Scottish Highlands/Isle of Lewis

I'll soon be travelling around the UK, finishing up in the Highlands. Does anyone know of any touring companies (Highland tours) that allow passengers to jump on/off and rejoin another group? We want some freedom if we find an interesting spot.

Also, any advice on the Isle of Lewis? We are interested in going there but are unsure of a good starting point from the mainland and travel and accomodations when you reach the islands.

Posted by carl
dallas, tx, usa
1358 posts

I would google search for "Highland tours". If any companies have a toll free phone number, call and ask about hopping off. Having toured that area by bus, I would guess that that feature is not offered. But I would phone and ask every company I could.

If you have a travel agent, ask him to find out for you.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
4630 posts

I visited the outer Hebrides a couple of years ago. We Lewis and Harris, which are really the same island. I was on a tour--a small one of about 14 people and we traveled to Ullapool and caught the ferry to Stornoway. We saw the Butt and then headed south along the western coast. We stayed near Dun Carloway for a couple of nights and then went to Tarbert. We were on a walking tour, but also saw the Broch, the Viking Mill, a Black House, the Callanish Stones, visited a weaver, and saw St. Clements on the Southeastern tip of Harris. We also heard a fantastic talk on St. Kilda in our hotel in Tarbert one night. We took the early morning ferry from Tarbert to Uig on Skye and we were back in Inverness that night. If you don't have a tour, get a car. It was a wonderful trip. I highly recommend it. You need to walk on the beaches as well. I don't know of any hop on hop off tours, but there are a lot companies that will do very individual tours if you're willing to pay.


Posted by Pete
Whitby, Ontario
101 posts

I spent a couple of weeks in Stornoway back in the late 80's when I was with the RAF. Just be aware that back then everything was closed on a Sunday. Kids play parks were locked up and bars and restaurants were closed. Any that stayed open on a Sunday [even just past midnight Saturday night] were publicly denounced in the church pulpit. I believe the major religion at the time was The Lords Day Observance Society which was an off shoot of something else. Made for extremely quiet Sundays if you didnt have a lot to do. Even going out for a day trip to see the sights could be frowned upon. Apart from that its a very friendly part of the UK. We travelled to the Butt of Lewis plus the standing stones etc. Can't really remember what else but its pretty windswept up there. I much preferred the Isle of Arran which you can access via ferry service from the west coast south of Glasgow if I remember rightly

Posted by Carroll
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1606 posts

Hi, Amy. I was in Scotland in June. We spent four nights on the island of Skye and one day we took a tour of Lewis and Harris. You can arrange this through Cal-Mac ferries. They only do it on Saturday. You take the ferry from Uig to Tarbert where you hook up with a bus that takes you all over Lewis and Harris. We saw the major historic sites in Lewis and got to see much of the countryside of both Lewis and Harris. We ended on the beaches at the southern tip of Harris. We really enjoyed it. It's a long day (I think we got back at 10 at night) but for us it was worth it. It was a nice break from driving ourselves.