The Hebridean Way: add it to your cycling bucket list
Since it's Bike Week this week we have been thinking about epic cycle routes that everyone should go on. And if you're thinking of taking on a cycling adventure, the Hebridean Way has got to be considered! It could be a solo expedition, a romantic break or a family holiday.
It's a long(ish) distance route covering 185 miles (298 km) across the Outer Hebrides. You can do it at a fairly speedy pace of four days or longer, depending on your time restraints, any detours your want to take off the route and how long you want to spend out of the saddle. A word of advice though, when you see the scenery, you'll want to stop! This is not a route to power through. It is a route to savour. Enjoy the ever changing landscapes, look out for local wildlife and immerse yourself in the history and culture of this remote part of the world.
You'll cycle through 10 islands and 6 causeways, taking in some of the most spectacular landscapes, geology and wildlife Scotland has to offer. It follows the National Cycle Network 780 starting on the Isle of Vatersay and ending on the Butt of Lewis as is signposted throughout.
The Hebridean Way Route
Starting in Vatersay and cycling through Barra (around 13 miles/12km), you'll then need to get on the Sound of Barra ferry.
Once you're off the ferry, it's time to cycle Eriskay and South Uist (around 32 miles/50km).
Remember to look out for the locals!
Sign for otters
Benbecula and Grimsay are next and cover 13 miles/21km.
The cycle through North Uist and Berneray is longer, covering 32 miles/51km and ends with a ferry across the Sound of Harris.
You'll then cycle 33 miles/54km through Harris before heading across Lewis (62 miles/100km) to your end point of the Butt of Lewis (Yes! That is a real place name and it's ok to laugh about it).
Seilebost, Luskentyre Sands
THREE TOP TIPS FOR CYCLING THE HEBRIDEAN WAY:
- Planning your itinerary: The tourist board for the Outer Hebrides has a cycle route you can buy and a couple of suggested itineraries and you’ll also need to factor in ferry times. The good news is – bicycles are carried free!
- Book your bike in for a service before you go to make sure it’s in tip top condition. Or you could always treat yourself in a brand new bike (you know you want to!)
- You’ll need to carry your belongings round with you. Getting a pannier rack fitted (we can do that!) and investing in some panniers is the easiest way to carry loads on your bike.