Trip created by David Russell
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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. Visit the historic Standing Stones of Callanish and enjoy traversing the wild terrain on a thrilling off-road biking experience of the Outer Hebrides.
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.
This trip requires a minimum of 3 people booked to be confirmed.
We meet at 8.30am in Inverness and travel to Uist by ferry from Uig on the Isle of Skye. Arriving into Lochmaddy, we transfer to short distance to our hotel. After checking in, there is some time to get the bikes set up for the week ahead and to go for a short ride near the village. (D)
We start the day with a transfer to the neighbouring island South Uist. The start of the trail follows the west coast of the island through delightful coastal flower meadows, called machair. A trail runs for approximately 30km right the way up the west coast of the island which is defined by its beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise seas.
From the north of the island, we head inland and follow the road across to the tiny island of Benbecula and then cross back to the island of North Uist. We finish the day riding back to our hotel in Lochmaddy.
Ride distance: 71km
Riding north from Lochmaddy, we follow the coast road to Berneray where we take the ferry across the Sound of Harris. On arrival on the Isle of Harris, you will see an immediate change in the landscape with mountains dominating the west coast. Harris is arguably the jewel in the crown of the Outer Hebrides with its stunning beaches and rugged mountains.
From the ferry, we follow the west coast road with incredible views before heading off-road again. Taking a series of ancient ‘coffin roads’, we spend the afternoon riding some fine single-track through a landscape of thousands of lochans. One final road descent takes us the charming village of Tarbert where will we stay for the next two nights. (B, L)
Ride distance: 62km
Today we can enjoy one of Scotland’s rarely ridden classic off-road routes, or take it easy exploring the Isle of Scalpay and the area around Tarbert. For confident riders, the Reinigeadal Loop is superb, offering amazing mountain biking through wild and mountainous landscapes; and visiting one of the island’s most remote coastal villages before taking a tour at the Harris Distillery. It is well worth extending the day by visiting the Isle of Scalpay with its strong fishing community and a historic lighthouse built by Stevenson back in the 18th Century. Overnight hotel in Tarbert. (B, L)
Ride distance: 35km
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. In the middle of nowhere, we rendezvous with a RIB which transfers us across a sea loch to the west coast of Lewis*. Once on Lewis, we follow a trail through a dramatic glen, flanked by spectacular peaks on either side, before descending back to the coast and rejoining the RIB for a final ride to the Standing Stones of Callanish. This mysterious stone circle is over 5000 years old and a remarkable place to visit, especially in the evening when it is usually deserted. Our guest house accommodation is nearby. (B, L)
*Please be aware the RIB journey is subject to weather conditions.
Ride distance: 53km
Our final day follows the west coast of Lewis and is full of historical and cultural interest. Heading north, we soon pass the ancient Dun Carloway Broch and then the Blackhouse Village at Gearrannan which offers an insight into what island living was like not so many years ago. For the next 20km, we switch between coastal trail and road as we edge nearer to the end of our island journey. An impossible to miss feature on our final push is the Whalebone Arch, recovered from a huge whale washed up on a beach nearby. A turning of the road to the west signals the last few km. Perched on the Atlantic at the very edge of Europe, the Butt of Lewis is a spectacular and fitting place to end our Hebridean Trail. After celebratory drinks, we head back to our accommodation at Callanish for our final night on the islands. (B, L, D)
Ride Distance: 64km
Following breakfast we will head into Stornoway – the largest town in the Outer Hebrides – for a free morning to explore, shop and relax. There is plenty of interest here including Scotland’s newest distillery, a Gaelic cultural and arts venue and nice cafes and bars. After lunch we will board the ferry back to Ullapool on the mainland. From Ullapool it is approximately 1.5 hour’s drive to Inverness. (B)
This trip features some of the best hotel and guest house accommodation and food along the route we travel. We use a variety of accommodations such as country inns, guesthouses and small hotels, all hand-picked by us. Accommodation is in a choice of double or twin rooms with ensuite facilities.
There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you require a single room please request this at the time of booking and we will check availability for you. A single room supplement of £325 is charged if a single room is available u2013 please see booking form terms and conditions.
Lunch each day will be either a wilderness picnic or taken at a local cafe/restaurant. Drinks and snacks are provided throughout the day as you require. Evening meals are included on the first and final evenings, and on this itinerary and we have the flexibility to take evening meals in local restaurants or pubs. Based upon our knowledge and experience, we will visit the best places to eat along the route.
On this trip, we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Inverness Railway Staton at 08:30am on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Inverness Station for 7:00pm on the final day of the trip.
For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website: www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/
|Trip Dates for 2020||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|2nd May - 8th May 2020||6 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,895||Book Now|
|25th Jul - 31st Jul 2020||2 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,895||Book Now|
|15th Aug - 21st Aug 2020||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,895||Book Now|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
Craig has over 12 years experience in delivering travel experiences and events of exceptional quality across Scotland. As one of the longest serving members of the Wilderness Scotland team, Craig’s speciality is in road cycling and mountain biking. His expertise and innovation helped create the Road Cycling Guide Award which helps all our guiding team deliver excellence on our trips.
- Craig LittleAsk Craig a Question
Blue Graded Mountain Biking Holidays 4-6
Our blue graded mountain biking holidays are suitable for people with previous experience of mountain biking at an intermediate level.
You can expect around 6-8 hours of riding each day so a good level of fitness is required. Distances covered will typically be in the range of 40km-60km each day with the occasional longer ride. Trail conditions will be very varied; everything from quiet minor roads to island beaches, land-rover tracks and short sections of single-track riding through rugged mountainous terrain, which will be technical in places.
Rated 4.86 out of 5 based on 124 review(s) of Mountain Biking – The Hebridean Trail
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.
Reviewed on 19/07/2019
Age: 70 - 80
Country: New Zealand
Trip Date: 22/06/2019
Trips Taken: 1
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
TRIP HIGHLIGHT WAS THE SECOND DAY THE COFFIN TRAIL DAY. EVEN THOUGH I WALKED MOST OF THE DAY. IT WAS THE MOST VARIED DAY OF THE TRIP.
The accomodation was fine on all nights especially the first 4 nights
Could not have asked for better guides. Being the slowest in the group they looked after me well. Amanda and Jono were exceptional. They took such good care of me. Their organisation was first class the trip went without a hinch.
The first day along the beach was hard going for me with the sand being soft. Perhaps spend less time riding the sand, I know the alternative would riding on the road. We did not ride the road back to the hotel after finishing the sand ride. I doubt if I could have managed it. I think we did about 40kms of sand riding. For me this was the third best day of the trip. I was happy with the second day of the trip the coffin trail. I did walk most of the coffin trail but enjoyed the rugged scenery of the day. I do not ride the road for the final few kms. It was the history connected with the trail that made it so worthwhile. This was the day that I enjoyed the most from a riding point of view. I learnt a lot of new mountain bike skills on this day. This was my best day of the trip. The third day I choose not ride as I believe it was beyond my capabilities. The visit to the Harris distillery was the highlight of the day. Amazing guide who really lived the experience and made the tour so much more enjoyable. A worthwell addition to the trip. The fourth day was also a good day and I would rate it as the second best day of the trip. Again we did not ride from the hotel to the first rib ride. This was a wise choice as I doubt I would have lasted the day if I had riden that section.The big hill after the rib ride I walked quite a bit of it. again the scenery on this part was stunning and the experience of the downhill ride was a plus for me. Even if I did it slow. Then the second rib trip to the standing stones. This was the highlight of the day. To be able to walk amongst the stones and try and visualise the skills of the people who put them in place so many years ago. We went out for meal that evening and it was an exceptional meal best one on th trip. The final day ride to the Butt of Lewis was along the road all the way. I rode the first leg till lunch time and rode in the van for the rest of the trip to the Butt. It would be good if an off road section could be found for this day. I do not ride a lot on the road and found this the least interesting section that I rode. The visit to the Black House just before lunch was interesting and added some variety to the day. I would. I would rate this day the fourth best day. It would be helpful if a elevation map could be provided to potential customers. I know because of my limited preparation for the trip because of injury did not help with my enjoyment of the trip. But overall I enjoyed the experience and would like to another mountain bike trip that would offer a similar experience.
Reviewed on 09/07/2019
Age: 40 - 50
Trip Date: 22/06/2019
Trips Taken: 1
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Clear and concise information and communication & great Haglofs jackets too!
Great group of people, lovely accommodation, amazing scenery and some fantastic riding! Even the weather was exceptional and midges very few & far between!! The Reinigeadal Loop was really good - the descent was well worth the hike-a-bike climb too! The beach ride on the first day was also fantastic, as was the coffin road riding, and the boat transfer is a great way to reach riding and trails that would be otherwise missed. Our travel timings also allowed for some of our group to enjoy the Lewes Castle trails in Stornaway which was a great way to finish the trip!
The accommodation was first class - warm & welcoming - nothing needs to change!
We had the good fortune to have the guiding 'dream team' in Amanda & Jono! They really were first class, very sensitive to the group dynamic and gently helping us all make the right choices to keep us all happy. A great skill which meant we all relaxed and got what we hoped to from the trip. They were both excellent guides on the trails, providing us with loads of information on the landscape we were passing through, and also providing plenty of technical guidance to help conquer the trails and improve riding skills. Both were fantastic fun too! Evening chat was always full of stories and laughter!
Great trip - fantastic itinerary, very well organised, and expertly led. So good that I hope to do the coast to coast MTB trip next year! Stop thinking about it & get yourself booked in!
Reviewed on 05/07/2019
Age: 50 - 60
Country: United States
Trip Date: 22/06/2019
Trips Taken: 1
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
The packing list and all the documentation (detailed itinerary) etc., was on-the-spot for planning.
The routes chosen were amazing. It's a great way to see the heart of Scotland. The B&B's selected were great. The RIB's were an added bonus.
The B&B's were lovely. The only thing I would ask is that they make sure at some of the B&B's that prepare specific menu's that they accommodate special dietary needs. My husband is vegetarian (no fish specifically) and the B&B had pre-planned meals served and fish was the only option. The food was amazing though. WILDERNESS SCOTLAND RESPONSE: Glad you liked all the B&Bs on this trip, although we were sorry to read that your husband's dietary requirement wasn't catered for on one occasion. Having looked into this, we can see that we have a note that your husband is Vegetarian, but does eat fish, so we're not sure what went wrong here. Please be assured that this is now updated on our system, so you don't encounter this issue when you travel with us again. Our apologies for this, but we are glad that overall you had an excellent trip!
I have been on several adventure trips with other companies and I have to say that Amanda & Jono were 5 star guides. They payed attention to our individual needs and balanced it together for a wonderful trip. They both shared personal stories, history and I felt I knew so much more about Scotland than I ever expected. I also appreciated them working with me (I had hurt my knee and was limited) but they made sure I was comfortable and still enjoyed myself the entire time. I just can't say enough about these two as a team. They are truly wonderful people and perfect guides.
I fell in love with Scotland more than I thought I could. The entire experience was perfectly put together and expertly managed by our guides (Jono and Amanda). The things I would recommend is that your video of the trip be updated to show more trails to match your rating. The video makes it look much more simpler and easier. I wouldn't mind watching a little longer video to better know the experience. The backpacks (Wildnerness Scotland) that we received are very nice but not appropriate for the trip. They don't have a place for water bottle pockets or hydration tube feed. Highly recommend that be changed.
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