This month I have returned from a great holiday to the Western Isles of Scotland! I spent 10 days with my family travelling around the Inner and Outer Hebrides at the end of July. First, we stayed in the beautiful Beachcombers cottage in South Glendale on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. We found the property on http://www.lhhscotland.com/ and loved our time in the cosy cottage. We used the house as a base and spent the days exploring the surrounding islands.
On the Outer Hebrides we enjoyed visiting old ruins and churches, and it was great to see how the remains of buildings have survived until today. We walked along many stunning beaches and also had the chance to spot some wildlife- including short eared owls, otters and seals! We liked walking through RSPB and wildlife reserves, taking in the scenery whilst also on the lookout for interesting birds.
Whilst on the isle of Barra, we were lucky to have a hot, sunny day- complete with (almost!) clear skies. The water sparkled in various shades of blue, producing even more gorgeous beaches! On the island, we watched a plane take off from the airport’s beach runway- the only one of its kind in the world!
At the end of our week touring the Outer Hebrides, we took the ferry from Lochmaddy, North Uist to Uig, Skye. We saw many areas of the island, including the Old Man of Storr, the colourful town of Portree and the Black Cullin mountain range. After our visit to the isle of Skye, we drove back onto Scottish mainland and stayed in Plockton on the coast. We were lucky to have pre-booked accomodation in one of the town’s hotels as the area was busy with sailors visiting for the two-week long regatta. Whilst sitting in a beer garden in the sun overlooking the calm harbour, we simply had to think of how lucky we were to experience such great weather during our trip. We had prepared from poor weather, from waterproof jackets and walking boots to anti-mosquito hats- you name it! More often than not, the weather on the West of Scotland is colder and wetter than at our home in the North of England- but this time we were pleasantly surprised!
Following our night in Plockton, we caught a ferry from Kilchoan, Ardnamurchan to Tobermory, Mull. It was a fantastic experience to arrive onto the island via its bustling, picturesque town of Tobermory. Not only is the town known for its brightly coloured houses, but it also featuired on the UK Childrens TV show ‘Balamory’. Seeing the houses overlooking the harbour brought back some happy memories from my childhood!
We spent our time on Mull travelling along the island’s ‘main roads’, which happened to be the worst we experienced on our trip! The majority of these roads were reduced to a single lane, with few passing places and many of the visiting drivers appeared to be inexperienced with such roads. However, we finally reached the beach for some ice cream in the sun, and the following day took the ferry over to the isle of Iona. Here we visited the Abbey, which marks Iona as the site of the first monastry established by Gaelic monks in the British Isles.
Finally, I have to tell you about the amazing food we ate during our trip. From our rental cottage on South Uist, we were able to collect cockles from the nearby beach… After a short amount of time cooking, they were a very tasty snack in the evening! We ate lots of fish throughout our trip, and it was always freshly caught and prepared as we were on the coastline. Even though I don’t like all types of seafood, all of the restaurants provided plenty of options and I enjoyed all of our meals out. We also had some delicious Scottish breakfasts (like a full English but slightly different), and lots of coffee and cake!
I would highly recommend a trip to Scotland’s Highlands and Islands- we had a fantastic holiday and my parents and I have all said that we would love to return. If you have any questions about our holiday or would like recommendations/ advice, then feel free to leave a message below!