- Visit seven islands on a spectacular journey through the southern Outer Hebrides, indulging in the wild scenery and rich history of the islands.
- Journey to the abandoned island of Mingulay on a privately chartered boat, relishing its wild beauty and abundant wildlife while learning about the hardships of life there.
- Enjoy exceptional Highland hospitality at our carefully selected guest houses, set in magnificent coastal locations.
- 6 nights accommodation in carefully selected guest houses and hotels
- Most meals during the trip (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- The services of an experienced and knowledgeable guide / driver throughout
- All transport throughout the trip starting and finishing in Inverness
- All private boat and ferry transfers
Green Graded Walking Holidays
Green graded walking holidays are suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy moderate hikes. We walk at a comfortable pace and you can expect to be out for 5-6 hours a day. The terrain will be mostly good paths and hill trails but these can still be muddy and rough in places. Some hikes may involve an ascent up to a max of approx 1,500 feet / 450m. Distances will be typically 8-10km but there may be the odd slightly longer day. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.
27th Apr - 3rd May 2019
Paul McCaffreyPaul has been flying high for as long as he can remember!
11th May - 17th May 2019
Scott McCabeWilderness Scotland Guide Scott McCabe is a huge biking enthusiast. Find out more about his love for cycling in Scotland.
1st Jun - 7th Jun 2019
Susie HillA former Nurse turned Wilderness Adventurer - discover more about our Edinburgh born Wilderness Scotland guide Susie Hill.
31st Aug - 6th Sep 2019
Jeremy MartinSplitting his time between Scotland and New Zealand, kiwi Jeremy brings boundless enthusiasm.
21st Sep - 27th Sep 2019
Dave PickenMeet Dave Picken, expert guide and bee-keeper extraordinaire.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
This itinerary is based in three different locations, with two nights each on North Uist, South Uist and Barra. Each of the accommodations offer double and twin rooms, most with en-suite facilities.
Most meals are included in the price of this holiday. Evening meals which are not included are taken in local pubs and restaurants which offer a wide choice of local dishes. Throughout the journey, varied island produce will be served up in hearty and imaginative meals. Seafood is a speciality with beef, lamb and venison also popular and of course, any special dietary requirements can be catered for.
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.
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. Please note that we can offer a maximum of two single rooms on this itinerary. The single supplement is £300 and is strictly subject to availability.
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 9:00am on Day 1 of your trip.
This walking holiday in the southern Outer Hebrides visits at least seven islands, including the wild, beautiful and uninhabited island of Mingulay.
These islands are often overlooked by those drawn to the larger islands of Lewis and Harris to the north. But the curious traveller who ventures a little further south in the Outer Hebrides will be rewarded by uncrowded islands, wonderfully scenic walks and welcoming accommodations, all the time accompanied by wild Atlantic vistas.
Your knowledgeable guide will provide a fascinating insight into the complex tapestry of life, history and geology in the Outer Hebrides. They can also help you spot wildlife, which may include golden eagles, white tailed sea eagles, basking sharks, whales and dolphins, as well helping you identify the rich flora of the islands found in the famous coastal ‘machairs’ or flower meadows. With charming accommodation and delicious food, this special trip provides a memorable insight into these wild and beautiful islands.
Day 1 – Travel to Outer Hebrides, hike to the Hut of the Shadows
Meeting in Inverness, we travel west through the mountainous region of Kintail before crossing the Skye Bridge. We then travel across Skye before arriving at the port of Uig on Skye’s west coast. The ferry crossing takes less than two hours, arriving in the tiny port of Lochmaddy on the Isle of North Uist mid-afternoon. After checking into the hotel, we take a short coastal walk from Lochmaddy, hiking out to the Hut of the Shadows, with its unique camera obscura. (L, D)
Walk details: 5km, approx 1.5 hrs
Day 2 – Beaches and Birdlife of North Uist
We enjoy a morning walk, exploring one of North Uists most beautiful beaches. We hike a circular route through sand dunes to a raised headland called Aird a’ Mhorain. Although just 40m above sea level, it provides a fantastic vantage point with views north to the Isle of Harris. In the afternoon, we visit the nearby RSPB Reserve at Balranald. A trail takes us through the reserve, which is known as being a stronghold for the elusive Corncrake. (B, L)
Walk details: 10km, approx 3 hrs
Day 3 – Benbecula Vistas and Exploring South Uist
Benbecula is the small island which links North and South Uist. Our morning hike takes us to the not-so-lofty summit of Rueval. Despite being just 127m above sea level, it offer fabulous views across the southern Hebrides. Indeed, it is said that you can see over 100 freshwater lochs from its summit! Continuing onto South Uist, the afternoon sees us enjoy a relaxing stroll on the machair at Howmore Beach, passing some traditional thatched cottages on the way. If time permits, we may visit the Bronze Age roundhouses at Cladh Hallan before arriving at the inn which will be our base for the next two nights. (B, L)
Walk details: 8km, approx 4 hrs
Day 4 – Whisky Galore on the Isle of Eriskay
We cross the causeway onto the Isle of Eriskay, a tiny island but one packed full of history and intrigue. Our circular hike starts by crossing Prince’s Beach, where Bonnie Prince Charlie first set foot on Scottish soil. This beach is also where the SS Politician ran aground in 1941. Much of its cargo of 264,000 bottles of whisky was ‘acquired’ by the locals – an event which inspired the classic Scottish novel, ‘Whisky Galore’. Leaving the beach, we hike across the moor to a small knoll with mountain and sea views. Before returning to the hotel, we will stop at the Am Politician bar and perhaps enjoy a dram of whisky – wherever it came from! (B, L)
Walk details: 6km, approx 3 hrs
Day 5 – The Isles of Barra and Vatersay
Barra is a delightful island to explore and there are countless possible walks to explore its hills, machair and, of course, its beaches. Many of the walks are short, meaning we often enjoy a walk before lunch and another that afternoon. One possible option is a morning hike to the Iron Age fort of Dun Ban and Halaman beach. After lunch, we can enjoy a hike to the 105m summit of Beinn Eolaigearry which is a fantastic vantage point with 360 degree sea views – and a great spot for watching the small planes land on the beach runway at Traigh Mhor. Late afternoon or perhaps post-dinner, we can cross the causeway to Vatersay and enjoy a short walk on its beaches. (B, L)
Walk details: 13km, approx 5 hrs
Day 6 – Echoes of the Past on Mingulay
A privately chartered boat takes us south to the long-abandoned islands of Mingulay, Berneray and Pabbay, which boast some of the finest coastal landscapes in Scotland. The crossing to Mingulay takes just over an hour and provides wonderful opportunities for spotting marine life such as basking sharks or minke whales. We’ll aim to land on Mingulay and spend around 3 hours ashore, giving us time to explore the abandoned villages, stunning beaches and perhaps take a hike up MacPhee’s Hill. Back at our hotel that night, we’ll enjoy a final night dinner together overlooking Barra’s incredible beaches. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 6km, approx 3 hrs
Day 7 – Journey to Inverness
After breakfast, we board the ferry bound for Oban. Once we’re back on the Mainland, we head north towards Port Appin where we’ll stop for lunch overlooking Loch Linnhe and Castle Stalker. We then drive east across the Highlands, arriving back in Inverness around 6pm. (B, L)
Prices and Dates
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2019 Trip Dates
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.
by Caroline Zorn 23/09/2018
Queries were promptly answered.
Many highlights, scones and clotted cream on Iron Age fort/ helping Ericksay horse/ boat trip to Mingulay and hike up Rueval on Benbecula.
Our guide Tim was knowledgeable and went that little bit extra to make the trip special eg scones and clotted cream on walk.
The Bottom Line
Enjoyed our time walking in the Outer Hebrides. Stunning scenery, great walks.
by Marjut Edelman 19/09/2018
I was pleased to get all the info via email, before the trip.
My husband Mats Holmkvist filled in this survey last night, and I agree with everything he wrote.
by Robert Parkinson 10/09/2018
Would have liked to know which hotels we were staying at, not necessarily when booking, but at least by the time of your last email about a month before departure.
Our highlights …
The boat trip to Mingulay in lovely sunny weather, watching the seals watching us !!
Tim (our guide) organising freshly baked scones, clotted cream and jam to be eaten on one of our coastal walks in glorious sunshine.
Tim playing the 'horse whisperer', untangling an Eriskay pony which had both hind legs snagged in a large coil of fencing wire, with us all watching on. He was amazing in getting the trust of the pony and the other ponies standing by.
Accommodation and Food
Hammersay House was lovely, spacious bedroom (7), well decorated, great evening meals, though a bit disorganised at breakfast (on the first morning, we had eaten cereals and were half way through the toast before the cooked menus appeared !!). They did a great job getting our wet gear dried overnight. Friendly and welcoming staff.
Polochar Inn was in a fantastic location. Typical pub food. Small bedroom but comfortable. Friendly and accommodating staff.
Castlebay Hotel was a bit run down on first impression. Spacious bedroom (7)overlooking the bay, though needed some refurbishment. Dinner on the last night was dreadful - soup was luke warm, spicy pasta dish was inedible (by all who chose it !!), portions far too big ! Waitress service slow and not very friendly.
Indian restaurant meal in Castlebay, organised by Tim, was excellent.
Packed lunches supplied by all 3 hotels were poor - sliced (sometimes white) bread sandwiches tended to go soggy. Bread rolls (wholemeal preferably) or filled wraps would be better. Fruit and muesli bars were supplied by Tim, not the hotels !
TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
Thanks for your feedback. We are pleased to read that you had an enjoyable trip, but we were disappointed to read your comments about the packed lunches provided by the hotels. We have therefore raised your concerns with them and reiterated what we would like them to provide, so we hope to therefore see an improvement in the future. We are also looking into the possibility of including a cafe lunch on a few occasions along the way for 2019.
Very knowledgeable in all aspects of the trip - local geography, geology, archaeology, culture, history, wildlife. We leant a lot ! Friendly, organised, sense of humour, approachable, felt safe with his driving and route guidance. Took time to recap on the day's activities/route and explain the next day's plans. Adaptable to the challenging weather conditions !
On the negative side, think he needs to take more note of the loo requirements of the group, especially of the elderly men !! - on the journey in the van particularly.
The Bottom Line
Although we go on a lot of walking holidays, we would never have got so much out of a week's holiday if we had to research and organise this trip ourselves. Well organised, well guided (by Tim), thoroughly enjoyable. Small group, who all got on well together. Would recommend Wilderness Scotland as a means of seeing these remote Scottish islands.
by Mary McLennan 23/08/2018
Including end dates on trips would be helpful.
Accommodation and Food
Given the locations, our accommodations were okay- I want a safe, clean comfortable room.
Rosie was skilled, knowledgeable, good humored, organized. I felt comfortable and safe under her leadership which was important to me as I was not quite as skilled as some of my fellow travelers.
The Bottom Line
The entire experience from start to finish was smooth, professionally managed, met and exceeded my expectations, beautiful, awe inspiring and fun.