Call to book01904 521 936
Tour Search
#Favourites

The Outer Hebrides and The Highlands

Save
4.1 stars(79 reviews)
Gallery

Enjoy an adventure to Scotland’s idyllic Outer Hebrides

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
8 days From £1,495 per person

2022 Tour code: OHS22

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, journeying through some of the most spectacular Scottish scenery on the famous West Highland Line.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Glasgow

We meet at our hotel in Glasgow, a city of striking architecture, both historic and contemporary. After checking in, there's some free time to start exploring ahead of a group dinner.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - The West Highland Line

We travel 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. Widely regarded as one of the most scenic train rides in the UK, we soak up the stunning drama of the glorious Scottish Highlands, where purple heather runs rampant over the moorlands and ancient forests tower above us.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Outer Hebrides

We continue on the West Highland Line to Mallaig, travelling along the banks of Loch Eil and crossing the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct. This famous Victorian archway is a true feat of engineering, and well-known for its cameo in the Harry Potter films. We enjoy astonishing views of the valley below, as well as the glens and lochs of central Scotland before arriving in Mallaig, where we get our first glimpse of the beautiful Scottish coastline. We continue by coach through Skye, boarding a ferry* to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

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

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Sea eagle safari and a whisky tasting

We take to the waters for a unique sea eagle safari this morning. While we hope to see these majestic creatures, which are larger than golden eagles, soaring above us, other wildlife, such as heron, seals, dolphins and even whales, depending on the time of year, may also make an appearance. We end our day at the Abhainn Dearg Distillery for a tour and a tasting of the local whisky. Established in 2008, Abhainn Dearg was the first legal distillery on the island for over 200 years and since then, has made a name for itself thanks to its unusual stills and unique tasting notes.

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

Today's coach excursion begins with a visit to the Butt of Lewis, an atmospheric area at the most northerly point of the island. We continue to the Port of Ness, a pretty fishing village, where we stop off at the Ness historical society. Next, we visit the Callanish Standing Stones, erected in the late Neolithic period and used for rituals during the Bronze Age leaving them surrounded in legend to this day. We also stop at Doune Carloway Broch before our final visit of the day, Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, a preserved 1800s village. Back at our hotel this evening, we're joined by an expert guest speaker, Magaidh Smith, for a talk about local Gaelic culture.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Stornoway and Inverness

We head to the Stornoway Museum, which tells the story of this island in the Outer Hebrides and the people who have called it home for the past 5,000 years. With a wide range of artefacts and interactive exhibits, this is a fascinating place to spend a couple of hours. After time for lunch, we transfer to Ullapool on the mainland, where we board a coach for the journey through the awe-inspiring scenery of the Highlands to Inverness.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – Discovering Inverness

Enjoy a free morning in Inverness. You may like to walk along the banks of the River Ness, which feeds Loch Ness, stopping at Inverness Castle, which sits on its banks. You may also like to visit Inverness Cathedral and see its striking nave. After time for lunch, we make our way to the station where we catch the train back to Glasgow.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Home

After breakfast this morning, our holiday comes to an end and you're free to begin your journey homewards.

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

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Nevis Bank Inn

Nevis Bank Inn, Fort William

View hotel

Hotel Indigo, Glasgow

Hotel Indigo, Glasgow

View hotel

Macdonald Hotel Drumossie

Macdonald Hotel Drumossie, Inverness

View hotel

Palace Hotel Inverness, Inverness

Palace Hotel Inverness, Inverness

View hotel

Borve House Hotel, Isle of Lewis

Borve House Hotel, Isle of Lewis

View hotel

Train

West Highland Line

Enhance your holiday

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.

Collected by Trustpilot

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.

Collected by Trustpilot

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.

Collected by Trustpilot

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

Show 6 more reviews
Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

The definitive guide to our 2022 summer rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe. When ordering for postal delivery, you will only receive our collection of European holidays. If you are interested in UK holidays, these are available on the website.

Download brochure

Tailor made for you

Customise this tour with Great Rail Journeys Independent

GRJ IndependentEnquire
The Outer Hebrides and The Highlands

Enjoy an adventure to Scotland’s idyllic Outer Hebrides

Call

Enquire
Helen Laverack
Helen
Luke Simpson
Luke
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Related inspiration from our journey blog