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Outer Hebrides

Don Madge

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We are planning a trip to the Outer Hebrides in late September using the Calmac Ferries Hopscotch ticket number 8 http://www.calmac.co.uk/hopscotch_route8


I would be interested in any info from people who have visited the islands. I'm particularly interested in the island of Eriskay.


I've got the usual websites but it would be useful to have some first hand info especially on overnight parking as camp sites are few and far between.






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Hi Don

sorry can't be much help because I haven't been yet.


I do, however, know quite a bit about Eriskay ponies as I used to breed them. They are listed as Critical by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. They are beautiful ponies and so calm and friendly. Check out www.eriskaypony.com for more info.


I envy you your trip - I will not be long in following so do post some of your experiences when you get back please?



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hi mate did the calmac hop scotch ticket last year in may was a lot of money we thought but well worth it took out chevy astro with mey wife me and the dog. did aran, mull, iona, islay, jura and then a ferry to skye, wildlife was fantastic saw seals,otters highland cattle,deer and 10 different sighting of the golden eagle! We only stayed on one campsite the whole time we were up there on some of the islands there arnt any as far as we were aware. my best tip is dont let ya fuel run low as petrol stations are few and far between i used to fill to top when it was half empty! ferrys were good and the staff helpful enjoy your holiday mate if u need any other advice please ask :-D
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It's no longer the Outer Hebrides - it now has some totally unpronounceable Gaelic name.


Just as Skye - celebrated in history and song - has been renamed as Eilean a'Choy, but is pronounced nothing like it is spelled.


Have fun!



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Not much to Eriskay apart from a fine beach and a lovely stopover at the ferry terminal, fortunatley the beach is near the ferry terminal.

As the you can now drive all the way from Berneray to Eriskay and you really want to go to Ullapool I would look at Hopscotch 14 and take a seperate trip to Barra from Erisakay. The drive up through Skye will be worth it at this time of year.

If you want further info PM me.


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Thanks Doc,


We have had a rethink and are doing Hopscotch 23 and returning Tarbet - Uig but will have a look at 14 and see how it plans out.


We have been to Skye a few times over the years and we enjoy the solitude of the place especially in the autumn.


We are going direct from the York show and plan to take the ferry from Oban to Castlebay on the 26th September, I'm wondering how busy the ferries are at that time of the year.


Hopefully the weather will stay fair for us, but at that time of the year in the western isles anything can happen.



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We went to Outer Hebrides last May/June for 3 weeks. Now called Western Isles officially.

Went from Ullapool to Stornoway, drove south to Barra and sailed back to Oban.

Stayed on sites at Coll ( nth of Stornoway - this site was under re-development and only the hookups and disposal were working at that time), Shawbost ( on west coast of Lewis),Kneep, or Cnip, on west coast of Harris, plus another on Benbecula called Shell Bay site at Liniclate.

Shell Bay site had a washing machine which the owner insisted on operating herself because she said if it breaks down new parts could take weeks to arrive!

One facility that we came across by surprise was a toilet block with showers along the A859 next to an Historical Society building at Kinloch, which was some way( 30 miles ? ) south of Stornoway


Other than that you have to camp wild, and there are a few good sites.

A very popular place is Horgabost on South Harris, with a view of the island of Taransay. Also found a good site signposted as a picnic site at Hosta on Uist.

Another good 'picnic site' was just north of the Eriskay ferry at a place called Smercleit, on dunes above the beach.

Spent about a week on the most popular wild site which is on Barra, next to the airport. You can get fresh water from a tap on the end of the airport building but the nearest chemical disposal point is a mile or two away at Eoligarry.

Roads were almost all single track with passing places but not much traffic anyway.

There are a few small supermarkets about but keep your fuel topped up because there are not a lot of filling stations.

One thing I did find frustrating was that it is not easy to find a place to stop on the road for lunch, or taking photos. You COULD use a passing place but I don't think that would go down too well with locals.

People all very friendly - seem to be divided between some who have rarely,if ever, been to the mainland, and 'refugees' from the rat-race.


I was told that crime is rare because if anything happens they just close the ferries and no-one can get away !


We got quite a useful leaflet called " Information for touring caravan and campervan owners" from the Council Offices on Benbecula. It gives details of all public conveniences and facilities for disposal of chemical toilet contents throughout the islands.

They are at : Comhairie nan Eilean Siar

Council Offices


Benbecula HS7 5LA Tel: 01870 602425


While the rest of the U.K. was roasting last year it was usually a bit chilly and often windy on the Islands but we enjoyed being somewhere so different to the mainland, and would like to go back some time.


Have a good trip.


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