15th - 25th September 2013 (9 nights )
4th - 14th May 2014 (9 nights )
£1650 Accommodation B&B with packed lunch
Experience the wild beauty of Mull, Skye and the Western Isles
Visit the islands of Mull, Skye and the Western Isles of Harris and Lewis, and the stunningly beautiful north west coast of Assynt. This tremendous walking holiday gives you the best that Scotland has to offer. Iona Abbey, the Old Man of Storr, Callanish Standing Stones, stunning beaches and some of the very best mountain and coastal walks in Europe.
Itinerary walking holiday on Mull, Skye and the Western Isles
Day 1: Travel Edinburgh to Tobermory
You will be picked up at your hotel in Edinburgh on the morning of your trip before 11am. We will then travel to Oban to catch a ferry to Mull. The journey from Edinburgh to the ferry takes about three and a half hours. The ferry to Mull departs at 18.00 hours and will take 45 mins, then we have a one-hour drive to Tobermory, so we will arrive there about 20.00 hours. Tobermory wraps around the bay that led to its construction. It faces south east into the Sound of Mull, and is additionally protected by Calve Island which half encloses the bay. Main Street hugs the harbour, with additional development on the hillside behind.
Day 2: Mull – Ulva
An island close to Mull’s western shore, for centuries the traditional home of the McQuarries. Mature mixed woodland and parkland around the big house near the ferry give way to the wilder west end of the island. The south shore leads to the McQuarries’ burial ground and a tangle of little islands and bays. Lots of ‘path/track’ options at the east (ferry) end of the island for anyone who’d prefer to have a quiet, easy day.
Day 3: Isle of Iona
We will head to the south end of Mull from where we will sail to the Isle of Iona. Many people make the pilgrimage to Columba’s Isle. We will explore the Abbey and the nearby buildings with Celtic and Viking remains, and then, we will walk to the quieter south and west of the island where we will explore beaches, an abandoned marble quarry, with its beautiful white and green stone.
Day 4: Mallaig – Isle of Skye
After the morning spent exploring the last of what Tobermory has to offer we shall head for the first of today’s ferries taking us across the sound of Mull and on to the mainland again. From here we will travel to the small fishing town of Mallaig, passing some breath-taking beaches used in the filming of Local Hero. From here we catch our ferry to the misty Isle of Skye, stopping for dinner along the way we will arrive at our accommodation a little after 21.00.
Portree is the main town on Skye. Its name comes from the Gaelic Port-an-Righ, which translates as “King’s Port” and dates to a visit by King James V, plus a fleet of warships, in 1540, to persuade the island Clans to support him. It had earlier been known as Kiltraglen.
Day 5: The Cuillin Mountains
These mountains are what makes Skye famous. The jagged volcanic peaks dominate the south western part of the island. We head into the heart of these mountains to the remote Loch Coruisk. The loch sits at the base of these majestic peaks. We spend around one and a half hours pottering around where the more adventurous can gain a bit of height while others may just want to take in the stunning scenery from below.
Day 6: Trotternish Peninsular
We head for another one of Skye’s wonders. The Trotternish peninsular with its basalt terraced cliffs forming weird pinnacles the most famous being The Old Man One Storr. From here we head for the Quiraing, a landslip on the eastern face of the Trotternish Ridge, exploring rock formations with names like the Prison, the Needle and the Table. After our visit to this weird and wonderful landscape we head to our next ferry and the island of Harris and Lewis, arriving at our next accommodation around 20.00.
Day 7: Harris and Lewis
We head for the north west of Lewis taking in a stroll along the first of many beaches visiting the 4000 year-old Stone Circle of Calanais, then we visit a Black House village to see how the islanders and most of Scotland lived for hundreds of years. The village was finally vacated in the late 60s. On the way home we may visit and eat in the island’s capital Stornoway.
Day 8: Ceapalbhal and Church at Rodel (South of Harris)
Our day starts with a trip to the south of Harris and a walk up the hill of Ceapalbhal. From here we will take in some of the best coastal scenery that Scotland has to offer. With views over stunning white sands, azure seas and rugged mountains. We will spend the later part of the day visiting the 14th century church at Rodel then return to Tarbet via the east cost of Harris.
Day 9 Harris beaches and travel to Ullapool
Our last day on Harris and Lewis is spent dipping our toes in to the Atlantic, on probably one of the finest beaches in the UK if not the world. You will find it hard to believe you are in Scotland. From here we take the road north again to catch the ferry to the mainland and our final destination Ullapool.
Ullapool, on the east shore of Loch Broom, was founded in 1788 as a herring port by the British Fisheries Society. It was designed by Thomas Telford. The harbour is still the edge of the town, used as a fishing port, and yachting haven. You may recognise some of this area as the hills around here once formed part of your own Canadian great lakes river system before the glacial waters broke through and formed this stunning landscape where mountains rise from the flat plains to stand alone in majestic splendour.
Day 10 Assynt and return to Edinburgh
Our last walking day of the holiday takes us through the majestic landscape of Scotland’s first Geo park The place were a couple of hundred years ago Victorians such as James Hutton discovered and formed the science of Geology. It was here they formed their theory’s of Glaciations and plate tectonics as we understand them today. We will climb the small hill of Stac Pollaidh So we can see the splendour of the landscape in all is entirety.
£1645 Accommodation B&B, guesthouse, or hotel
This walking vacation to Mull, Skye and the Western Isles starts in Edinburgh
Getting to Edinburgh
Travel from Edinburgh Airport to Edinburgh city centre
Edinburgh Airport lies 8 miles (12 km) west of the city centre and is easy to reach thanks to reliable and frequent bus services. A range of taxi services and car hire options using major companies are also available.
Flights to Edinburgh Airport
Edinburgh Airport is Scotland’s busiest airport, with over 25 airlines offering direct and connecting flights to and from more than 100 UK, European and international destinations.
Drive to Edinburgh by car
As the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh enjoys easy access to the Scottish motorway network as does the Lothians, so it can be surprisingly quick and easy to get here by car.
Travel to Edinburgh by bus
If you’re on a budget then buses and coaches are a great travel option. Edinburgh is well placed on the Scottish motorway network, so getting here by bus or coach could be easier than you might think.
Travel to Edinburgh by ferry
Although there are no direct passenger ferry services to Edinburgh, it can be reached easily by road from ports in the north of England and in south west Scotland.
Travel to Edinburgh by train
Edinburgh is easy to reach by train. Regular services run to the capital from around the country and the East Coast line is the fastest intercity railway in the UK, meaning trains from London to Edinburgh take less than 5 hours.