2018 THE OUTER HEBRIDES: SCOTLAND’S GAELIC WEST 11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS
Tour begins 2:00 p.m. at your Glasgow hotel. Tour the highlights of Glasgow and discover its unique history with a visit to the oldest house in the city, Provand's Lordship. In the evening join your group for a welcome drink before dinner.
Drive along the famous Loch Lomond, renowned for its unsurpassed beauty. Visit Inveraray Castle, home of the 12th Duke of Argyll. Tour the elaborately decorated castle containing an armory, many historic relics, and its portrait collection. In the seaside town of Oban, visit Oban Distillery, one of the few distilleries to be built before the town itself. Learn about whisky production and savor a sample of the finished product.
Drive along the scenic shores of Loch Linnhe to Fort William, the largest town in the Highlands. Board the Jacobite Steam Train and enjoy a spectacular railway journey across the Glenfinnan Viaduct, as featured in the Harry Potter movies, to the fishing port of Mallaig. Spend some free time exploring on your own, then embark on a scenic ferry ride to Lochboisdale on South Uist. Travel to your hotel on the Isle of Benbecula. Enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Drive through scenic South Uist and board the ferry to Ardmhòr on Barra to admire the beautiful white sand beaches. Stop in Castlebay, the main town of the isle, and browse independently before continuing to Vatersay, an island just south of Castlebay. After a drive around, take the return ferry to Eriskay. Enjoy a drink with your group at The Politician Bar before returning to your hotel.
Explore the island of North Uist, a stunning landscape of miles of sandy beaches with fresh and saltwater lochs. Visit the Hebridean Smokehouse to see the island’s largest industry from smoking to packing and shipping, and enjoy a taste. Stop for tea at the Claddach Kirkibost Centre, a key community facility and favorite spot for visitors to the island, before heading to see work of local artists at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum of Arts. Continue north to Berneray and board the ferry to Leverburgh on Harris. Travel on to tour Stornoway, the largest town in the Outer Hebrides.
Enjoy a scenic tour of Harris, which boasts a wide range of landscapes. Visit Horgabost and Luskentyre beaches, then head to Tarbert. Go behind the scenes at the Isle of Harris Distillery to witness the distilling operation and enjoy a sample. See a Harris Tweed weaving demonstration, and take a tour of Stornoway. Dinner is at your hotel in Stornoway.
Sightsee around the Isle of Lewis, a relatively flat island with many picturesque sandy beaches and rugged coastline. At Bosta Beach see the Iron Age House, a reconstructed Iron-Age dwelling. Located above Loch an Duin, visit Dun Carloway Broch, which dates back over 2000 years. Continue exploring with a stop to marvel at the ancient Callanish Standing Stones, which date from 2000 BC. Experience history and heritage at Gearannan Blackhouse Village, a former community converted to a museum and visitor center. Return to Stornoway for a free evening to dine and explore on your own.
Take a panoramic drive and short walking tour around Stornoway, then enjoy some free time to explore independently. You may choose to visit An Lanntair, an arts and exhibition center, or Lews Castle, which boasts an interactive museum including the 900-year-old Lewis Chessmen. Or, visit the Lewis Loom Centre with demonstrations of spinning wheels, the hand loom, and a craft gift shop. In the afternoon board the ferry to Ullapool on the mainland. Travel to Inverness for dinner then join a local guide for a walking tour around the city.
Head to Culloden Battlefield to tour the Visitor Centre, where, on April 16, 1746, British Government forces defeated the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie). Visit Scone Palace and see the fine collections of antiques before heading to Edinburgh. Enjoy an evening of dinner and traditional Scottish song and dance. On August 3 and 10 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the Castle esplanade.
Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Edinburgh, comparing the wide streets and elegant mansions of the Georgian 200-year-old “New Town” with the narrow lanes and medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city. Tour Edinburgh Castle’s historic buildings with splendid views of Edinburgh. The rest of the day is free to explore, shop, and dine on your own.
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner