‪Hebridean Way‬

تعليقات حول - ‪Hebridean Way‬, ‪Vatersay‬

‪مناطق للتنزه سيرًا ذات مناظر طبيعية خلابة‬ • ‪مسارات ركوب الدراجات‬

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DevonRed
إكستر, UK519 مساهمة
أغسطس 2021
‪The Hebridean Way by bike is a challenge all cyclists should consider because after all, what's not to like about looking at the weather forecast when you're back home in Devon and boring your family by pointing out how far north those islands are!

FULL DISCLOSURE: We skimped a little by starting in Barra rather than in Vatersay, so strictly speaking we only did 95% of it.

I would recommend the excellent review by 838jamesa below which sums up a lot of the pros and cons of taking it on and would add the following thoughts from the perspective of a 55 year old weekend cyclist:

- If you can afford hotels rather than camping, go for it. Being able to enjoy a bath at the end of 60 miles cycling into a headwind is worth its weight in gold and also lessens the amount of stuff you need to carry in your panniers. You're worth it.

- Plan ahead and book ferries/restaurants in advance. Given the nature of Sabbath observance in the Outer Hebrides, in particular Lewis and Harris, you will find a lot of things shut on a Sunday. This includes not just eateries and shops but also, rather weirdly, public toilets. If you are looking for somewhere to eat on a Sunday, this is another good reason for booking a hotel as they will cater for residents.

- Get some miles in your legs ahead of the ride. The hills between Tarbert and Balallan are fierce and if the wind is in your face, you'll be grateful for the preceding couple of months of training.

- Don't be intimidated by cars on the single track roads. There are plenty of passing places and the car drivers can bloody well wait a few hundred yards to have the pleasure of overtaking you. Locals seem very patient but the tourists less so.

- Pack for all weathers. We saw beautiful blue skies and temperatures of 19 degrees and sheeting rain and 25mph winds in the course of a day (August in Scotland, lol).

- Pace yourself. We did 60 miles on day one and suffered for that on day two. If you can split it into rides of 30-40 miles a day, that would probably be the optimum distance. Having said that, because we front-loaded the first three days, knocking off 80% of the trail, it left us with us with a lovely couple of days at the end pootling around in the sunshine.

- Pre-map your route on Map My Ride/Google maps etc, so that you know what kind of climbs and descents you're going to have to deal with. Sounds obvious, I know, but I met a family (with a 10 year old weighed down by two panniers) who were trying to complete 40 miles in the pouring rain and had no idea how the terrain was going to map out. Eek!

- Don't stop for too long - those muscles will suffer if you take two hours over lunch.

Above all, enjoy it. It's beautiful up there, the landscape is stunning and the beaches amazing. You'll be able to stand among stone circles that are 2,000 years older than Stonehenge (and without the hassle of the A303), enjoy island-hopping and there's a real camaraderie between cyclists. It's an achievement and a pleasure at the same time.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 14 أغسطس 2021
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James A
لندن, UK82 مساهمة
الأصدقاء • يونيو 2021
‪Just completed the OHW cycle with my brother. First things, we are both guys who exercise regularly but we didn’t massively practice for this and wouldn’t say we are cyclists . I cycle to work but we had never done cycles this long or with so many hills. I’m going to list pros and cons but overall really enjoyed it and did feel sad to reach the end of our tour. It is a challenge though and some moments will be hard work - unless you’re Chris froome 😛

Pro’s -

- epic adventure, roads of quiet and a great sense of feeling once this is done. Magnificent landscapes that change island by island. You will climb mountains, ride alongside white sand beaches and cross causeways over large rivers.
- nice variety - Harris is mountainous with some steep climbs, lewis is a rolling landscape with occasional hills while the Uists are quite flat. Vatersay is tiny while south uist takes forever to cross. Large parts of quiet and relatively free of people making a real sense of adventure.
- good places to see - bits of Lewis and South Uist have a lot to see so lots of detours can break up the cycle nicely. Conversely some parts or featureless eg north uist and you just power through the landscape until to you get to a nicer part.
- roads - actually quiet mostly, certainly better than English roads
- the people - the places we stayed and visited, we found people friendly and helpful. Some are new inhabitants, others have a long history there. We had some great chats, learnt many things and gained useful tips from people living here.
Food - I wouldn’t call the outer Hebrides a food capital, there just aren’t enough places but we were pleasantly surprised by many places serving a range of food - pizzas, Mac and cheese, paninis, burgers and artisanal coffee. Check the reviews and when they’re open. Pretty good food considering how few places there are and all the supplies have to come via ferry.

Con’s
- the wind, we did south to north because of the prevailing winds but actually spent most of the trip in a headwind. Headwinds will kill your speed on downhill and add work to your climbs. Some bits can just be a real slog when you power for hours on a busy road. Don’t think the wind can be predicted so just have to learn to accept it.
- weather - we were lucky and had 16’C with sun or showers but it could be a slog otherwise.
- roads - some of the sections are fast A roads and though the drivers are overall a great set who give you time and space, it can be intimidating having cars whistle past you at 60mph. South uist and Lewis in particular are roads with most of the islands traffic driving them.
- pains - this probably goes for any long cycle but you will hurt in unexpected places. I strained my quads, something I’ve never had before and this really made the last days a strain. Also fingers go numb from pressing on the bars for a long time and saddle can get sore - all things to think about if you don’t usually cycle long distances
- planning - lots of places were booked up we learnt, this may be a post covid thing but when we didn’t book, we were looking at a supermarket meal. Also, shops can be far apart and may be closed. So stock up

Things to consider
- weather - you’ll need to pack for warm, cold, rain and wind. Result is carrying a lot of stuff and getting it to and from the Hebrides. Ferries allow you to take more stuff but flying in might be quicker.
- camping vs hotels - the former is cheaper but the latter is cheaper. We saw people do both
- alternative routes - some of the best roads we did were off the official route , smaller quieter roads with more character. The peat road in Harris winds through a lunar landscape with no signs of life to be seen. The golden road yoyos up and down through stunning coastline with colourful houses here and there. The pentland road in Lewis is pretty flat and almost no cars, makes a great alternative to the A road on the route back from ness.
- plan your distances - all those detours to see bits of the Hebrides can add significantly to the total duration.
- plan plan plan - we found places, be they restaurants or things to see, were often closed, fully booked or not open that day. Many places only have a Facebook page or local knowledge as to when they are open. It’s not the sort of trip you can travel and hope to come across something. There may be only one place for food on a journey and so calling the day before to book and checking opening hours is crucial.

And if you don’t know the answer, just ask a local. If you want a challenge without needing to be super fit, this might be for you‬
كُتب بتاريخ 3 يوليو 2021
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Bethany Hawkins
جلاسكو, UK205 مساهمات
أبريل 2019
‪An amazing experience to come here. It's hard to believe this is Scotland. It is a white sand beach with crystal clear waters, from the pictures it looks like it could be Bora Bora. If in Barra you must come here!‬
كُتب بتاريخ 3 مارس 2020
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Hi Bethany We are delighted that you enjoyed the trip and you must come back! Best wishes Mairi
كُتب بتاريخ 6 مارس 2020
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Nige_13
‪Perth‬, UK31 مساهمة
أغسطس 2019
‪I cycled over 400miles to the Butt of Lewis and back which was a bit of a slog and downright dangerous in parts thanks to appalling driving by locals mainly! Need to get everybody on side if this route is going to be a success. Cyclists need respect, space and time, especially with the head & cross winds that we have to contend with up there.
Wanted to travel by bus from Crieff to Oban with my bike but not allowed unless it was in a box! Long-term parking in Oban is a joke and this is really the starting point for the Hebridean Way. The route through the isles has little in the way of facilites eg. only 2 real pubs and few cafes which makes it such a slog. And the weather!
Some highlights though - Gearrannan Black House Village, hostel and cafe - Fantastic! Temple Cafe, Westford Inn, Am Politician, The Anchorage Restaurant, John's Bunkhouse, Nunton House Hostel, Polochar Inn, Kildonan Museum. Glad I did it.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 26 أغسطس 2019
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BadSheep
لندن, UK173 مساهمة
الأصدقاء • يوليو 2019
‪We enjoyed it. For the most part it is well signposted, if a little sparse. Barra is a nice start but both South and North Uist are very bleak - there’s not much there and it’s a slog. Harris, along with Barra. was our favourite part. It’s more developed and the scenery is lovely. BUT the 5th day from Tarbert to Callanish is mostly on a very busy road the A859 - it’s not really enjoyable arguably dangerous with lorries thundering by. Too much of this route is on main roads - especially the 5th day. That’s why - despite the scenery and sense of achievement I’d only rate it as average. But still enjoyed it, even if large parts are a slog. ‬
كُتب بتاريخ 17 أغسطس 2019
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We are delighted you enjoyed the trip as a whole. Your experience shows the diversity of each island and glad you enjoyed Harris and Barra. There is actually a lot to see and do in North and South Uist - from boat trips, scores of magical beaches, museums, woodland, a bird reserve, art centre, fabulous wildlife and lots, lots more. The route meanders along the west coast and then through the middle of the islands giving a different experience. You do have to wander off the main road to find the most fabulous beaches! North and South Uist tend to be quieter which means the roads are not so busy and a lot of the roads are single track which slows traffic down. The Tarbert to Callanish is a fairly busy road (more so at ferry times and people going and coming from work), We have tried as much as possible to keep to quieter roads, but this is not always possible and, in this instance, it is the only road.
كُتب بتاريخ 19 أغسطس 2019
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Mick U
‪Andover‬, UK52 مساهمة
يونيو 2019
‪The Heb Way can be walked or cycled, we cycled
Its well signed as a bike route.
The facilities on route are few and far between. so plan meal stops and always have food with you.
Don't belive the books that give info as the shops and cafe's don't always survive
In the Northern Islands bewrae on a Sunday as most things are shut‬
كُتب بتاريخ 18 يونيو 2019
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kris1138
إدنبرة, UK129 مساهمة
زوجان • مايو 2019
‪As far as multi-day cycling trips go, this was our very first – and it was brilliant. The landscape, the people, the cycling. We had everything from sunshine and blue skies, murky haze to torrents of rain and cycling right through the clouds.

It was an amazing experience, and we can't wait to return to those beautiful islands. Whatever the weather, the scenery is always gorgeous and the several islands offer everything from some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe to rough mountains, steep cliffs and endless peat fields.

Beware though, that there isn't much around while cycling in terms of bike shops, or really any shop. People however are amongst the friendliest and helpful.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 3 يونيو 2019
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Hi Kris1138 Thanks so much for your review! We are delighted you had a great trip! There are not a lot of bike shops, but this year we have Hebridean Way Pit Stops which are places you can stop and rest and refuel and they will have bike repair kits. We have also developed a map which shows you where our shops are and who to contact if you need support. We hope you will be back again to enjoy our islands!
كُتب بتاريخ 4 يونيو 2019
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charlie c
‪Kelso‬, UK157 مساهمة
زوجان • مايو 2019
‪Since we were on Vattersay anyway, we had to check out these marker posts for the start of the Hebridean Way walking and cycling route. It seems to be a very popular concept as there were lots of people either walking or cycling that we came across in various parts of the islands.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 3 يونيو 2019
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Thanks for your review Charlie C! Yes it is becoming a very popular walking and cycling route :)
كُتب بتاريخ 4 يونيو 2019
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83Tim
واتفورد, UK17 مساهمة
الأصدقاء • مايو 2019
‪Parts of this ride are stunning. Others, long arduous and actually rather monotonous. The weather can be amazing but usually windy and often wet. There are few routes through the islands so you are usually sharing the road with local traffic and camper vans. Infrastructure is generally lacking so plan your route and book accommodation well in advance. It is not a ride for the faint hearted but in the process delivers some great scenery, perfect beaches, ancient history and a landscape rich in sea and bird life. The most delightful sections are around Barra, the most tedious, on South Uist.

Getting there - we came across from Oban to Castlebay - and back - Stornoway to Ullapool - is a challenge in itself, with no obvious way back to civilisation once you’ve returned to the mainland. Cycle services on Scottish trains are poor and you will not travel unless you’ve managed to bag one of very few cycle reservations months ahead.

If you’re up for a challenge against a dramatic backdrop, you’re fit and have good waterproofs, then go right ahead. If you want a bucolic pootle around some quiet lanes, then do something else.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 25 مايو 2019
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JayneH305
Whitehaven, England, United Kingdom199 مساهمة
الأصدقاء • أبريل 2019
‪We planned to cycle the way in April and were nervous about the weather... and we weren't wrong. We arrived on Barra on the Friday night looking forwards to starting our journey the next morning. However, the weather had other ideas! 60mph gusty winds blew up and no ferries left the island until Tuesday.... Ha! Ha! The best laid plans eh? This was however, no disaster for us! TBH bagging the route was not the driving force behind our trip and our "stranding" allowed us to really explore Barra which really is a beautiful island. The folk of Barra are genuinely some of the kindest, friendliest most hospitable people we've met on our travels and we had a ball on the island. The wind died down and from Tuesday onwards the weather was superb. Eriskay, and South Uist were absolutely beautiful in the sunshine, North Uist, & Benbecular - utter gems. All different, lots to see - lots of good food stops and interesting history. On the Thursday we arrived on Harris. And what a day we had - 20 degs, wall to wall blue skies - the colours... Luskentyre was heartbreakingly beautiful. The little honesty shops on Harris, at various crofts selling artisan foods, bread, pies, mustard (!) are an absolute joy. The cycling was fabulous... lumpy in places but not too hard. The climb to Tarbert from Luskentyre was a little brutal.. but only due to the heat!! Unheard of in Harris in April! We had to finish our journey in Tarbert this trip as losing 3 days meant we could not do the full route due to time constraints. But one thing is for sure we, and the bikes will be back to complete!‬
كُتب بتاريخ 21 أبريل 2019
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Hi Jayne We are delighted that you had a fabulous trip! Sometimes it is the unexpected that brings such joy and pleased you were able to really explore Barra. You must come back and finish the trip!
كُتب بتاريخ 23 أبريل 2019
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