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Wildlife Adventures – Outer Hebrides & St Kilda

  • Explore by boat and on foot, some of the most pristine, wild and spectacular seabird locations in Europe (including, weather permitting, St Kilda – a double UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Look for otters, red deer and golden eagles on the Isle of Harris
  • Discover the Uists, stronghold of the rare Corncrake and world famous for their wildflowers and windswept beauty
  • 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 boat trips and ferry transfers

Green Graded Wildlife Holidays 1-3

All of our wildlife trips are graded Green and involve straightforward hiking with no major ascents, as well as other activities which are pitched at novice level. You can expect to be active for around 5 hours each day so you will need a reasonable level of fitness. Please note that there may be some early starts and late nights as we seek to maximise our chances of finding wildlife, although you can always opt out of activities if you prefer an early night or long lie in the morning!

So to help you decide if you are fit enough for this kind of trip, ask yourself:

  1. Are you generally active and, for example, happy to hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascent, with rough ground in places?
  2. Are you up for a challenge and trying new activities such as sea kayaking or boat trips?
  3. Are you looking for a wildlife trip which involves more than simply sitting in a hide?

ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

This itinerary is based in two different locations throughout the course of the week, with 3 nights on Harris and 3 nights on North Uist. Each of the accommodations offer double and twin rooms, most with en-suite facilities. 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.

SINGLE ROOMS

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 £300 is charged if a single room is available.

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 8:00am on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Inverness station by 5:30pm on the final day.

For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website: www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/

Trip Details

Explore the pristine Outer Hebrides island chain on Scotland’s far west coast, discovering its abundant wildlife, including some of the rarest wildlife to be found in Scotland.

On this wildlife holiday in the Outer Hebrides, we’ll enjoy coastal and glen hikes and, weather permitting, a boat trip to the incredible archipelago of St Kilda. On our May departure, we hope to see the spring migration of skuas to their summer breeding grounds – one of Scotland’s great nature events.

Your knowledgeable guide will provide a fascinating insight into the rich tapestry of island life, history and geology of the Outer Hebrides. Of course, they will also help you spot wildlife, which may include golden eagles, white tailed sea eagles, puffins, 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 the wildlife of these wild and beautiful islands.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Travel to the Outer Hebrides 

After meeting in Inverness, we catch the morning ferry across to the Isle of Lewis, the largest island in the Outer Hebrides archipelago. The ferry journey across the ‘Minch’ takes us through well-known seabird and cetacean feeding areas – so we should have some good sightings before we even arrive on the islands! Our first stop is a visit to the mysterious standing stone circle at Callanish before retiring to our hotel on Harris. (D)

Day 2 –  St Kilda World Heritage Site

The plan for today is to take a boat trip to the famous archipelago of St Kilda. Over 40 miles offshore, visiting this amazing double World Heritage Site requires a boat crossing of about 3 hours each way. It is a challenging but vastly rewarding day. The crossing to St Kilda provides a great opportunity for marine life sightings, with mid to late summer being especially good for basking sharks. As we approach the islands we see, hear and smell the vast seabird colonies! We’ll have a few hours on land to explore – with some of the highest sea cliffs in Britain, and globally important colonies of gannets, fulmars and puffins, this is a spectacular place to see. Together with the thought-provoking story of the islanders who lived here, this is one of the most amazing places you can ever visit.

Please note that the visit to St Kilda is strongly contingent on good weather and sea conditions. Since this will be a highlight of the trip then if it is not possible to visit St Kilda on this day then your guide will try to schedule it for a different day during the trip. If the weather prevents us reaching St Kilda altogether then we’ll enjoy a wonderful boat trip in the Loch Roag area instead, exploring the remote west coast of Lewis and its plentiful wildlife. (B,L)

Day 3 – The Wildlife of Harris 

We will spend the day exploring Harris hiking along some excellent glen or coastal routes. Home to vast expanses of moorland, this beautiful island holds nationally important breeding populations of greenshank and dunlin. Otters and eagles are known to regularly hunt in this terrain, and you may also see herds of red deer, which can often be seen grazing on the hillsides. (B,L)

Walk details: 8km, approx. 4 hrs

Day 4 – Across the Sea to North Uist

After exploring one of Harris’s vast beaches we take an early afternoon ferry across the Sound of Harris to North Uist. This remote and windswept beauty is home to Scotland’s most well known dramas, played out in a landscape populated by birds of prey and strung with pristine sandy beaches. With intricate rocky shores and beautiful sunsets, we are in good otter and diver territory, with plenty of places to stretch our legs before enjoying a warm welcome at our hotel.  (B, L)

Walk details: 6 km, approx. 3 hrs

Day 5 – South Uist and Benbecula: Raptors & Wildflowers

Like much of the archipelago, the west coast of South Uist holds empty sandy beaches and wildflower rich machair meadow, whilst the east coast offers rocky inlets and heather covered hills. We aim to explore on foot during the day, taking a packed lunch with us as we walk along the enticing coastline. We will take the opportunity to scan the hills for some of the local golden and sea eagles – soaring with a wingspan well over two metres. Other daytime hunters include the ghostly hen harrier and furious looking short eared owl, either of which could turn up almost anywhere during our time on the Uists. With otters, wildflowers, beachcombing and wildfowl all possible, there will be plenty for us to enjoy. We should also experience the endemic Hebridean song thrush! At migration times, these islands also tend to offer a stopover for exotic and lost migrating birds from America, the Arctic, Mediterranean – even the Far East! As long as we keep our eyes open, you never know what surprises we might find on this wildlife holiday…  (B, L)

Walk details: 8km, approx. 4 hrs

Day 6 – North Uist and Benbecula: Corncrakes & Great Skuas

A key species in this region is the secretive corncrake, which skulks and calls in the fertile machair meadows and ancient farmlands. The corncrake is most commonly spotted in May and June. At places such as the RSPB reserve at Balranald, these rare habitats also provide vital homes for many rare species, such as the great yellow bumblebee, corn bunting, golden ringed dragonfly and many scarce wildflowers (not to mention photogenic highland cows!). The heather moors of North Uist and Benbecula offer more good raptor hunting habitats and we will spend time in the search of more birds of prey, returning summer migrants such as wheatear and stonechat and perhaps red deer. On the May departure, we may have the opportunity to witness one of the most thrilling wildlife spectacles in the UK – the northward passage of hundreds of skuas to their summer breeding grounds. (B, L, D)

Walk details: 8km, approx. 4 hrs

Day 7 – Return to Inverness

We begin our journey back to Inverness today, but the opportunities to stop and take in some wonderful scenery and perhaps get more excellent wildlife sightings are still on offer! We depart by ferry across the Minch again, this time on the late morning ferry, heading for the Isle of Skye. From here, we head back to Inverness via Loch Ness, arriving by around 5.30pm. (B, L)

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Prices and Dates

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2018 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
14th Jul - 20th Jul 2018
£1,695
Trip Full

2019 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
25th May - 31st May 2019
£1,695
8 place(s) left
15th Jun - 21st Jun 2019
£1,695
8 place(s) left
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Rated 4.92 out of 5 based on 12 review(s) of Wildlife Adventures – Outer Hebrides & St Kilda

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4 star 1

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by Beryl Harper 15/06/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pick a tour that most intrigues you and go for it!

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by Suzanne Fong 06/06/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

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5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

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by Kathleen Leonard 01/08/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Wilderness Scotland is great about providing a special trip through beautiful country. They are mindful of all details which allows for participants to fully enjoy themselves.

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by Sarah Leonard 29/07/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

overall experience was wonderful. This was my second trip in 2 weeks and hope to do more

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Price from: £1,695

Next trip: 14th July

Duration: 6 night(s)

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Location: Outer Hebrides and St Kilda

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 2

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