From our Hebrides correspondent

Start of Hebridean Way, Vatersay

In July, John took his bike to the Outer Hebrides! He had a fabulous trip with a company called Wilderness Scotland which he highly recommends (and they do all sorts of other activity trips as well as cycling). On Day 1, the group of five (all strangers apart from one married couple) was collected from Inverness by two guides and transported via road and ferry to South Uist where they stayed two nights in the Polochar Inn.

On Day 2, the group cycled across the causeway to Eriskay and took the ferry to Barra where they cycled round the whole island with an extension to Vatersay (another causeway) where the Hebridean Way begins (see post header). Over the next few days they covered the whole Way (about 155 miles) with many add-ons. John thinks he cycled about 239 miles.

Day 3 was a 52 mile cycle up the chain of islands comprising South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, and Berneray from where the ferry took them to Harris and a lift in the van to their hotel in Tarbert.

Day 4 was a circular tour of Harris, down the rocky east coast known as the Golden Road, where seals were spotted, and up past the beautiful beaches of the west coast.

Day 5 saw the steepest climb to the top of Clisham as the group passed from Harris into Lewis – which, though classed as separate islands, occupy the same landmass. Accommodation for the next two nights was near the ancient stone circle of Callanish.

On Day 6, the group completed the Hebridean Way by cycling from Callanish to the Butt of Lewis.

I can detect both relief and a sense of achievement amongst the participants. Some chose to celebrate with a refreshing (freezing?) swim.

The final day was a shorter cycle to Stornoway for the ferry to Ullapool on the mainland. I wrote about the Iolaire disaster after we visited Stornoway in the summer of 2018. This particular memorial did not exist then as it was created for the centenary in January 2019.

A lift back to Inverness completed the tour. John had a wonderful time and cannot praise the company and the guides enough. As for me, I was green with envy at the photographs he was sharing each evening. I have very happy memories of past trips to the Hebrides – but I will be glad never to have to tour them by bike!


  1. What an amazing trip. I recently spent a half day cycling round Richmond Park and felt it the next day so I take my hat off to John, covering that sort of distance and still smiling! The whole route looks beautiful, we are on the move again next year and I have floated the idea that I wouldn’t object to the top end of Scotland. The possibilities to explore would be fabulous.

    Out of curiosity, is there a story to the whale bones? I’ve seen the replica ones at North Berwick I find them intriguing … and a little disturbing, thinking of the industry they came from!


  2. Great photographs – all of them – and a wonderful trip, but not for me. I am sorry to say that bikes are just out for me. However, I would do the trip by car, coach and I even thought about doing it on horseback – one horse to ride and one horse as a pack horse. Anyway, Himself looked as if he was having a great time, so that’s good.


  3. Anabel, I enjoyed that trip with you and John. Definitely loved the cycling though I am with everyone else, I passed on the swim. Ten points for his bravery or madness 😉 No doubt you enjoyed the scenery from a different viewpoint.


  4. Like most of your contributors so far, Anabel – would love to take the trip and see all those things; but possibly by car, luxory mini-bus, sedan chair, or some other mode of transport requiring the bare minimum of effort! 🙂