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Thread: Outer Hebrides

  1. #1

    Outer Hebrides

    Despite having visited most Scottish islands, I've never quite made it out to the Western Isles, despite having had it in mind for ever. I have the chance of a few days off next week and if the weather stays settled might go for it. I'm thinking maybe break us in gently by just going to either Harris or Barra. In both cases the beaches look stunning. Does anybody have a preference and if so, why? Looking for restaurant tips and probably campsites since most hotels will probably be full.


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    @hibs.net private member CropleyWasGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    Despite having visited most Scottish islands, I've never quite made it out to the Western Isles, despite having had it in mind for ever. I have the chance of a few days off next week and if the weather stays settled might go for it. I'm thinking maybe break us in gently by just going to either Harris or Barra. In both cases the beaches look stunning. Does anybody have a preference and if so, why? Looking for restaurant tips and probably campsites since most hotels will probably be full.
    Luskentyre Beach on Harris is my favourite beach in the world. I was lucky to visit it in weather like this, and there was barely a soul on it.

    Barra is lovely, as is Eriskay beside it, but limited in what you can do. I got bored after about a day and a half.

    If you only have a few days, I'd base yourself on Harris, and then you have the option to tour about there and Lewis.

    This is where I stayed. Breakfasts were superb...(disclaimer. It was over 10 years ago)

    http://www.ceolnamara.com/
    Last edited by CropleyWasGod; 04-07-2018 at 01:32 PM.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Luskentyre Beach on Harris is my favourite beach in the world. I was lucky to visit it in weather like this, and there was barely a soul on it.

    Barra is lovely, as is Eriskay beside it, but limited in what you can do. I got bored after about a day and a half.

    If you only have a few days, I'd base yourself on Harris, and then you have the option to tour about there and Lewis.

    This is where I stayed. Breakfasts were superb...(disclaimer. It was over 10 years ago)

    http://www.ceolnamara.com/
    Looks nice ... but booked solid. Luskentyre does look incredible.

  5. #4
    @hibs.net private member Sergio sledge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Luskentyre Beach on Harris is my favourite beach in the world. I was lucky to visit it in weather like this, and there was barely a soul on it.

    Barra is lovely, as is Eriskay beside it, but limited in what you can do. I got bored after about a day and a half.

    If you only have a few days, I'd base yourself on Harris, and then you have the option to tour about there and Lewis.

    This is where I stayed. Breakfasts were superb...(disclaimer. It was over 10 years ago)

    http://www.ceolnamara.com/
    Luskentyre is incredible! I'm pretty sure there are some camping spots right on Luskentyre beach, but you are essentially wild camping as there are no facilities. Theres a campsite around the bay at Horgabost but I've never stayed there so can't say what it is like. I think it is pretty basic though. I'm not sure if there are many serviced campsites on Harris, there are a couple of decent ones on Lewis though.

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    @hibs.net private member Golden Fleece's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergio sledge View Post
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    Luskentyre is incredible! I'm pretty sure there are some camping spots right on Luskentyre beach, but you are essentially wild camping as there are no facilities. Theres a campsite around the bay at Horgabost but I've never stayed there so can't say what it is like. I think it is pretty basic though. I'm not sure if there are many serviced campsites on Harris, there are a couple of decent ones on Lewis though.
    There is a campsite right on the beach near Bhaltos (Valtos) on the west coast of Lewis. Beach is as good as Luskintyre, but less well known. Sheltered by islands it is safe to swim in, just avoid the gannets diving for fish. On the map it is the one to the right of Kneep.

    http://www.isle-of-lewis.com/what-to-do/beaches/valtos-beach/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergio sledge View Post
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    Luskentyre is incredible! I'm pretty sure there are some camping spots right on Luskentyre beach, but you are essentially wild camping as there are no facilities. Theres a campsite around the bay at Horgabost but I've never stayed there so can't say what it is like. I think it is pretty basic though. I'm not sure if there are many serviced campsites on Harris, there are a couple of decent ones on Lewis though.
    Horgabost looks the dogs. As long as the showers work, Mrs JMS should be fine.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Fleece View Post
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    There is a campsite right on the beach near Bhaltos (Valtos) on the west coast of Lewis. Beach is as good as Luskintyre, but less well known. Sheltered by islands it is safe to swim in, just avoid the gannets diving for fish. On the map it is the one to the right of Kneep.

    http://www.isle-of-lewis.com/what-to-do/beaches/valtos-beach/

    Ooh, a Lewisian curveball!

  9. #8
    @hibs.net private member Golden Fleece's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    Ooh, a Lewisian curveball!
    that's gneiss
    #Persevered
    Scotland can be a beacon, within these islands and beyond, for a socially just and sustainable society. Whilst there are many priorities which will require independence, there is also much that can and must be done now by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Fleece View Post
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    that's gneiss
    Oh schist! Not geology puns.

  11. #10
    @hibs.net private member Golden Fleece's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    Oh schist! Not geology puns.
    Whatever gets your rocks off

    More on your break. depending on your interests, there are boat trips to St Kilda from close by (Uigen) The Lewis Chessmen were found at Uig Sands not far away, The only whisky distillery on Lewis is in the same area. up the coast there are standings stones older than Stonehenge Callanish) and a pictish broch Carloway) If you have read the Peter May Lewis Trilogy that is based around Ness right at the north.

    But Harris is Ok too
    #Persevered
    Scotland can be a beacon, within these islands and beyond, for a socially just and sustainable society. Whilst there are many priorities which will require independence, there is also much that can and must be done now by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Golden Fleece View Post
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    Whatever gets your rocks off

    More on your break. depending on your interests, there are boat trips to St Kilda from close by (Uigen) The Lewis Chessmen were found at Uig Sands not far away, The only whisky distillery on Lewis is in the same area. up the coast there are standings stones older than Stonehenge Callanish) and a pictish broch Carloway) If you have read the Peter May Lewis Trilogy that is based around Ness right at the north.

    But Harris is Ok too
    I have, but my fave was the 2nd book which takes me to Eriskay (and Lewis and even Edinburgh to be fair). I've seen some of the chessmen in Chambers St. They should be in Lewis imo.

    Just been browsing calmac and the ferries are busy so we might have to go via Ullapool anyway.

    Or Barra is still an option. I don't think CWG's boredom would be a problem if the weather's ok. Quite happy to chill around the beaches if it's not raining and/or midgies not too ferocious.


    Edit; I see 6 of the chessmen are back on Lewis. Time for their Edinburgh and London brothers and sisters to join them!
    Last edited by JeMeSouviens; 04-07-2018 at 04:51 PM.

  13. #12
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Harris is completely worth a visit and the beaches are stunning. Luskentyre is rightly lauded and like CWG it was very quiet when I was there, despite being the height of summer. There are several other great beaches on the west coast of Harris too. The east coast is worth a visit just to drive the Golden Road - it's an almost lunar landscape full of blind summits with right-angled and dogleg turns as you go over the tops and definitely needs to be experienced.

    I would also echo the shout for Lewis and in particular, Uig on the west. Uig Sands is a great beach and absolutely massive. As has been said before, you have easy access to historic sites like the standing stones at Callanish.

    If you do go to Uig, they run Rigid Raiders from Miavaig, that go out and explore the coastal rockfaces and you are also pretty much likely to see dolphins and seals.

    One warning would be that the last time I was there, I left booking the ferry quite late (though not as late as you!) and I couldn't get anything for Ullapool-Stornoway, but was able to get Uig (that's the Uig on Skye, not Lewis!)-Tarbert.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    Harris is completely worth a visit and the beaches are stunning. Luskentyre is rightly lauded and like CWG it was very quiet when I was there, despite being the height of summer. There are several other great beaches on the west coast of Harris too. The east coast is worth a visit just to drive the Golden Road - it's an almost lunar landscape full of blind summits with right-angled and dogleg turns as you go over the tops and definitely needs to be experienced.

    I would also echo the shout for Lewis and in particular, Uig on the west. Uig Sands is a great beach and absolutely massive. As has been said before, you have easy access to historic sites like the standing stones at Callanish.

    If you do go to Uig, they run Rigid Raiders from Miavaig, that go out and explore the coastal rockfaces and you are also pretty much likely to see dolphins and seals.

    One warning would be that the last time I was there, I left booking the ferry quite late (though not as late as you!) and I couldn't get anything for Ullapool-Stornoway, but was able to get Uig (that's the Uig on Skye, not Lewis!)-Tarbert.
    Just booked the ferries this afternoon! We’re going via Ullapool-Stornoway, first night at Callanish, 2 nights camping, probably Horgabost, then last night in Tarbert and home via Tarbert-Uig.

    Cannae wait!

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    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    Just booked the ferries this afternoon! We’re going via Ullapool-Stornoway, first night at Callanish, 2 nights camping, probably Horgabost, then last night in Tarbert and home via Tarbert-Uig.

    Cannae wait!
    Sounds great
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    Coaching Staff One Day Soon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    Just booked the ferries this afternoon! We’re going via Ullapool-Stornoway, first night at Callanish, 2 nights camping, probably Horgabost, then last night in Tarbert and home via Tarbert-Uig.

    Cannae wait!

    Say hello to my kinfolk then - from Callanish, Carloway, Breasclete and Tolsta. The standing stones at Callanish are very atmospheric around dusk.

    Dalmore beach just north of Carloway is stunning. The cemetery is right on the beach where the North Atlantic lands in full force. Both my Scottish Grandparents are buried there.

    Hope you have a great time JMS.

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    resident moaning git DaveF's Avatar
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    I wrote HFC with rocks on Vatersay back in 2000. Let me know if it's still there :-)

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    ADMIN marinello59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveF View Post
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    I wrote HFC with rocks on Vatersay back in 2000. Let me know if it's still there :-)
    Just checked and Vatersay is still there.
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    resident moaning git DaveF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinello59 View Post
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    Just checked and Vatersay is still there.
    Thank the Lord for that. I was worried I'd changed the future ;-)

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    Say hello to my kinfolk then - from Callanish, Carloway, Breasclete and Tolsta. The standing stones at Callanish are very atmospheric around dusk.

    Dalmore beach just north of Carloway is stunning. The cemetery is right on the beach where the North Atlantic lands in full force. Both my Scottish Grandparents are buried there.

    Hope you have a great time JMS.
    Thanks.

    Another cracker of a beach, by the look of it:



    I think this is going to have to be a short taster for a much longer trip.

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    @hibs.net private member Captain Trips's Avatar
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    I have always fancied visiting the lighthouse that the 3 lighthouse keepers went missing from.
    If I choose to revert back to Carlsberg it will have to be The Carlsberg

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    Coaching Staff One Day Soon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Trips View Post
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    I have always fancied visiting the lighthouse that the 3 lighthouse keepers went missing from.
    That's the Flannan Isles.

    My Grandad was a good storyteller and he used to love telling us that one when we were kids. Scared the **** out of us. Granny's family are from Breasclete which is where the lighthouse landing station was based - I remember sitting around peat fires up there as a wee kid being told various versions of that story and others by local characters who spent their evenings drinking tea and spinning yarns (when they weren't actually weaving on hand looms). With not a lot else to do they were exceptionally good at two things - telling gripping stories and surreptitious drinking.

    None of them believed it was a straightforward accident.

  23. #22
    Well, we didn't quite catch the weather, but what a glorious place! A few pics ...















  24. #23
    ADMIN marinello59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    Well, we didn't quite catch the weather, but what a glorious place! A few pics ...














    Great pics. I would love to go and enjoy those views.
    Every gimmick hungry yob,
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    @hibs.net private member danhibees1875's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinello59 View Post
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    Great pics. I would love to go and enjoy those views.
    I'm just getting an error sign. Can't tell if I'm missing out or if everyone is and you've just got 10/10 sarcasm.
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  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by danhibees1875 View Post
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    I'm just getting an error sign. Can't tell if I'm missing out or if everyone is and you've just got 10/10 sarcasm.
    Ah, my bad. Pics are links to google photos. It only works if you’re logged in to a google account. I’ll try and fix it when back on my laptop.

  27. #26
    ADMIN marinello59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhibees1875 View Post
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    I'm just getting an error sign. Can't tell if I'm missing out or if everyone is and you've just got 10/10 sarcasm.
    I am usually guilty of sarcasm but I can see the images.
    Every gimmick hungry yob,
    Digging gold from rock and roll
    Grabs the mic to tell us,
    He'll die before he's sold.

  28. #27
    Coaching Staff One Day Soon's Avatar
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    I'm desperate to see them JMS. Off to Tenerife tomorrow though so might be a couple of weeks before I can.

  29. #28
    @hibs.net private member danhibees1875's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    Ah, my bad. Pics are links to google photos. It only works if you’re logged in to a google account. I’ll try and fix it when back on my laptop.
    I'm on my phone and thought I was on Google. Maybe it's because I'm not in the UK currently.

    Quote Originally Posted by marinello59 View Post
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    I am usually guilty of sarcasm but I can see the images.
    Lucky you! Love north/west Scotland and very keen to see these photos !

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    I'm desperate to see them JMS. Off to Tenerife tomorrow though so might be a couple of weeks before I can.
    You and Dan could try this link in the meantime...

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/sRct7wXVrcwSojzk7

  31. #30
    @hibs.net private member danhibees1875's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    You and Dan could try this link in the meantime...

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/sRct7wXVrcwSojzk7
    Looks incredible!
    Mon the Hibs.

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