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The Outer Hebrides and The Highlands

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4.1 stars(79 reviews)
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Enjoy an adventure to Scotland’s idyllic Outer Hebrides

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
8 days Sold out

2021 Tour code: OHS21

About the tour

Soak up the spectacular natural majesty of some of Scotland's most scenic spots. We visit the idyllic Outer Hebrides and the ever-dramatic Highlands, and journey through some of the most spectacular Scottish scenery on the famous West Highland Line.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Glasgow

We meet in Glasgow, a city which has become one of Scotland's best tourist highlights. The striking architecture here delightfully represents the old beauty of the city, which contrasts against contemporary areas that showcase the modern-day revival of the industrial city. We spend the night here

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - The West Highland Line

We journey on the magnificent West Highland Line from Glasgow to Fort William today. This spectacular rail journey travels under the gaze of moody mountains and over stone bridges on a route which takes in the best of the wild and dramatic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. This rail journey is widely regarded as one of the finest in the world, and for good reason. Few things can beat the stunning drama of the glorious Scottish Highlands, with purple heather running rampant over the moorlands and breathtaking mountain scenery, and we soak it all up on our journey. We arrive in Fort William where we visit the Ben Nevis Distillery, enjoying a tour and a whisky tasting before transferring to our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Outer Hebrides

We continue on the West Highland Line to Mallaig. This is an incredible stretch of one of the most beautiful railway lines in the world. Beginning with a journey along the brooding banks of Loch Eil we continue on to one of the highlights of this journey, the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct. This famous example of Victorian architecture is truly a wonderful feat of engineering, and well-known for its inclusion in the Harry Potter films. We enjoy astonishing views of the ancient forests and glens of central Scotland before arriving in Mallaig for our first glimpse of the beautiful Scottish coastline. We continue by coach through Skye and travel by ferry* to the Outer Hebrides and Stornoway.

*You will need to take you own bags on the ferry, rather than them travel via our luggage service.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Tarbert and Scalpay

We get to know the island on a fascinating guided tour today. Our first visit is to Rodel Church. Officially known as St Clement's Church, the structure dates back to around 1520 and is a beautiful example of grand medieval architecture. After free time to discover the church at your own pace, we continue to Tarbert, pausing en route at stunning Seilebost beach. After lunch in Tarbert, you have some free time to explore, and there's plenty of great shops you could visit, including the famous Harris Tweed shop. Our final visit of the day is to Scalpay, a small inhabited island just off the coast of Harris that boasts some spectacular natural beauty. Enjoy some free time to take in the scenery before we return to our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - The Butt of Lewis and Callanish Standing Stones

We take a coach excursion today, beginning with the Butt of Lewis, an atmospheric area at the most northerly point of Lewis. We continue to the Port of Ness, a pretty fishing village, and Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, a preserved village from the 1800s. Next, we visit the Callanish Standing Stones and visitor centre. The stones were erected in the late Neolithic period and used for rituals during the Bronze Age, and are surrounded by local legend. We're accompanied by a specialist guide, who is full of fascinating insights about the island.

Includes
  • Day 5 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Ullapool

In the afternoon on Day 6, we transfer to Ullapool on the mainland. We enjoy a coach journey through the awe-inspiring scenery of the Highlands on our way to Inverness, where we check into our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Inverness to Glasgow

Enjoy a free morning in Inverness today. You may like to walk by the banks of the River Ness, which feeds the famous Loch Ness. One of the delightful sights that line the banks is Inverness Castle, a beautiful sight. You may also like to visit Inverness Cathedral and see its beautiful nave. This afternoon, we take the train onwards to Glasgow, where we enjoy a final meal at our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Home

Following breakfast on Day 8, you're free to depart.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Please note: This may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.

Hotels

Nevis Bank Inn

Nevis Bank Inn, Fort William

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Apex City of Glasgow Hotel

Apex City of Glasgow Hotel, Glasgow

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Macdonald Hotel Drumossie

Macdonald Hotel Drumossie, Inverness

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Cabarfeidh Hotel

Cabarfeidh Hotel, Stornoway

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Train

West Highland Line

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Upgrades

UK rail connections

Reviews

4.1 stars4.1 / 5 · 79 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (26)
  2. 4 stars
    (43)
  3. 3 stars
    (5)
  4. 2 stars
    (4)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

P Moody

4 stars

Submitted 4/Oct

Good experience

Collected by Trustpilot

Andy Bebington

4 stars

Submitted 30/Sep

A full programme (with little free time) became hectic when the ferry terminal at Tarbert forced a change of plan (and of route to Lewis) - too much coach travel for our liking - some hotel bar prices are exorbitant; be careful - overall the hotels were comfortable - excellent local guide on Lewis added immensely to our enjoyment of the historic sights/sites - he gave us a strong understanding of current Hebridean life to contrast with our city life in the south-east - scenery on West Highland Line memorable - wildlife sightings disappointing despite white-tailed eagles, hooded crows, ravens, seals and gannets. We felt lucky to get away in these Covid times and were relieved to have GRJ running the show and taking control of unexpected issues (such as a closed hotel kitchen - chef Covid positive and the change of route to Lewis). We tacked a 3-day city break in Glasgow to the end of the trip and came back feeling we'd been away for far longer than ten days, tired but happy.

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MW Salisbury

4 stars

Submitted 29/Sep

We are familiar with well-delivered GRJ package tours. Although we enjoyed our recent GRJ Outer Hebrides and The Islands holiday, it was not one of the better ones. Having previously lived on Benbecula, we can understand why the Uists' section of the tour was cancelled as other people may have found it boring. We were disappointed to receive the details of our tour electronically – not by hardcopy – and addressed to only to one - not both of us – barely ten days before the start of our tour. One of pleasures of touring is reading-up beforehand. Our GRJ Tour Manager, David Houghton, proved to be pleasant and conscientious; he dealt with Fort William chef being COVID-pinged and the long diversion to Ullapool caused by the closure of Tarbert ferry terminal with great tact and empathy. Our local guide, Chris Ryan, also gave us a fascinating and informative insight into life on Harris and Lewis. The GRJ concept of small group travel is well proven and thoroughly recommended. We remained to be convinced that Glasgow is sufficiently tourist-friendly city to while-away 0930 to 1130. We were offered a trip on the Glasgow Underground and a brief visit to a Botanic Garden. We chose a 90-minute City Bus-tour. I think we made the better choice as it was a pleasant sunny morning. However, the trip cost £14 each – could GRJ get a discounted ticket for their clients? We much appreciated not having our heavy luggage when boarding the train at Glasgow Queen St and Inverness. The inability to book reserve seats on ScotRail West Highland and Grampian line trains is a serious shortcoming to the enjoyment of what are potentially spectacular rail journeys. Much as we enjoyed our tour of Harris and Lewis, we thought it was a serious shortcoming to be on the island on Sunday without access to WC before midday as only seeing the exteriors of the black-houses. We strongly recommend the tour programme takes this factor into account. We were already vaguely familiar with Inverness, so opted to visit the Culloden Battlefield site instead of taking-part in an organised walking-tour around the city of Inverness. We very much enjoyed our morning at Culloden; we spent an hour wandering through well-designed display area before being given an excellent and entertaining 45-minute guided tour of the battlefield. I thoroughly recommend that Culloden should be included in the tour itinerary or at the very least the GRJ tour bus drops those that prefer to visit Culloden at the site on its way to the city centre. We think that it would be well worth considering including crossing the Forth Rail Bridge and the Ben Nevis Gondola ride as part of the tour itinerary if went anti-clockwise from Edinburgh instead of clockwise from Glasgow. If so, the tour would have to be undertaken in reverse order Day 1: 0836 Glasgow – Inverness; lunch or sandwiches in Inverness; afternoon Culloden. Day 2: Inverness to Stornoway via Ullapool. Day 3: Harris. Day 4: Lewis. Day 5: To Fort William via Tarbert-Uig ferry and Mallaig train; 1610 Mallaig – Fort William. Day 6: 0930 – 1030 Ben Nevis Gondola; 1140 Fort William – Arrochar &Tarbert*; then bus to Edinburgh. * Bus beside Loch Lomond rather than indifferent train journey through the Clydeside suburbs Helensburgh to Glasgow Queen St.

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Jeremy Williams

4 stars

Submitted 29/Sep

The Stornaway hotel room no. 9 was jaded and tired. View of large flat roof and industrial building was most disappointing. Maybe block book the even numbered rooms with better views? Their breakfast was poor with cold plates and lukewarm uncovered food at the start of service. Carolyn our tour guide was excellent and so helpful and well organised. The local guide on Lewis was amazing and so knowledgeable it really made the trips informative and enjoyable.

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Carolyn Goodhew

5 stars

Submitted 28/Sep

This is a great tour but very dependent on the weather. Fortunately for me the weather was glorious. The landscape on Lewis and Harris is wild and the beaches are just stunning.

Collected by Trustpilot

R Mauchline

5 stars

Submitted 28/Sep

hotels good and tour manager very helpful. Guide on Islands very interesting and informative

Collected by Trustpilot

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The Outer Hebrides and The Highlands

Enjoy an adventure to Scotland’s idyllic Outer Hebrides

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