Cycling in Scotland - Experience the Hebridean Way
Looking for the perfect cycling adventure and challenge? The Hebridean Way could be the answer.
The on-road route begins in Vatersay and will take you through 185 miles (297km) of incredible scenery, all the way to the Butt of Lewis on the Outer Hebrides. You'll travel through 10 distinctive and beautiful islands, using 2 ferries, crossing 6 causeways, and making memories of an adventure that will surely stay with you forever. Complete the route at a pace that suits you - there's plenty to see and savour along the way.
Ever changing scenery
As you travel, you'll have so much opportunity to enjoy the ever-changing scenery around you. From beautiful coastlines, where you'll catch sight of the Atlantic Ocean, with the clearest of turquoise waters and white sands - then, as you follow the route, moving further inland, to roads that make their way through rugged hillsides, with rocks that are the oldest in the world - perhaps proving the point that there is absolutely no rush on this magnificent journey.
The route will take most people 6 days at an easy pace. You could build in more days to give yourself time to see the sights.
At one end of the trip - don't miss the sight of Kisimul Castle, the 15th century castle in the sea on Barra. Ancient home of the Clan MacNeil. At the other end, on Lewis, you'll have the chance to see Dùn Chàrlabhaigh (Dun Carloway) a broch, dating all the way back to 200BC.
In fact, throughout the trip, you'll be able to plot your route, and stop off at those sights that pique your interest - and there are many - from Coilleag a' Phrionnsa, where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed on his way to his disastrous defeat at Culloden in the 1745 Rebellion. And, continuing that story, further along the route, Flora MacDonald's birthplace at South Uist - the heroine who helped the same Prince escape government forces after that infamous defeat.
The Outer Hebrides is one of the last unspoiled landscapes in Europe, and your cycling trip could potentially bring you close to glimpses of magnificent species in their natural habitat - perhaps birds of prey flying overhead, red deer on hillsides and otters and seals swimming or basking by the shore. Your route will bypass the RSPB Balranald nature reserve on North Uist, with its sweeping sandy beach and wild marsh, it's the perfect place to learn about crofting agriculture and the species that call this part of the world home.
Taste the best of the west as you travel
If you needed an excuse to indulge in the incredible larder the Outer Hebrides can offer you, then this is it. You'll need energy and sustenance along the way.
From cabins and cafes by the roadside to village halls with facilities - you'll love the friendly hospitality the islands are known for.
Drop in at the AM Politician on Eriskay - the pub named after the SS politician, which went aground offshore in 1941, laden with over a quarter of a million bottles of whisky - an incident which later inspired the film Whisky Galore.
At Clachan Sands, North Uist, grab some delicious Lochmaddy Bay prawns - served fresh, with ice cream for afters.
On Harris, don't miss the Isle of Harris distillery - a working distillery ready to welcome you with a seat by the peat fire and something delicious from the island canteen, as well as an insight into their work and produce.
The Hebridean Way is the cycle trip of dreams. When will you go?