A memorable 7 day tour exploring the best of Lewis & Harris whilst staying in a wonderful sporting lodge.
Would you like to spend your holiday discovering deserted beaches, dramatic seacliffs and great wildlife, then at the end of the day relax and dine in one of the Hebrides' most exclusive sporting lodges? If so, this is the holiday for you!
This unique trip last a whole week (Saturday - Saturday instead of our standard Saturday - Friday holidays) which will give you time to really get to know these two wonderful islands. During the week we will be covering some of the best walking routes in the Hebrides and, if weather allows, taking a superb coastal wildlife cruise with a local boat operator.
As with all our walking holidays, the emphasis is on relaxed walking with lots of time to admire the views, take photographs and watch wildlife. We will be covering around 6 - 7 miles most days. We will be going at a gentle pace and, whilst there is usually some ascent each day, the amount of climbing involved is generally small.
Soval Lodge (www.sovalestate.co.uk) is wonderfully luxurious accommodation set on the shores of Loch Erisort in south Lewis. All rooms have ensuite or private bathrooms and the Lodge has tremendous views across the sea loch to the Pairc Hills. The food at the Lodge is excellent, with a strong emphasis on local produce cooked to a high standard.
(please note that this schedule may be subject to change depending on weather conditions during the trip).
DAY 1 - ARRIVE IN STORNOWAY
There are several ways to reach Stornoway, the main town on Lewis, and the start point for this holiday. Daily direct flights are available from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness, whilst a twice daily ferry service runs from Ullapool - Stornoway. It is also possible to take a ferry from Uig on Skye to Tarbert in Harris, then catch the bus to Stornoway. We are always happy to provide travel advice so if you have any queries do get in touch.
There will be a choice of pick up times on the Saturday at the start of this holiday. We will collect clients from Stornoway ferry terminal at 1.30pm and 9.15pm and take people on the 20 minute drive to Soval Lodge. If arriving by plane just take a taxi for the short ride into Stornoway and meet us at the ferry terminal. Stornoway has plenty of attractive cafes if you have time spare...
DAY 2 - HUISINISH & CRAVADALE
A spectacular start, with this memorable and varied low level hike - one of the best in Scotland. Starting at the beautiful machair meadows of Huisinish, we will visit the huge golden sands of Traigh Mheillin which provides unparalleled views out to the nearby island of Scarp. From here we will explore the remote and beautiful Glen Cravadale, with a good chance of spotting golden or sea eagles along the way.
DAY 3 - NESS
Today we travel to the northern most tip of the Hebrides, to the township of Ness and the dramatic Butt of Lewis lighthouse. We will visit the old fishing harbour at Port of Ness and walk along the tops of the sea cliffs on this wild section of coastline. This is a hotspot for corncrakes, so we will be listening out for their characteristic croaks amongst the township's croft fields.
DAY 4 - SCALPAY & WEST HARRIS
Scalpay is a very attractive and characterful island connected, since 1997, to the east coast of Harris by a graceful concrete road bridge. We will be exploring the spectacular southern coastline of the island, then heading to the world famous beaches of Luskentyre and Horgabost in west Harris, where we will be able to look out over turquoise seas to the deserted island of Taransay.
DAY 5 - WILDLIFE CRUISE & LITTLE BERNERA
Today there is a choice: If you prefer, you can have a gentle rest day relaxing at the Lodge, complete with sumptuous afternoon tea! However, if you prefer something more active, then weather permitting we will take a fabulous cruise with our friends at Seatrek (www.seatrek.co.uk) and discover the abundant wildlife around the coastline of west Lewis. We will also land on the beautiful uninhabited island of Little Bernera, home to one of the finest beaches anywhere in the world. (Please note the price of the boat trip is not included in the holiday price - if you would like to come along the boat trip cost an additional £50 per person, payable on the day). If the weather prevents the trip from going ahead we will substitute with a great coastal walk on the neighbouring island of Great Bernera.
DAY 6 - TOLSTA
Packing an astonishing amount into a small area, this walk takes us to remote moorland lochs, then along an airy cliff top walk, complete with sea stacks and rock arches, before visiting two of Lewis’s finest beaches.
DAY 7 - UIG & MANGERSTA
We finish with a day exploring what many people regard as the most beautiful place in Lewis (high praise indeed!) - the Uig area in the west of the island.
This dramatic region of low lying, rocky hills and spectacular sandy beaches was where the famous Lewis Chessmen - a complete set of Viking chess pieces beautifully carved out of walrus ivory - were discovered in 1831.
Our day will include a walk along the mighty cliffs of Mangersta, from where we will have magnificent views out to the Atlantic, with the Flannan Islands and St. Kilda often visible on clear days.
DAY 8 - DEPART
We will depart the Lodge at 10am and travel back to Stornoway, where people can catch ferries or flights back to the mainland.
Holiday Fact File
Grade: Easy / Moderate. These holidays go at a gentle pace, with plenty of time to stop, take pictures, soak up the atmosphere and watch the wildlife. However, they are still walking holidays, so you will need to be able to cope with a reasonable amount of hiking each day. As a guide, you should be able to manage small uphill sections, be comfortable walking for 4 - 5 hours and 6 - 7 miles or so each day, and be confident walking away from paths - for example over rough, grassy hillsides. We try to keep to easy ground as much as possible on these walks, but there will be some areas where the going can be a little rough and quite wet underfoot, so good hiking boots are essential. We don't tackle any hills on these walks but there are usually some modest uphill sections each day.
Start: Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
Cost: £1,170.00 - includes guest house accommodation plus breakfast, packed lunch and evening meals. There is no single supplement for this holiday!
Accommodation: We will be staying in the luxurious Soval Lodge near Laxay in south Lewis. All rooms will have ensuite or private bathrooms.
What's Included: 7 nights accommodation, 6 days walking. Full board at Soval Lodge, with full Scottish or continental breakfasts. Packed lunches.
All transport during the holiday, including collection and transfers to / from Stornoway at the start and end of the holiday. The services of an experienced walking guide.
What's Not Included: Transport to / from holiday departure point at Stornoway. Entrance to any visitor attractions. Wildlife cruise (this costs an additional £50 per person, payable on the day). Travel insurance.