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The Outer Hebrides Explorer - Castaway Tour

The Outer Hebrides Explorer - Castaway Tour

7 days "Castaway Tour" to the Isles of Harris, Lewis & the Uists


7 days "Castaway Tour" to the Isles of Harris, Lewis & the Uists

The Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides also known as the Western Isles - stretch for 130 miles and look out on their western side to the Atlantic Ocean.

Here on the edge of Europe is a striking mix of landscapes from windswept golden sands to harsh, heather-backed mountains and peat bogs. An elemental beauty pervades each of the more than two hundred islands that make up the archipelago, only a handful of which are actually inhabited.

Lewis & Harris

Lewis and Harris form the northernmost island in the Hebrides. Though actually part of the same land mass, they are thought of as different islands and each has its own distinctive culture, traditions and heritage. Lewis in the north is the largest island in the group and its main town of Stornoway is a busy centre of island life, its natural harbour a thriving fishing port.

Gerrannan Blackhouse Village

Gearrannan is on the Atlantic coast of west Lewis. There are 9 restored traditional blackhouse cottages. These houses were lived in until as recently as 1974 and were the last group of blackhouses to be inhabited in the Western Isles.

Carloway Broch

Carloway Broch is located above Loch an Duin on a rocky knoll in a good defensive position. A Broch is an Iron Age structure designed to impress and defend, and were probably the homes of tribal leaders and important members of the community. They are built with two concentric walls of stone, with a stairway or gallery within the walls to the upper floors. The Broch at Carloway is one of the best preserved in the Hebrides and dates back over 2000 years.  It is approximately 9 metres high and 15 metres in diameter. 

Standing Stones of Callanish

The Isle of Lewis affords one of the most complete historic stone circles in Europe. Callanish has three sets of stone circles - each being within a mile or so of each other. The Isle of Lewis has many examples of stone circles and the most impressive - the Callanish Stone circle now attracts many visitors from all over the world

Harris is home to the world-famous Harris Tweed, which has to be made on these islands if it carries the name. Across a narrow isthmus from the more mountainous North Harris lies South Harris, presenting some of the finest scenery in Scotland, with wide beaches of golden sand trimming the Atlantic in full view of the mountains and a rough boulder-strewn interior lying to the east. 

The Uists, Benbecula, Barra & Eriskay

Further south still sit a string of tiny, flatter islands including North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra. Here breezy beaches whose fine sands front a narrow band of boggy farmland are mostly bordered by a lower range of hills to the east. Uniquely, one of the beaches on Barra also doubles as a landing strip for the scheduled flights from the mainland! The small island of Eriskay is where Bonnie Prince Charlie first set foot on Scottish soil.


The Hebrides remain the heartland of Gaelic culture, with the language spoken by the vast majority of islanders, though its everyday usage remains under constant threat from the national dominance of English. Its survival is, in no small part, due to the influence of the Free Church and its offshoots, whose strict Calvinism is the creed of the vast majority of the population, with the sparsely populated South Uist, Barra and parts of Benbecula adhering to the more relaxed demands of Catholicism.


The natural environment of the Hebrides make it ideal for walking and cycling of all standards while the superb Atlantic beaches draw surfers from around the globe. Fishing for salmon and trout, as well as sea angling, is also highly popular and of the highest quality. The clear, pollution-free Hebridean waters, also produce some of the best seafood in the UK.


Lying offshore into the Atlantic, the remarkable deserted Island of St Kilda, a World Heritage Site, is a major attraction which can only be reached by day boat or live-aboard cruise vessel, subject to weather conditions and the permission of its owners, the National Trust for Scotland.

Day 1

A morning departure from Cumbria as we travel north via Glasgow to Loch Lomond, we have time at leisure for lunch before continuing to Crianlarich and our overnight hotel the Ben Doran. Dinner in the hotel.


Day 2

After breakfast we continue north through enchanting Glencoe to Fort William and the Kyle of Lochalsh, we have some free time in Portree on the Isle of Skye, before heading to Uig on the north of the island and the early evening sailing to Lochmaddy on North Uist. We then head direct to the Dark Island Hotel on Benbecula, our base for the next two nights. Late dinner served on arrival at the hotel.

B, D

Day 3

Full day tour with a local guide of South Uist with its crystal clear waters and white beaches and over the causeway to Eriskay, this beautiful little Island that is famous for its ponies and the landing point of Bonnie Prince Charlie on Scottish soil. We return to the Dark Island hotel for dinner.

B, D

Day 4

After a leisurely morning we head to Bernaray and the sailing to the Isle of Harris. We continue on past striking landscapes and stunning beaches to Lewis and the Caladh hotel in Stornaway, our base for the next two nights. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Day 5

Today we explore the Isle of Lewis including historic Carloway Broch, the museum at Gearrannan Blackhouse village, and the Standing Stones of Callanish, the finest example of the many stone circles, standing stones, monoliths and ironage constructions on Lewis. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Day 6

Morning at leisure in Stornoway before our afternoon sailing back to the mainland at Ullapool, we then head to Grantown on Spey and our overnight stay at the Craiglynne Hotel. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Day 7

After a final breakfast we begin our return journey to Cumbria, lunch and coffee stops en-route, arriving back late afternoon.


B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

Ben Doran Hotel

The Ben Doran is surrounded by Alpine forests with gorgeous mountain views in its own sheltered seven-acre garden in the mountain village of Tyndrum on the northern edge of the Loch Lomond National Park. The hotel was built with the unique feature of having the dining room and lounges on the top floor to offer guests spectacular views of the beautiful scenery. 

The bedrooms are extremely spacious and boast all the comforts you need to make your stay as relaxing as possible. All rooms have a view, TV, heating, hairdryer, ensuite bathroom, toiletries, Tea/Coffee Maker & electric kettle.

The gardens at Ben Doran have several lily ponds and extensive lawns, which are a haven for wildlife and the stage for the Head Gardener’s spectacular flower shows from spring till late autumn. With its beautifully kept and sparkling exterior, the Ben Doran is awash with colour all year round, inside and out. But you might also find colour of a distinctly golden hue. Tyndrum is sited on the Scottish Goldfield and, in 1997, a team of geologists found a gold seam only two miles from the village. There really is gold in them thar hills!


Dark Island Hotel

Centrally located in the island chain, the hotel is just 10 minutes away from the airport and 30 minutes from the ferry terminals at Lochboisdale in South Uist or Lochmaddy in North Uist. Enjoy toe tapping music at the regular live entertainment nights. Relax in the comfortable and sociable lounge bar for a bite, feast or dram. The fresh sea air will inspire you as you stroll along the spectacular 'private' beaches, or hike in the nearby hills. A visit to the swimming pool or well-equipped gym next door is available for the more time conscious guest.

All the hotel bedrooms are beautifully decorated with en-suite facilities and include colour TV, radio, tea and coffee making facilities. Savour fresh tasty local produce, prepared to perfection by the team of chefs. Choose from the table d'hôte, bar meals or daily specials menus.


Caladh Hotel, Stornoway

Owned by the same family for over twenty years, this Stornoway hotel is where you'll find a great team of people who enjoy making guests feel welcome

The Caladh Inn holds a 2 star rating from the Scottish Tourist Board and provides 69 comfortable guest rooms, all with bath, on the first and second floors of the largest hotel in Stornoway. All floors are served by a lift, and a number of rooms are accessible to wheelchair users.

Eleven Restaurant  is where you can enjoy excellent food. The hotel uses top quality, fresh ingredients, including huge quantities of fresh fish and shellfish, which arrives in their kitchens within minutes of landing at the nearby harbour.


Grant Arms Hotel

In the fine country town of Grantown-on-Spey, not far from the famous Spey River, this impressive 18th century residence has been upgraded to offer modern comforts whilst retaining a traditional character. Visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1860 the 4 star Grant Arms Hotel offers 50 en-suite bedrooms all with tea and coffee making facilities, toiletries, hair dryer, colour TV, direct dial phone and free WiFi. Twin, double, single and family Rooms are available and also three enabled rooms for disabled guests. All facilities in the Grant Arms Hotel are wheelchair accessible. Bar and restaurant seving fresh local produce.


Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
High Hesket Palmerstons Furniture Store
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Bus Stop Tangier Street Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
From Price Call Back Telephone Favourites

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