Hebridean Hopscotch

Guided Island Hopping

Code: XWLDW

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • High Mountains
  • Wildlife

Level

  • Medium
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £1,214.00 - 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

From the stark magnificence of the Cuillin mountains, to Barra’s beautiful cockle-shell beaches, each of the walks will take you to a world far removed from the hustle and bustle; to a peaceful haven, and stunning Scottish scenery.

Holiday Highlights:

  • Enjoy a Hebridean Hopscotch, visiting the Isles of Skye, Raasay, North Uist, South Uist, Eriskay, Barra and Vatersay
  • On Skye wander amidst the eerie pinnacles of the Quiraing, and along the shores of Loch Coruisk with stunning views of the Cuillin mountains
  • Soak up scenes from Whisky Galore on Barra’s and Vatersay’s white sandy beaches
  • Experience the character and charm of the Hebridean Isles, and step back in time to a less cluttered life

Price includes:

  • 7 nights' Full Board en-suite accommodation
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays' leader, offering one guided walk per day 
  • All transport and luggage transfers on walking days (including ferry journeys between the islands)
  • All meals - a traditional cooked breakfast, evening meal and a picnic lunch each day

Accommodation

Our accommodation is at comfortable partner hotels and guesthouses, on or near the route. Each has been selected for their character, quality and their warm welcome and friendly service.

Viewfield House has been the home of the Macdonald family for over 200 years. The house stands in extensive wooded grounds on the outskirts of Portree, overlooking Portree Bay. Rooms are en-suite, with hot drink making facilities, telephones, and hairdryers.

This small Borrodale Hotel is set in the peaceful crofting community of Daliburgh. Less than a mile beyond the hotel, the Atlantic Ocean laps lengths of white sand strewn beaches. Rooms are en-suite with TV, telephone and hairdyer. 

The Isle of Barra Beach Hotel is situated on the Atlantic west coast of Barra overlooking the beautiful white sands of Tangasdale Beach. The hotel's lounge has panoramic views of Halaman Bay and Ben Tangaval, and is ideal for relaxing and watching the sun set over the ocean.

On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.

Itinerary

Planned Itinerary

Arrival Day at Portree, Isle of Skye

Your leader will welcome you in the main lounge at Viewfield House before dinner at 19.00pm and give you a full briefing for the holiday.

Dun Caan, Isle of Raasay

We take a short ferry crossing to the Isle of Raasay where we follow a sometimes boggy path up to the distinctive summit of Dun Caan, at 443m (1450 ft) the highest point on Raasay. From here 360º panoramas give us views to the Cuillin, and to the Applecross and Torridon hills on the mainland. 9 miles (14.5 km), 1450 ft (450m) ascent.

Loch Coruisk to Sligachan

We join a short cruise from Elgol to Loch Coruisk where we are almost certain to see seals. Leaving the boat we cross the river on stepping stones and ascend to the saddle below Sgurr Hain for fantastic views across to the Cuillins. From here we descend Glen Sligachan for a well-deserved  wee dram. 7.5 miles (12km), 1150 ft (350m) ascent. An alternative walk will be taken if the weather is too poor for the boat from Elgol to run.

The Quiraing

Our final walk on Skye is amidst the eerie pinnacles of the Quiraing. This supernatural landscape is often used in films, and we make the classic circuit through the geological giants of "The Needle", "The Table" and "The Prison". In the afternoon the ferry takes us to North Uist. 3.5 miles (6km), 660 ft (200m) ascent.

Daliburgh to Pollachar

We walk from the hotel out to the beach, and then follow the coast southwards, sometimes by the beach, sometimes on the machair, the fertile grassland so distinctive of these islands. Our walk ends at the Pollachar Inn where we can enjoy a dram and savour the scent of a peat fire. 7.5 miles (12km), negligible ascent.

Vatersay

Island hopping again, to Eriskay and on to Barra, recently voted 'Britain's most beautiful isle'. From here we visit Vatersay, the southernmost of the inhabited Western Isles, with its fascinating history. 4.5 miles (7km), 140 ft (140m) ascent.

Eoligarry and Heaval

We start our walk from Barra's tiny airport and explore the north of the island, taking in cockle shell beaches, fine views, and the medieval church of Cille Bharra. In the afternoon there is an option to climb Heaval, at 383m  the highest point on Barra. 8 miles (13km), 670 ft (195m) ascent, plus for Heaval 2.5 miles (4.5 km), 1050 ft (320m) ascent.

Departure Day from Barra

Choose a scenic ferry journey to Oban or a dramatic flight from Barra airport’s unique runway on the beach to start your journey home.

The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors 

Local area

Aros (Portree)

Learn about the local history and Gaelic culture, enjoy a coffee, browse the bookshop, watch an excellent video about the island, or check out the nest cams with live pictures of sea-eagles, herons, owls and sparrow hawks. The Aros is also home to the only cinema on the island.

An Tuireann Arts Centre (Portree)

This is the main cultural centre on the island. It hosts a range of exhibitions, plays, shows and musical events.

The Old Man of Storr

Also part of the Trotternish Ridge, like the Quiraing, this is the focal point of many a postcard of the Isle of Skye. To visit the Storr there are public buses that travel from Portree, up to Flodigarry, and can drop you at The Storr car park.

Kisimul Castle (Castlebay)

Boats make the short journey to the castle daily in the summer months (April – September). Built in the 12th century, in the centre of the bay, the castle was the home of the Clan McNeil, and is now leased from them by Historic Scotland.

Travel

Travel to Portree

We start at Portree on the Isle of Skye, and finish on the island of Barra, so public transport is the most straightforward way to get to and from this holiday. 

The nearest International Airport is Glasgow and the nearest Local Airport is Inverness.  You can also reach both cities by train.

To get to Skye from Glasgow

There are a few options, National Bus from Glasgow to Portree. Train from Glasgow to Mallaig (a classic rail journey via Fort William on the West Highland Line) and then the Calmac ferry from Mallaig to Armadale.  Continue to Portree by local bus (operated by Stagecoach).

To get to Skye from Inverness

National Bus from Inverness to Portree. Train from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh (another classic rail journey) – then a bus (NB the bus will not wait if the train is delayed) onto the Isle of Skye.

Departure from Barra

Barra Airport is Britain’s only airport with scheduled flights that land on a beach.

There are daily flights from Barra to Glasgow Airport (and then onward to other airports).  

There are regular CalMac ferries from Barra to Oban.  To continue on your journey there is a railway station at Oban or the bus from Oban to Glasgow.

Useful websites

www.nationalrail.co.uk

www.calmac.co.uk

www.citylink.co.uk

www.flybe.com

Traveline.info for details of bus times

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
1 Jul 2016, 3:55 p.m.

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It was a very good experience. Well organized and great walking
27 Jun 2016, 9:13 a.m.

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The leader was excellent at leading the walks and was extremely good at being aware and looking after all the group especially those who were not so fit.

Product review:

The final hotel, although located in the most delightful position possible was lacking in service, food was a disappointment (fish dish identical on both nights) appeared not to use local products, and minimal choice for a 4* hotel. I had recently been on The Orkneys where the food everywhere was outstanding, reasonably priced and they used local products where available. The cafe at the small airport on Barra offered a fantastic choice of food so it is possible!
25 Jun 2016, 3:43 p.m.

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a lovely trip, great walks, hotels varied, but we were off the beaten track.
30 May 2016, 8:30 a.m.

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This was my first HF holiday. I thought it was very well run and all the accommodation was excellent,particularly the ones in Portree and Barra.The only thing I wasn't so keen on was the size of the party,there were 15 of us and although all the people were great I was expecting around 10. Absolute maximum 12

Product review:

The itinerary for this holiday was excellent,giving a taste of these beautiful isles .i would have liked an extra day in Skye and less time in North and South Uist
26 May 2016, 9:27 a.m.

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no problems

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good itenarary
9 Oct 2015, 4:10 a.m.

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Very well organised.

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Great leadership, great accommodation, great hiking.
29 Sep 2015, 10:38 a.m.

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Nothing more to say

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A couple of the hotels were not as good as expected.
26 Sep 2015, 3:29 p.m.

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Overall an excellent holiday. The quality of the hotels and their service varied but the leadership on the holiday and the walks was outstanding.

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This was a memorable holiday in a stunning part of Scotland...you take risks with the weather but it's well worth it! We were amazingly fortunate in September 2015.
24 Sep 2015, 2:04 p.m.

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well organised hotels in general okay but would suggest you try an alternative to the Barra hotel if possible
12 Aug 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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Service review:

I really enjoyed my first expereince with HF (recommended by a friend who had been on 2 previous holidays). The accommodation was not geared to walkers, i.e. no drying rooms which meant that wet clothing boots had to be kept in the bedroom.

Product review:

The walks were well organised i.e transport etc, I felt very safe with the group leaders and he adjusted the walks to fit with the weather conditions.

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
15 May 2017 XWLDW - Hebridean Hopscotch 7 £1,239.00 £1,214.00 Special Early Booking offer £25 off pp - ends 3 October Book Now
12 Jun 2017 XWLDW - Hebridean Hopscotch 7 £1,239.00 £1,214.00 Special Early Booking offer £25 off pp - ends 3 October Book Now
10 Jul 2017 XWLDW - Hebridean Hopscotch 7 £1,239.00 £1,214.00 Special Early Booking offer £25 off pp - ends 3 October Book Now
14 Aug 2017 XWLDW - Hebridean Hopscotch 7 £1,239.00 £1,214.00 Special Early Booking offer £25 off pp - ends 3 October Book Now
11 Sep 2017 XWLDW - Hebridean Hopscotch 7 £1,239.00 £1,214.00 Special Early Booking offer £25 off pp - ends 3 October Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: £224 (complete holiday)

If at eight weeks prior to the start of the holiday a sharing partner is unavailable, a single room or room for single occupancy with associated supplement will be allocated to you instead. 

  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

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