics.

Trail conditions will vary from tarmac minor roads to double track land-rover type trails and short sections of singletrack riding. Some of the singletrack may be technical in places.

Before joining this trip, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

Are you happy being on your bike for around six hours each day for up to 6 days in a row?
Do you regularly ride a bike most weeks, either on road of off road?
Are you happy riding blue and easier red standard trails that you will find at most mountain bike centres?

An inherently mobile itinerary, this trip will allow us to sample a variety of quality accommodation in the regions that we pass through. Each day, we are met by our support driver who will have a picnic lunch prepared for us. We may also meet up with the vehicle at other points during the day for snacks, drinks and to pick up clothes/equipment etc.

Single room supplement
We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex.

Due to the limited range of accommodations in the regions we visit, we can accommodate a maximum of 2 single rooms on this trip. The single supplement charge for this trip is £250 but this is subject to availability.

We can also offer a partial single supplement, whereby you can have a single room for nights 3 and 4 of the trip – this is when we are in Tarbert and there is more accommodation available. The cost of this partial single supplement (2 nights) is £100.

Single rooms should be requested at the time of booking but all single room requests are subject to availability.

You will be met by your guide at 0900 on Day 1 of the trip at Inverness train station. We will return to Inverness train station around 1900 on Day 7. Full details on how to get to Inverness, please see our Travel to Scotland.

by Louise Miskell 26/08/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The timing and quality of communications from the Wilderness Scotland team is very good. However, I do think that the trip notes for this particular trip could be improved, to enable potential customers to make a more informed decision as to whether this trip is for them. I found the trip much harder than I had anticipated. I had been expecting some element of riding on paths / forestry type tracks but in the main, all of the off-road stuff was very challenging, mountainous terrain. There are a number of factors to take into account here, not least the unfavourable weather conditions and perhaps some lack of preparedness on my own part. I also appreciate that trip grading is a very difficult business. But I think that two additions to the trip notes would really help future clients to make a more informed decision as to whether this trip is for them. One is the inclusion of metres of ascent data in the trip information. I quite enjoy climbing (fortunately) but there was a lot more of it on this trip than I had been expecting. The other is the need to make it clear in the trip notes that in order to complete some parts of the ride you are required to carry your bike over steep terrain. This came as a complete surprise to me and I think that if this is to remain an integral part of the trip it should feature in the trip notes (in the same way that information about portage does in the trip notes for the canoeing holidays).

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
This is valuable feedback for us. Thank you for being so detailed with your thoughts of what we can do to make things even better for future trips
Trip Comments
The best thing about the trip for me was the friendliness and camaraderie of the group. We were a real mix of nationalities, ages, gender and backgrounds, but everyone was very generous and supportive of one another. and extremely good humoured.
Accommodation and Food
The timing and quality of communications from the Wilderness Scotland team is very good. However, I do think that the trip notes for this particular trip could be improved, to enable potential customers to make a more informed decision as to whether this trip is for them. I found the trip much harder than I had anticipated. I had been expecting some element of riding on paths / forestry type tracks but in the main, all of the off-road stuff was very challenging, mountainous terrain. There are a number of factors to take into account here, not least the unfavourable weather conditions and perhaps some lack of preparedness on my own part. I also appreciate that trip grading is a very difficult business. But I think that two additions to the trip notes would really help future clients to make a more informed decision as to whether this trip is for them. One is the inclusion of metres of ascent data in the trip information. I quite enjoy climbing (fortunately) but there was a lot more of it on this trip than I had been expecting. The other is the need to make it clear in the trip notes that in order to complete some parts of the ride you are required to carry your bike over steep terrain. This came as a complete surprise to me and I think that if this is to remain an integral part of the trip it should feature in the trip notes (in the same way that information about portage does in the trip notes for the canoeing holidays).

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
This is valuable feedback for us. Thank you for being so detailed with your thoughts of what we can do to make things even better for future trips
Your Guide
I think it would be unfair to rate the main guide, Graham, as he was ill for the second half of the trip and thus we saw a lot less of him than we would otherwise have done. The second guide, Dave, however, did a great job of taking over and built up a really good rapport with the group. Both guides I thought, coped really well with the adverse weather conditions we had to contend with, and did a great job of adapting the itinerary to make sure that we still had full and enjoyable cycling days even when high winds, cold and rain would have kept most sane people indoors. It was great to have the support of the van, and access to dry clothes, hot drinks and snacks to keep us going during the rides.
The Bottom Line
Like all of the other WS trips I have done, this one was well organised, fun and provided access to places that it felt a privilege to be visiting. It hasn't really enthused me about mountain biking because I found it so difficult, and unfortunately I think this probably rules out the possibility of doing any other WS mtb trips, but I would consider some of the road biking options on offer.

by Bernd Steger 26/08/2014

3Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

3Accommodation and Food

0Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Mike Nash 26/08/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
In general very good but there seemed to be a number of versions of the itinerary floating around. The joining instructions were very confusing and implied that we would be riding from the start. I for one turned up ready to ride but in actual fact the journey out was as I expected it to have been i.e met with bikes on trailer and travel out to the Hebrides with a bike set-up session prior to evening dinner. Grading has been discussed elsewhere in feedback from the trip. I still question whether this was a 'moderate' trip but recognise that weather plays such a big part in adventure travel such as this. On another point, my wife and I hired bikes for the trip. I question the recommendation of a hardtail for this trip. I went for a full-suspension bike only because I fancied a go of one - but I think it made such a difference to coping with some of the terrain.
Trip Comments
The trip was an excellent experience and I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to the varying terrain that the Outer Hebrides has to offer. In terms of the mountain biking itself then it was a mix of on-road, landrover track and single-track, some of the latter more challenging than I was expecting but then again it's good to be stretched and taken occasionally outside of ones comfort zone. High point for me was the huge day mid-trip with the two rib rides and some great off-road ascent and descent.
Accommodation and Food
In general very good but there seemed to be a number of versions of the itinerary floating around. The joining instructions were very confusing and implied that we would be riding from the start. I for one turned up ready to ride but in actual fact the journey out was as I expected it to have been i.e met with bikes on trailer and travel out to the Hebrides with a bike set-up session prior to evening dinner. Grading has been discussed elsewhere in feedback from the trip. I still question whether this was a 'moderate' trip but recognise that weather plays such a big part in adventure travel such as this. On another point, my wife and I hired bikes for the trip. I question the recommendation of a hardtail for this trip. I went for a full-suspension bike only because I fancied a go of one - but I think it made such a difference to coping with some of the terrain.
Your Guide
Our two guides, Graham and Dave, looked after us very well throughout the week. In particular a big thank you to Dave who stepped into Graham's shoes when he became unwell part-way through the week. Some good decision-making saved a number of days' riding when 'non-itinerary' options were brought into play to manage very inclement weather, Day 1 for us was a day when if at home you'd have said 'I'm not going out in this' - with thoughtful route selection by our guides then it was a memorable day. The 'options' day from Tarbert was more extreme than a large proportion of the group wished for and probably some 'softer' MTB options should have been offered. Our guides also coped well with some difficult logistical problems during the trip - never easy.
The Bottom Line
As with many other WS trips that we've signed-up for then this was another memorable experience. Great group and great guides. What next?

by Ralph Snape 25/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Overall the pre-trip information was excellent, however there were various versions of the trip itinerary in play, which caused some head scratching at times.

TEAM WILDERNESS SAYS;
We will look into this, head scratching is not something we like to see on our trips, especially one handed whilst riding a bike!
Trip Comments
The mountain biking was much harder than anticipated, and the weather added to the challenge. Never the less, and in spite of the weather the trip was a satisfying and worthwhile experience.
Accommodation and Food
Overall the pre-trip information was excellent, however there were various versions of the trip itinerary in play, which caused some head scratching at times.

TEAM WILDERNESS SAYS;
We will look into this, head scratching is not something we like to see on our trips, especially one handed whilst riding a bike!
Your Guide
Dave Picken and Graham Moss are outstanding, knowledgeable and personable guides. They were quickly cognisant of the broad cross section of Mountain Biking capabilities of the group and adjusted the itinerary accordingly. The logistical problems that were encountered were resolved with aplomb and tact, especially at the end of the trip.
The Bottom Line
Being a ‘frequent user’ I always recommend Wilderness Scotland whenever asked about my holidays. The Hebridean Trail Mountain biking trip provided a different perspective of the ruggedness and long firm beaches of Harris and Lewis, which was not possible from my Sea Kayaking around the islands. In short the trip was thoroughly enjoyable and memorable.

by David Baldock 30/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
My impression is there was little prior info about accommodation and logistics e.g. the excellent lunch arrangements. These were not important to my booking decision but others might be more interested - and perhaps you could make the trip even more attractive by providing more detail.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
My impression is there was little prior info about accommodation and logistics e.g. the excellent lunch arrangements. These were not important to my booking decision but others might be more interested - and perhaps you could make the trip even more attractive by providing more detail.
Your Guide
A good balance between letting us make our own pace and travelling together as a group.
The Bottom Line
A well planned trip, excellent logistics, and great personal satisfaction from completing it. Please give my thanks to both Tim and Henry.

by David Sanders 28/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
There was a bit of confusion about the bikes we were hiring...whether they would be 29" or 26" MTB's. We were right before we left for our trip that the would be 26" but they wound up being 29" which is what we wanted. No big deal.
Trip Comments
Tim Francis and Henry Batty were really a dynamic duo, offering fantastic insights, service and companionship along the way!
Accommodation and Food
There was a bit of confusion about the bikes we were hiring...whether they would be 29" or 26" MTB's. We were right before we left for our trip that the would be 26" but they wound up being 29" which is what we wanted. No big deal.
Your Guide
Tim is just really a knowledgable guy on many topics of great value to the trip...cycling, geology, history, botany. Also appreciated his ability to read a group and manage the overall dynamic / experience without being the least bit overbearing.
The Bottom Line
Just plain fabulous! If at all possible, I'll be back for Coast to Coast some day.

by Hanne Groth 28/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
I loved the nature, the very different landscapes along the route, and the off-road pieces were great.
A little more off road would have been great.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Both Tim and Henry did a great job. Everything was so well-organized down to the smallest detail. Both were super friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable about the Hebrides; the people, nature etc.
The Bottom Line

by Martin Louw 28/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Maybe because we are from South Africa we expected to see more wild life (otters, eagles Puffins etc)
The only suggestion I have would be to attend somewhat more to this aspect
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Both Tim & Henry were at all times more than willing to go the extra mile!
The Bottom Line
Great experience, will be coming again
Regards

by Terry Williams 28/07/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The WS website is well-organized and provided good, detailed information about the Outer Hebrides mountain bike trip my son-in-law and I were interested in. Our e-mail questions regarding the trip were answered promptly by administrative staff Craig Little, Jane Gillies and Karl Thurlow.
Trip Comments
Some technical off-road sections of our route [Reinigeadal] were a bit more challenging than I'd anticipated, but as a former road bike racer with a fair amount of off-road technical riding, the challenge was good for me. The overall trip route, the scenery-landscape was just absolutely magnificent! My goal was to enjoy the bike ride and as well as photograph at least some of the beautiful landscape we traveled through. That mission was definitely accomplished! I will always treasure the memories of my trip with Wilderness Scotland
Accommodation and Food
The WS website is well-organized and provided good, detailed information about the Outer Hebrides mountain bike trip my son-in-law and I were interested in. Our e-mail questions regarding the trip were answered promptly by administrative staff Craig Little, Jane Gillies and Karl Thurlow.
Your Guide
Guide Tim Francis was just outstanding! I very much enjoyed and appreciated Tim's keen knowledge of the history, environment, wildlife and geology of Scotland and Outer Hebrides. He did a wonderful job of communicated this information to us throughout our trip and related well with our group. Tim is an excellent, well- organized trip leader, a skilled bike rider & mechanic. We couldn't have had a better guide!

Assistant guide Henry was outstanding as well! Henry provided us with excellent, nutritious ride-day smorgasbord lunches. He's an accomplished bike mechanic, providing excellent care and maintenance of our bicycles. A great young man and personality!

I truly appreciated the quality of leadership and service provided by Tim and Henry, and have no doubt the other trip group members agree with that assessment. Thanks again Tim and Henry for an excellent trip!
The Bottom Line
Excellent Administration--Outstanding Trip Leadership and Organization-- Five Stars!

Thank you Wilderness Scotland for a treasured trip experience!

by Kathleen Louw 21/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Someone from your offices was always available to answer questions and were even prepared to arrange Skype calls, which I really appreciated.
Trip Comments
The trip was exceptionally well organised and ran seamlessly. Every aspect ranging from the equipment to the timing of events such as meals and extra activities was carefully planned and modified to meet the needs of the group. The route was beautiful and every bit as magnificent as the pictures on the website depict.
Accommodation and Food
Someone from your offices was always available to answer questions and were even prepared to arrange Skype calls, which I really appreciated.
Your Guide
Tim is an exceptional guide who has extensive technical expertise and knowledge of the Scottish landscape. His remarkable organisational skills ensured that everything was carried out seamlessly. I fully appreciate how, given the range of variables, it can be difficult to ensure that everything runs smoothly and he is to be commended on every aspect of his performance as both guide and mountain biking instructor. I honestly cannot offer even constructive criticism.

Henry's contribution was invaluable. Nothing was too much trouble and he and Tim worked seamlessly together. Henry's patience and technical advice was greatly appreciated and his duties were also executed flawlessly. Henry repeatedly went the extra mile and was a necessary source of support to both the group and Tim.
The Bottom Line
The trip was phenomenal and it comes highly recommend to anyone who is considering a Scottish mountain biking experience.

Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
13th Sep - 19th Sep 2014
£1,195
1 place(s) left
20th Jun - 26th Jun 2015
£1,195
Places available
8th Aug - 14th Aug 2015
£1,195
Places available
29th Aug - 4th Sep 2015
£1,195
6 place(s) left

Trip Details

This extraordinary mountain bike journey takes you through one of Europe’s last true wilderness regions, the Outer Hebrides.

Crowned the Hebridean Trail, this 280km bike journey weaves its way through seven superb islands on a variety of ancient paths, historic by-ways, mountain tracks and impossibly quiet roads.

More than another bike ride, the Hebridean Trail offers the opportunity to experience life on the islands, where the landscapes are wild and untamed, golden eagles and red deer roam free and human history dates back over 5,000 years.

The Outer Hebrides also retain a culture distinct from the rest of Scotland. Here you will find Gaelic as the first language and a sense of pride and tradition which make the Outer Hebrides a remarkable and unforgettable place to visit.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Inverness to the Island of South Uist: travel to South Uist via ferry from Uig, on the Isle of Skye.

Day 2 – Lochboisdale to Lochmaddy, Island of North Uist: we set off on the Hebridean Trail, following the beautiful machair on the west coast of South Uist and on to North Uist.
Ride distance 71km.

Day 3 – Lochmaddy to Tarbet, Isle of Harris: continuing north, we cycle along the coast road to Berneray and catch the ferry across the Sound of Harris to Leverburgh. We head north west and the afternoon riding some fine singletrack.
Ride distance 62km.

Day 4 – Reinigeadal & Isle of Scalpay: options today include tackling one of Scotland’s rarely ridden classic off-road routes or taking it easy exploring the Isle of Scalpay and the area around Tarbert.
Ride distance 35km.

Day 5 – Tarbert to Callinish, Isle of Lewis: an unforgettable day of island adventure as we combine mountain bikes with a couple of short boat rides by RIB to open up the otherwise inaccessible west coast of Harris and the Isle of Lewis.
Ride distance 53km.

Day 6 – Callanish to the Butt of Lewis: our final day follows the west coast of Lewis. Heading north, we switch between coastal trail and road as we edge nearer to the end of our island journey.
Ride Distance 64km

Day 7 – Return to Inverness via Ullapool: we continue to Stornoway and board the ferry back to Ullapool on the mainland, continuing on to Inverness where the trip ends.

Download Dossier

Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
13th Sep - 19th Sep 2014
£1,195
1 place(s) left
20th Jun - 26th Jun 2015
£1,195
Places available
8th Aug - 14th Aug 2015
£1,195
Places available
29th Aug - 4th Sep 2015
£1,195
6 place(s) left

Trip Photos

Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-023Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-018Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-017Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-019Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-024Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-025Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-021Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-028Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-027Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-026Hebridean TrailHebridean TrailHebridean TrailMountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-013Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-022Hebridean TrailHebridean TrailMountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-016Hebridean TrailHebridean TrailHebridean TrailHebridean TrailMountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-015Hebridean TrailMountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-014Mountain-Biking-Hebridean-Trail-Gallery-020Hebridean Trail
View Gallery

Download your trip dossier

All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures

 

  • All info in one document
  • Print-friendly PDF format
  • Details of the meeting point
Download Dossier

Meet your guide

Click on a guides name for a full bio.

View guides for all departures

Location


Trip reviews

Like all of the other WS trips I have done, this one was well organised, fun and provided access to places that it felt a privilege to be visiting. It hasn't really enthused me about mountain biking because I found it so difficult, and unfortunately I think this probably rules out the possibility of doing any other WS mtb trips, but I would consider some of the road biking options on offer.

Louise Miskell
26/08/2014

5

Bernd Steger
26/08/2014

4

Rated 4.8 out of 5 based on 56 review(s) of Mountain Biking – The Hebridean Trail

Read All Trip Reviews