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Self-Drive – Arisaig and the Small Isles

  • Discover the majesty of Scotland’s West Coast from magnificent glens to enchanting islands.
  • Enjoy hikes with your private Wilderness Scotland Guide for some days and explore at your own pace during the rest of your trip.
  • Spend a night on the magical Isle of Eigg; one of the jewels in Scotland’s crown.
  • 6 nights accommodation with breakfast each day
  • 1 evening meal (on the Isle of Eigg)
  • 2 days private guiding with a qualified and experienced Wilderness Scotland Guide
  • A day of guided sea kayaking as part of a group trip, led by a local Sea Kayak Guide
  • Ferry fares to and from the Isle of Eigg (passengers only – no visitor cars can be taken to Eigg)
  • The services of the Wilderness Scotland team before and during your trip

At Your Own Pace

On this adventure you will be accompanied by a Wilderness Scotland hiking guide for several days, who will be able to suggest and lead you on a range of hikes from gentle low level rambles to challenging days visiting remote summits. Just let them know what type of hike you would like to do and they will be ready!

On the other days of the trip you will self guided and can explore at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

In Fort William you will be based at The Lime Tree – an excellent small hotel located close to the town centre, with an enviable reputation for cooking. On the Isle of Eigg you will stay at the delightful Kildonan Farm House, a guesthouse run by your host, Marie. She will make you feel right at home in her special corner of the world. Your final accommodation is the splendid Arisaig House, a historic luxury B&B in 19 acres of private grounds.

Please note that alternative accommodations may be offered when you book if availability at any of these is limited.

At all stages of your trip you will be able to enjoy the finest of Scottish cuisine, enjoying delicious meals prepared from superb local ingredients.

Packed lunches are not included in the trip cost, but will be available from your hotel or a local cafe/ deli.

Customer Kudos

Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 10

4 star 4

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Catherine Johnstone 16/09/2017

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I'm not sure if we ever got an invoice/confirmation of trip summary after placing the order, but I was sent the invoice for the balance when I requested this, and this may have just got lost in my inbox
Trip Comments
All the accommodation was interesting and the hosts very welcoming. Loved the guided walks going to places we might not have thought of and trying new activity with all the kit provided (sea Kayaking)
Accommodation and Food
Loved all the Hotels/B&Bs we stayed at - great locations and service at all three
Your Guide
Don was a very considerate guide with interesting information about locations and conducted walks at our pace.
The Bottom Line
Well organised trip which gave us new experiences we wouldn't have done on our own and showcased some of the highlights of the the Fort William area of Scotland

by Kat Woolford 28/06/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

3Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I did not have too much contact most was done through my friend.
Trip Comments
the lodgings were wonderful. The walking directions were chancy at first, but we got the hang of it
Accommodation and Food
Arasaig Hotel was delightful. The best part of the trip was Kildonnan. Food there was outstanding
Your Guide
i never saw a guide
The Bottom Line
Scotland was fantastic, the arrangements were very good

by Lynda Roades 28/06/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The site was informative and intuitive. One of my Top Two websites (the other is for Zipcar and it only beat yours because I've used it for years)
Trip Comments
We had no problems at all! The trip was exactly as you described; and all transitions were smooth and seamless. Kudos to your organizational and descriptive skills.
Accommodation and Food
Killdonnan exceeded expectations.
Your Guide
You need to add a 'Not applicable' choice here for the self-guided tours. However, the descriptions you provided were well above standard.
The Bottom Line
We would do it again. And for us, there is no higher praise.

by Ann Engfeldt 25/05/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

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

by Gunther Klepper 03/10/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

0Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Website offers good information & great photography. On telephone every person of the office staff is very friendly, ready to help and patient, if English is not the customers language
Trip Comments
Both Arisaig and the Isle of Eigg are lovely quiet
places to stay, surrounded by a wonderful countryside
great for walking and enjoying stunning views
Accommodation and Food
Arisaig: Good excellent

Eigg : excellent excellent
Your Guide
Why not offer both, route notes on paper (which we
found very useful) and those for electronical devices
and let the customers decide.
Not everyone owns a portable navigation, a smart-
phone connected to the internet in a foreign country
might still cause large fees
The Bottom Line
We highly recommend the Arisaig & Small Isles trip
for everyone who wants to explore this wonderful
region of Scotland by walking.
Wilderness Scotland arranged excellent accomodation
in the midst of great nature.

by Ian McColl 19/09/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The trip went smoothly. The low point was the amount of road walking at Arisaig, especially as the boat from Tarbet wasn't operating. This meant that we did (most of) the Stoul walk. We enjoyed the views this gave us over both Loch Morar and Loch Nevis, but the downside was the need to do the extra road miles at the end.
We extended our holiday to include Muck and Canna after Eigg. We had wanted to visit these islands - your package kind of kick-started us to do just that. We enjoyed all three islands.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The route notes were sufficient, though a little vague in places - eg, "otters have been spotted ... especially near the boat house". But we didn't know where along the walk we would find the boathouse until we got there - at the end of the road.
The details you gave about the boat service from Tarbet were out of date. I checked the timetable on the operator's website and emailed them about booking a few days before we left home. They asked me simply to phone on the day to confirm we were doing the walk - but when I did so they said they weren't running the service that day due to a private charter.
We don't use GPS, so appreciate the written notes.
The Bottom Line
Your service lived up to our expectations. May I just explain my marking system? I find it more meaningful to use just four levels: exceptional (exceeding expectations), good (fully meeting expectations), mostly satisfactory and unsatisfactory.

by Doreen Miller 25/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

0Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Thank you for changing the itinerary to suit our travel plans
Trip Comments
Eigg was wonderful
Accommodation and Food
Arsaig hotel was disappointing-beds too small, food indifferent, decor indifferent, overpriced, although staff were pleasant and helpful.
Kildonnan House, by contrast was first class, beautifully appointed, excellent food, fantastic hospitality.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE: We're sorry the Arisaig Hotel was disappointing and we'll be sure to pass on your feedback. There is often a contrast between accommodations when travelling in Scotland which makes two centre holidays a challenge, particularly in areas where accommodation choices and availability are limited. Feedback like this is greatly appreciated and helps to try and narrow the gap and we'll be sure to speak to the Arisaig Hotel.
Your Guide
Directions on Eigg , particularly to the Sgurr could have been more detailed. We had to rely on Marie to help us there. Also with the coastal walk on Eigg

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE: We would welcome some more detailed feedback on this in order for us to ensure our directions are clearer for the next client. Things do change and clients feedback does play a part in us keeping our notes up to date. Thanks to Marie for helping you out.
The Bottom Line
Very enjoyable trip altogether, although I would have preferred more time on Eigg and less time on Arisaig.
I suggest you consider the possibilty of not being able to travel to or from Eigg in the event of bad weather. On the day we were due to go to Eigg it was uncertain until that morning that we would be able to travel there, and we didn't know what we would do if we couldn't. Also we were wondering what we would have done if we couldn't travel back to Arisaig to catch our train
Also it would have been useful to know that you can take an overnight train to Fort William

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE: The balance between time in Arisaig and Eigg varies from client to client but the standard itinerary we offer of 3 consecutive nights in each location works better from an itinerary perspective. We do like to discuss travel options prior to booking so encourage clients to call us us if they do have any travel questions such as best options for train travel.

Bad weather contingencies are different with each departure and the only way to ensure you have accommodation at all times is to double book hotels which would add to the trip cost so is not an ideal solution. We are here to support our clients with alternative arrangements in this situation which are few and far between but do recommend everyone travels with insurance cover in place in case of travel delay.

by Judy Turnbull 25/08/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
The train journey from Glasgow to Arisaig is remarkable. The Knoydart Penninsula was well worth visiting. A few walks were cut short by inclement weather and sodden ground. We abandoned the walks on Muck and Rum to avoid choppy ferry trip and not wishing to waste valuable walking time when it wasn't raining.
Accommodation and Food
More detailed walking routes would be helpful.
Your Guide
See comment above. More choices of good walks with clearer directions. I personally find handheld devices distracting and hard to read -potentially useless if the signal is weak, battery low etc. or if you lose it. I like looking around for the path. It makes me concentrate and share the experience.
The Bottom Line
A great car less trip away from the city in a beautiful area of Britain which we would like to return to. We liked the sleeper experience too. The accomodation on Eigg was particularly special and interesting. Muck and Rum would have felt even more remote if we had gone there. We enjoyed it a lot.

by Martin Venning 04/08/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
All good.
Trip Comments
Walking notes were a bit misleading - "quiet roads" described in the notes for Arisaig were in fact very busy.
Accommodation and Food
Guest House in Eigg was excellent. Hotel in Arisaig was more average.We had a room over looking the beer garden attached to the hotel which was quite lively into the early hours.
Your Guide
We don't have a GPS or smart phone. Although they would be useful to many of your clients, traditional walkers prefer to remain with map and written instructions!
The Bottom Line
We were on a self guided package and very happy with the arrangements - all went to plan! The excellent weather helped, and it was a great stay on the West Coast.

by Graham Haines 06/07/2014

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

3Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
I know we had OS maps provided but the route notes could have been more detailed. For example, we stayed at Kildonan House on Eigg and route notes from the house to the beginning of the track up An Sgurr would have been very helpful as the OS map was not up to date.
Accommodation and Food
We were a little disappointed in the food at the Old Library - we didn't think it was as good as we had been led to expect.
Your Guide
We prefer written notes as we don't use GPS. Why not provide both? See comments above on route notes.
The best walk we did from Arisaig we got the details and the route from the locals and used the OS map to find our way.
The Bottom Line
Yes - pretty good. Accommodation was excellent - we had a really good holiday and it's so much less hassle to "buy" a package rather than do the arrangements oneself when you are on the other side of the world

Trip Details

This self-drive itinerary offers you the chance to journey to the famous West Coast of Scotland and discover the majesty of the Small Isles and the Sound of Arisaig.

The Small Isles cluster off the Sound of Arisaig, floating on the horizon and suggesting a fantasy land of wilderness and history. 

During your trip you will stay in Fort William, enjoying splendid hiking with your Wilderness Scotland Guide before journeying west to the enchanting Isle of Eigg. Here you will hike and spend a night before moving on the stunning Arisaig House back on the mainland for the remainder of your trip. You will enjoy the finest Highland cooking from fresh local ingredients and be able to relax and explore at your own pace when not with your guide.

The Sound of Arisaig is a Marine Special Area of Conservation, and during your trip you will be able to look out for dolphins, porpoises and even whales. On land you have the chance to encounter red deer, eagles and otters. Later in the week you will take to the waves for a guided sea kayaking experience to gain a new perspective.

Start date: This trip can be taken on any dates you choose. However, due to the ferry timetables, it cannot start on a Monday.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Travel to Fort William.

You will make your way by car to Fort William, journeying across the famous Rannoch Moor and through Glen Coe if coming from the South. From the North you will pass Loch Ness and the famous Urquhart Castle. On arrival in Fort William you can settle in to your welcoming accommodation near the town centre, explore the town and enjoy dinner. Overnight Fort William.

Day 2 – Guided hiking near Fort William.

This morning you will meet your Wilderness Scotland Guide who will take you for a hike in the local area. The West Highlands are a classic area for hiking and whatever your level of fitness your guide will be able to offer you a rewarding day, whether you would like to take to the mountains or hike in the glens. Overnight Fort William. (B)

Day 3 – Travel to Eigg and Guided Hike.

Today you will journey West along the famous Road to the Isles, passing through the mountains to the seaside village of Arisaig. There you will meet your guide again by the jetty and together take the ferry to the Isle of Eigg. Eigg is a truly magical island offering extraordinary variety and history, and your guide will show you the best of the island before departing on the afternoon ferry leaving you to spend a night on the magical island. Overnight Eigg. (B)

Day 4 – Explore Eigg and transfer to Arisaig.

This morning you will be able to explore the island some more, perhaps hiking to one of the beaches or exploring the amazing caves. In the afternoon you take the ferry back to the mainland (keeping an eye out for dolphins) and then drive the short distance to Arisaig House. This luxury B&B is set in its own grounds of private gardens and native woodland above a stunning cove and beach, and is the perfect base to explore the local area. Overnight Arisaig House. (B)

Day 5 – Exploring Arisaig.

Enjoy a free day today. Your information pack will contain details of hikes in the local area that you can undertake, such as a hike beside Loch Morar or even a day trip to the Knoydart Peninsula. Alternatively you can relax at your accommodation and just soak in the atmosphere. Overnight Arisaig House. (B)

Day 6 – Sea Kayaking and Beach Combing

After breakfast, you’ll join a local sea kayak guide (along with some other clients) to explore the wonderful Sound of Arisaig skerries by sea kayak. These sheltered waters are perfect for kayaking whether its your first time or you’re a seasoned pro, as they are home to a seal colony, otters and porpoises. Your expert guide will ensure you get the most of this experience, offering some coaching while drawing your attention to the amazing natural elements around you. Note that the location for the sea kayaking trip is subject to weather and may change. (B)

Day 7 – Arisaig and Depart

On your final morning you may like to take a last stroll around the grounds before making your way through the hills back to Fort William, and from there on to your next destination. (B)

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Price from: £1,545

Duration: 6 night(s)

No. of Travellers:   Date:

Location: West Highlands including Knoydart

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: Your Own Pace

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
Well organised trip which gave us new experiences we wouldn't have done on our own and showcased some of the highlights of the the Fort William area of Scotland

Catherine Johnstone
16/09/2017

5

Scotland was fantastic, the arrangements were very good

Kat Woolford
28/06/2015

5

Rated 4.71 out of 5 based on 14 review(s) of Self-Drive – Arisaig and the Small Isles

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