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Seilebost beach on the Hebridean Way North with Alpine Exploratory

Hebridean Way North
Self-guided trekking holiday


Key information Summer 2020 and 2021

Start: Leverburgh on Lewis and Harris
End: Stornoway on Lewis and Harris
Season dates: 1 Sept to 20 Sep 2020, 2 May to 17 Sep 2021
Length: 5 days' trekking
Typical walk: 23km, 400m ascent
Total distance: 112km or 69 miles
Highest altitude: 250m
Grade: Red 3 (Walking grades)
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups

The Hebridean Way North trip crosses the largest landmass in the Outer Hebrides across Lewis and Harris. From Leverburgh on the south coast of Harris to Stornoway in Lewis the route takes you round sparkling lochs, over wild moorland passes and along the rugged coastlines.

Steeped in history, the experience of walking in Lewis and Harris cannot be matched elsewhere. The walk begins by passing the white sandy beaches of Scarista, Horgabost and Liskentyre before crossing over to the east coast along the historic Coffin Road, with the hills of North Uist providing a spectacular backdrop. Now heading towards the hills and the Outer Hebrides’ highest mountain, An Cliseam, the route meanders around glistening lochans and rocky hillocks. On the other side of the North Harris hills lies Lewis, and the route takes you through Aline woodlands, one of the few forests on the islands. Passing countless more freshwater lochs the route takes you into the largest settlement in the Outer Hebrides and the finishing point at Stornoway Castle.

Our self-guided trips give you the flexibility to walk at your own pace and on any dates within our season. We book all your accommodation along the route and will provide you with our detailed routecards and the maps needed, leaving you free to complete the route as you wish.



Map

Alternative trip options
Prefer a different style or length of trip? Why not try one of these:
Hebridean Way Full - 12 stages, 13 nights
Hebridean Way South - 7 stages, 8 nights
Options
Make the trip shorter
The stages on our standard Hebridean Way are already quite long, however if you’re up for a quick dash across the islands we’d suggest walking from Tarbert to Laxy in 1 stage. This gives a very long stage of 40km, so it’s harder to recommend, but please do contact us for more information.

Make the trip longer
For anyone looking to shorten the stages of the trek, we are more than happy to advise about splitting up the longer days, however this will mean using more transport. We suggest splitting up the long day between Horgabost and Tarbert where the route meets the road at Groesabhagh. Transport will then be taken for a further night in Tarbert.

Prices
Hebridean Way South (Self-guided)
1 September to 20 September 2020
2 May to 17 September 2021
Hutty Classic Comfy
Hebridean Way North: Harris & Lewis (Self-guided)
5 stages
(6 nights)
Please ask
GBP 640
Singles 150
Main Trip
Please ask
Hebridean Way South: Barra & Uists (Self-guided)
7 stages
(8 nights)

Please ask
GBP 780
Singles 200
Please ask
Hebridean Way Full (Self-guided)
12 stages
(13 nights)
Please ask
GBP 1,090
Singles 325
Please ask
Options
Baggage transfer
All stops
Please ask
Baggage transfer
Direct
Please ask
Accommodation
Where we stay
Our standard schedule of accommodation uses a mix of comfy and welcoming hotels, inns and B&Bs. Breakfast is included every morning and we book ensuite rooms whenever possible. Unlike in the rest of the UK, most villages don’t have pubs or restaurants, so we make greater use of hotels (with restaurants) or B&Bs which provide evening meals. We book accommodation as close to the route as possible but sometimes it’s necessary to transfer by bus or taxi to and from your next B&B or hotel. Your info pack will contain full details of your accommodation including contact details and directions.

Hutty and Comfy
Due to the more limited accommodation options along the Hebridean Way, we don’t currently offer trips using more basic, or more comfy accommodation than our classic itinerary. If you’d like to specialise your accommodation in either of these ways, please contact us and we’ll advise on the small ways we can alter your trip.

Single Supplement
The single supplement covers the additional cost of booking a single room on every night, rather than two people sharing a room.


Route
Traigh Iar Beach near Horgabost

Our approach to the Hebridean Way
The Hebridean Way is a relatively new walk, launched in 2017. Our Hebridean Way North trip covers the sections of the route on Harris and Lewis. You will be staying in the comfiest accommodation as close to the route as possible, but sometimes buses or taxis will be needed to get to and from your next hotel or B&B.

The Terrain
The Hebridean Way terrain comprises wild sections of moorland, narrow hillside paths, farm tracks, and roads. The Hebridean Way North includes long sections over moorland and amongst small lochs. The ground underfoot can be very wet and sturdy waterproof boots are essential. Peat provides a challenge for maintaining paths across the wet ground, as rocks can sink into the soil. Raised turf paths have been built to show the way and keep feet dry. Old military roads, often running close to today's roads, provide good paths underfoot and are used where possible, but there is still a lot of road walking on the route.

Is it for me?
The Hebridean Way North is a manageable trek for fit walkers who are happy to walk for between roughly 5 and 8 hours per day along a long-distance trail. Some of the days are a little longer than one might normally plan for due the location of accommodation. However, the easy flat sections often let the miles pass quicker than expected. The Hebridean Way will suit walkers who are looking for a little isolation in a wild location. Shops, cafes and restaurants are few and far between, so planning where to buy food is more important than on other treks.

Difficulty
The challenge of the Hebridean Way comes not in high mountain days but in the general remoteness and wild atmosphere of the Western Isles. The settlements are scarce and there are few refreshments stops or points of shelter on many stages. There is no climbing or scrambling, and very few sections of steep rocky paths. With little ascent and descent, the sometimes quite long distances are the key thing to consider, with the longest day in our normal schedule being 29km.

   For an even more detailed read, please see our Hebridean Way Walking Guide
How to get there

On the ferry to Ullapool


Your holiday starts in the small village of Leverburgh and ends in Stornoway on Lewis, the main town of the Outer Hebrides. The quickest way to arrive and depart is to fly directly to and from Stornoway airport. The ferries also work well. You can take the ferry from Uig on Isle of Skye to Talbert, and then catch a bus onto Leverburgh. For your return, you can go from Stornoway to Ullapool.

Travel to and from the trip is not included in the holiday price. We take care to give the most useful notes possible about all the travel options. We supply these both on booking and in your info pack, and we offer personalised tips at any point. The aim is that our trekkers arrange their travel by the simplest and most scenic means as suits their plan.
Included
  • Bespoke accommodation itinerary - tailored to suit your particular requirements
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Detailed Routecards HBW8-12 of the Exploratory system, printed on waterproof paper
  • The topographical maps needed
  • Expert advice and local information
  • A comprehensive 'Season Update' following our pre-season recce
  • Full support during your trip from the Alpine Exploratory team (8am until 8pm in the UK)
Not included
  • Travel to and from your trip
  • Local transport whilst on the trip unless specified
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunches, snacks, drinks and evening meals
  • Baggage transfers (available as an extra)

Baggage transfer

Our baggage option on the Hebridean Way takes your bag to each night's accommodation. In the morning, simply leave your bag with your host or at reception and we will make sure that it will be waiting for you at your next accommodation.

Booking form - Hebridean Way North
2020 and 2021

Your dates

Arrival day


First walking day


Departure day


Your party


Please add any more people in the Comments box below.
If you are adding to an existing booking, please give the main contact's details and just the new people. Thanks.

Number of people in your group


Main contact

Party member 2

Party member 3

Party member 4

Party member 5

Party member 6

Party member 7

Party member 8

Contact details


Address and post/zip code (For the delivery of your pack)


Email address


Telephone (Mobile)


Telephone (Home)


Party's details


Medical conditions relevant to a walking holiday?
(Please tell us in confidence. Thank you.)


Vegetarians, special diets or allergies?


Room types?


Dogs?


Please could we ask your dogs' type (breed or size?) Thanks


Baggage transfer


Baggage transfer?


Differences from the normal trip


Differences if any (extra nights, comfy or hutty mix, fewer rest days, etc.)?


Party's walking experience


Please may we ask for details of everyone's experience?
Especially helpful are names of trails, national parks, peaks or regular hikes. Thank you.


Main contact


Party member 2


Party member 3


Party member 4


Party member 5


Party member 6


Party member 7


Party member 8


Please add any more people in the Comments box below. Thanks.

Emergency contact


Please tell us about a friend or relative who we can contact in the event of emergency during your holiday.

Name


Telephone number


Relationship to you


Comments or questions?


Please ask any questions or tell us anything else:

Optionally, to help us


Optionally, where did you first hear about us? We're always curious!



If a friend recommended us may we ask who it was? We might send a thank you!


Check and submit


Payment
We will reply to your booking form with a confirmation email giving the details of your balance and deposit amounts.
We'll send you instructions to pay your deposit by card, bank transfer, or cheque.
Your deposit will be 20% of the cost of your trip with a minimum of GBP 200 per person.
Your balance is due 8 weeks before your trip and we'll email you with a reminder.


Terms and Conditions
By submitting this form you confirm that you have read and agreed to Alpine Exploratory's Terms and Conditions (PDF).
In particular, as the main contact you confirm that:
+ Everyone in the group has read and agreed to the T&Cs.
+ Everyone in the group has the fitness and experience for the trip.
Please ask us if you have any questions. Thank you.



Got questions about the Hebridean Way North?
Feel free to ask us any questions you have about any aspects of your planning and preparations! Lucy, Hannah W, Steph, Hannah G, or Nicky will reply with expert advice. We spend a lot of time walking our routes and more broadly exploring ski and hiking trails around the world so do feel free to ask anything at all.


Hebridean Way North enquiry form

Your name


Your email address


Optionally, where did you first hear about us? We're always curious!


Your intended arrival date on the Hebridean Way? (This helps us give you an idea of availability and doesn't need to be exact)


How many people will you be?


Any questions or preferences?


If you prefer, please feel welcome to email or call us. Thanks!

Contact Alpine Exploratory
Email info@alpineexploratory.com
Phone +44 (0)131 214 1144
Our times 9am to 5pm UK time
Monday to Friday
Australia 02 8319 2266
Canada 416-548-4819
Hong Kong 25 803 0282
New Zealand 04 889 4515
USA 646-757-1102

Open to the world
Since Alpine Exploratory started in 2005 we have loved getting to know our clients from around the world. Along with the UK, our best-represented countries are the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Please use our national-rate numbers for a cheaper call to contact our office in Edinburgh.

Views onto the remote Scottish Island of North Uist
  Walking North past Talbert    Photos from the Hebridean Way


Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.

About us