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Outer Hebridean trip


Northern Paul
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Afternoon all,

This is something I've wanted to do for ages now...But you know how it is, one thing & another prevent it. Now I'm between jobs, recently single with a bit of time & a new gearbox the seed is planted.

So, have any of the fine forum folk been? Any recommendations? I'll be departing Ullapool to Stornaway & coming back to the mainland at Oban other than that...??? The Standing Stones of Callanish (sp?) are on the list but open to all suggestions....

Thanks in advance, Paul

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My parents are going to do the same thing in a year or two, once I've fixed up an appropriate landrover based "camper"!

Depending on how you're getting back to oban, you can pick up the bottom of the inner hebriedes as well by getting the Barra-Tobermory Ferry.

Coll and Tiree are worth a visit (although only accessible by ferry from Oban now since the new ferry was too big to dock in Tobermory!).

You can wild camp pretty much anywhere on the whole of both the islands, fantastic beaches although a bit windy as they're very flat!

I'm a big fan of Mull (just got back from there a week ago) although it's inner hebrides. Some really nices beaches only accessible by Greenlanes so you'll have them to yourself.

Erm, Ulva (again Inner Heb) is the site of the famous poem about the chieftan's eloping daughter - you can see the memorial to them etc.

Haven't really done any of the outer islands since I was old enough to remember, (I first went to the hebrides on holiday when I was 5 months old!) so can;t really help with the Outers as the furthest out I've been in the last 10 or so years is Coll and Tiree.

You can watch rocket firing/testing on Benbecula as there's a deep sea artillery range there. (Don't know if that's of any interest really though!)

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I did a few months of backpacking around Scotland a few years ago, and one of the highlights for me was catching the ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway, and spending a week on the island.

I hired a car in Stornoway & covered a few hundred miles on really pretty roads. I dont know anything about getting off the beaten track, as this was before my LR days.

The Callanish standing stones are worth a look, but they wont blow you away. I thought they were better than Stonehenge, as you can walk amongst them, and you dont have to pay a ridiculously large enterance fee to get in.

Some of the roads are a bit hair-raising though!! They just seem to be twists & turns that are really hard to "read."

A word of warning.....if you find yourself in Stornoway on a Sunday, be aware that EVERYTHING is shut. The swings in the park even get chained up! I kid you not!! There is an Indian takeaway and a pub that open for a couple of hours in the afternoon though, so plan getting a bite to eat carefully.

I found the roads down where Lewis & Harris join up, to be the best. Although, if you looked/asked around, I bet you could find some nice greenlanes.

HTH

Martin

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Thanks for rapid responses guys,

regarding 'greenlanes' I was under the impression that such ROW didn't exist in Scotland, or are we talking unmade tracks that are regarded as roads there?? T'would be sweet if they were...

I've been lookng at the Calmac ferry site & they do a ticket which is relatively open in duration so the inner islands could certainly be added to the itinerary.

Any other ideas welcome. Cheers Paul

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I have absolutely no idea about the legality of greenlaning in Scotland! My trip to the Hebrides was before I got into Land Rovers, so it was not something I had to think about in a hire car.

Although I do think (whatever the Scottish legal issue may be) that there may be some lovely lanes there.

Martin

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I spent a week on Harris at Newyear,and spent Christmas and Newyear there a few years back.

It is stunningly beautiful in a barren moonscape way.It has alot more character than Lewis,which gets more visitors.

North Harris has some great hills if you like a challenging walk.South Harris has an amazing coast line - beautiful sandy beaches on the west,and fjiord like bare rock on the east.You can drive right round south Harris in a day.

It is surely one of the most beautiful places in the British Isles,but has the melancholy air of a dying community,and the stong influence of presbyterianism means there are very few pubs,and indeed,the playgrounds are closed on Sunday.

The whole of the west coast of Scottland is,for me,particularly in winter,Heaven.

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The whole of the west coast of Scottland is,for me,particularly in winter,Heaven.

Yep, i'd go along with that. Scotland is my favourite place in the world, after South Africa, and I also think the west coast is the best part of the country.

I would like to add, that anywhere north of Glencoe will just completely blow your mind. Simply breathtaking! I would really take my time on the drive between Fort William & Ullapool, as this is a very beautiful part of the country. Ullapool itself, whilst nothing much happens there, is a very special place for me; really quiet, yet very appealing somehow. I can sit on the side of the loch for hours on end just watching the boats & mountains.

Also, when your on the ferry from Ullapool, make sure you get out on the deck.....its a fantastic view back to the mainland.

Martin

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From my experiences in Tiree and on Mull, while there are no proper BOAT style greenlanes as there are here, there are quite a few roads/accessways that are just tracks, and will lead to standing stones/empty beaches and similar.

I've always found that if you're unsure, a polite enquiry at the appropriate farmer's house etc usually keeps everyone happy, especially if your LR isn't looking like it just came off a challenge event! With my rooftent in full view, I've explained that I'm just looking for somewhere to camp overnight, and promise not to damage anything.

Often they'll let you do it for free or for a small contribution, and then as long as you ensure that you take all your trash with you, and thank the farmer when you're done job's a good'un.

One thing to definitely be aware of is wild life, as I nearly drove into a restricted forestry commision area, which was closed off due to it being a sea eagle nesting site on Mull and could have got absolutely shafted. (They dont take kindly to egg thieves etc or anyone who might be possibly thinking about being near an area where one could actually be a thief.)

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