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The Outer Hebrides - Scottish Islands - 10 Days

The Edge Of The World Tour

Available Dates

24th April - 3rd May 2018

Contact us for more info: seymourtravels@europe.com

Cost for this tour is $4955 per person based on double occupancy. A single supplement of $525 can be arranged.

This small group (six to 10 people) tour of The Outer Hebrides of Scotland will start in the sea port of Stornoway and finish on the island of Barra.

Wherever you wander on the Hebrides you are walking in the footsteps of an ancient people. These islands have been home to people for more than eight thousand years and they have left their mark all around on the landscape. Some of it visible by way of ancient standing stones, Brochs, Duns in the middle of lochs, Iron age hill forts and so much more, yet beneath the surface lie more undiscovered treasures. Each ancient site is a link to our past. We marvel at Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age structures, and we are amazed as to why our ancestors moved stones weighing forty tons across land to the sacred site of Callanish.
Whatever we conclude, these islands are a treasure trove of neolithic sites and modern culture colliding.
Yet we must also never forget our norse heritage and the Vikings. How they settled and farmed. Sailed west to Iceland and Greenland and on to America. Our journey to the ancient world will give but a glimpse into their world but one which is pretty revealing. The modern islands are a complex mix of farming and fishing, tourism and politics. All of which will be unravelled during the experience.

We'll take in the wonders of these islands with the aid of your own experienced guides.

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This small-group tour was designed for flexibility. We can change the order of events to accommodate variable weather conditions just as we can accommodate your interests and energy levels to provide opportunities for adventure and exploration in addition to those described below. Accordingly, no activity is mandatory; you may opt out of any activity at any time. We'll travel in comfortable mini-buses, tracked vehicles and small boats that will allow us to reach hidden treasures you won't experience on larger tours.

All of your breakfasts, two picnic or pub lunches and three of your dinners are included. All tolls, fees, ferry passes and admissions are also included -- this means you aren't paying extra for any of the excursions we make or sites we visit as you would on other tours. For dinners on your own, we are happy to provide recommendations and transportation as necessary. You must arrange for your own transportation to our first and last hotels in Stornoway and on Barra, and we are happy to answer any questions you have in advance of the tour.

Day 1: Welcome to Stornoway

We'll meet this afternoon in our centrally located hotel in Stornoway to get an overview of the tour (1 night here) - and get acquainted with each other before taking an evening stroll through the town to a great restaurant for our first evening meal together..

Day 2: A Walk on the Island - Callanish Stones, Carloway Broch, Life On The Islands

The Outer Hebrides is a walkers paradise so today we'll go for a walk amongst the stones, along the beaches moors and cliffs that make this such a remarkable place. The challenge is never the severity of the incline or its length but the endless choice of places to wander. These islands give the walker every possible option from coastline to rugged hilltop. For those who endeavour to reach the highest hills the views are panoramic and remarkable. Far flung islands appear as dots on the horizon, almost invitingly close in the blue light but just tantalisingly out of reach. Today we head out to visit the ancient stones of Callanish, a remarkable broch and learn about the history of a Hebridean Blackhouse, where we'll witness a loom demonstration, psalm singing and gain our first insight to the Hebridean lifestyle.
Local legends have it that the stones of Callanish came about because the giants of old, who then lived on the island, refused to be Christianised - St.Kieran who lead the Christian mission on the island turned them to stone as a testament to the power of God. Well, legends to one side, the stones cerrtainly stand as testament to mans ingenuity. We'll provide a guided walking and talking tour of the sites and a picnic lunch. Here is some drone footage taken at the site. If you're browser doesnt support the plugin, here is the link. https://youtu.be/Q16zjzu85ck
. Overnight is spent on the island of Lewis (2 nights).

Callanish Carloway Broch

Day 3: Let's Head to Scarp - An Island Of Your Own

Today we head out towards Uig on the island of Lewis.and take a look at the home of the 'Lewis Chessmen', (viking chess pieces), before heading out onto the Atlantic Ocean and the stunninglyy remote island of Scarp. Cruising around the breathtaking islands coastline takes us past the tallest cliffs of Lewis, white sand beaches, sea stacks and the haunted island of Mealista. Further south we enter Loch Reisort, a long sea loch which divides Harris from Lewis. Ancient settlements nestle on its steep slopes, grazed by red deer whilst Sea Eagles and Golden Eagles may be seen circling overhead.

Landing on Scarp, we'll allow time to explore the old blackhouses, school and manse, all steeped in stories of a bygone era. We then cruise Lochlann back to Miavaig whilst we look out for dolphin, whales and sharks before returning to our accommodations.

Day 4: The Isle of Harris

This morning we'll make our way to another island, Harris. The scenery changes and gives way to high hills and incredible vistas. This island is the home of Harris Tweed, Harris gin and one of the lowest population densities in Europe. We'll explore the whaling industry and take a moorland hike before checking in to our Harris hotel ( 2 nights). In the afternoon we'll go for a discerning look at the local distillery and search out some local tweed.

Day 5: St Kilda

The sheer thought of St Kilda lures the mind into the longing for the unknown. It is a place you have heard about, somewhere you think you know but most definitely a place you must discover. Today is indeed the 'big adventure to the edge of the world'..... 41 miles out into the North Atlantic.
You know it is not an easy journey yet if achieved, one of the most rewarding.
The journey there can take about three hours. St Kilda looms before you, yet with each minute it never seems to get any closer. Gradually through time its magnitude unfolds before your eyes and you are dwarfed by its cliffs. The skies are clouded with birds and the air echoes with their shrills and calls. This is the meaning of 'awesome'.
As we approach Village Bay you see the homes which were deserted in 1930. A place where time stood still but where the broken souls of those who left still haunt every crevice. This is a tragic tale but also a heroic one. One that challenges us to this day. Your time ashore on St Kilda, roughly four hours, will be one of the most memorable you will ever take. When its time to leave, a part of you will always remain on the "Edge of the World".

St KildaSt Kilda

Day 6:Harris Tweed, Luskintyre and Medieval Churches

Lets rediscover 'tweed'. Donald John Mackay is a traditional weaver and has been honoured as the man who saved the Harris tweed industry. We're going to let him show you how this craft is done and give you a chance to explore his 'factory' ( a shed behind his house). We will then visit the incredible Luskintyre Beach, voted as one of the top 10 in the world. What would any tour be without a visit to a church :-) This afternoon we head over to Rodel where we will find the only medieval church in the Hebrides. This is a unique experience. Leverburgh is our final destination for today, where we will take the ferry across to North Uist where we can settle into our small island hotel for the night (2 nights).

Day 7: Uist, The Environment, Prehistory and ArgoCats !

Today we head into the islands of Uist' interior and wonder at the islands environment and archaeology. The island is littered with burial chambers, Iron Age sites and standing stones all amidst a landscape of moorland and coastlines. We'll take a walk across the moors, but before we do this we must get there. Eight wheeled all terrain vehicles will be our mode of transport. This is the only way to really get into this island landscape.

Day 8: Boat Building, Mummies and Whisky

Our day leads us through the magical landscapes of 6 islands and over causeways linking each. We discover small inlets and harbours, famed for their boat building for over 2000 years. We'll visit a wool shed in order to learn about the wool and mill industries of the Hebrides and we'll pay our respects to the site of Bronze Age mummies before finally arriving at Barra ( 2 nights). On the island of Eriskay, in 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie first landed before embarking on his failed attempt to become King of Scotland. It was here also that the SS Politician ran aground.... with 200,000 bottles of whisky.

 

Day 9: Machair, Island Parish, Barra

The island of Barra is famed for its stunning sandy beaches, incredible machair and coastline as well as having the only medieval castle in the Hebrides. We'll start by taking a tour around the island and walk up to its ancient cemetery. We will then walk out to the coast to visit a 'Dun' and to understand why people settled here. Further along our trail is Vatersay where an examination of the Annie Jane story is necessary. Lunch will be enjoyed after a hike over to Castlebay. After which we must discuss herring and its importance to the communities today and in the past. Tonight we'll share experiences and enjoy dinner together.

Day 10: Farewells !

We'll have breakfast together before saying our goodbyes and heading home or making connections to other destinations - wherever your travel plans may take you we will provide advice. You may take off from Barra airport.... a beach !!... or take one of the ferries back to the mainland of Scotland.

If you wish to contact us regarding available tours for 2017-2018 or would like to discuss your travel needs, please email us at seymourtravels@europe.com. Seymour Travels is registered in the United States.

 

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