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Richard_Y

Caravan on Harris and Outer Hebrides

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We're planning to take our caravan up to the Outer Hebrides, on the grounds we've never been there, though we've been up the NW mainland coast and loved it.

I'm realising that sites in some parts seem often to be more geared to the campervan/motorhome, able to be more self-contained, than caravans.

 

On Harris, for example, the only places seeming at all suitable appear to be the West Highland Trust sites at Talla Na Mara and Seilebost School, both of which get very mixed reviews on UKCS, and those mainly by Motorhomers.

It's a small easily manoeuvered caravan, only 5m, but we still need water on tap, disposal point, and preferably EHU for the little oil filled heater. (No built in heating, and I realise it's not bound to be tropical out there.)  No internal shower either but we can cope with stand-up washes for a few days5 m.

Anyone with recent experience there,  we'd welcome comments, please. We like to discover places, but we're not heavily into roughing it these days! It may even be that we'll do better sticking with the Northern part, on Lewis, where Eilean Fraoch appears well set up for caravans, then heading down to the Uist.

Thanks.

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We were intending on doing the same trip this year but have been put off by the selection of sites across the isles.  From looking into it, I think there are a couple of reasonable ones, but lots of them appear, like you say, more suited to campers. 

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A guy called Andrew Ditton has trailed an Airstream around most of Scotland. He tends to wild it most of the time but check out his vlogs on You Tube as they'll give you an insight into what's what.

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Harris doesn't have much in the way of "caravan" sites - mostly all on Lewis - the North Uist / Benbecula / South Uist islands have several recently opened CL-type sites plus the long-standing Shell Bay at Liniclate (convenient for the shop! in Balivanich) - they do all tend to be basic but then most things are on the Outer Hebrides, and all the better for it, IMO.

 

The Uig-Lochmaddy and Uig-Tarbert ferries get busy in main season so don't delay your booking - those crossings are much shorter than Ullapool-Stornaway or Mallaig-Lochboisdale so are cheaper and less likely to be disrupted by summer storms.

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Posted (edited)

I've been to Skye, Harris, Lewis, North & South Uist and Benbecula (with the Army not the caravan), beautiful part of the World, stunning beaches, friendly folk, terrible weather :rolleyes:

The roads are mostly single track but there's not much traffic and there are plenty of passing places.

11 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

convenient for the shop! in Balivanich

I've been in that shop :)

Edited by Borussia 1900

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39 minutes ago, Borussia 1900 said:

I've been in that shop :)

 

You would - it's the ex-Naafi

 

On a practical note, it pays visitors to find out which days they get deliveries of fresh food - when we were there, bread was only 3 times / week and ran out quite quickly.

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Thanks all, this is really useful. It's already changing our plans, though we're still intending to go, just spend the time differently.

Currently wondering if we can afford the long crossing from Oban to to Barra, and work our way up to Stornoway. And all this hopefully during May, before the Midgies traditionally hit their highest. Hopefully.
Any more comments, please keep 'em coming :-)

3 hours ago, Pebble said:

A guy called Andrew Ditton has trailed an Airstream around most of Scotland. He tends to wild it most of the time but check out his vlogs on You Tube as they'll give you an insight into what's what.

I'll look into that thanks. Our little Rapido's just a tad smaller than the average Airstream, and lower tech too, so maybe not too good at wilding it.... and tbh, maybe our increasing years aren't so keen on wilding it as when we took our truly tiny tent to the end of Ardnamurchan in the 1970's...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Black Grouse said:

You would - it's the ex-Naafi

:)

Used to go to the 'Dark Island Hotel' for meals on Benbecula and the Creagorry Inn for their vast array of Whisky's (it's  been renamed Isle of Benbecula House). 

I don't know if they are still any good though, I last visited in 1993.

Edited by Borussia 1900

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Been here too:

 

https://orasayinn.com/

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12 hours ago, Richard_Y said:

We're planning to take our caravan up to the Outer Hebrides, on the grounds we've never been there, though we've been up the NW mainland coast and loved it.

 

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46 minutes ago, Borussia 1900 said:

:)

Used to go to the 'Dark Island Hotel' for meals on Benbecula and the Creagorry Inn for their vast array of Whisky's (it's  been renamed Isle of Benbecula House). 

I don't know if they are still any good though, I last visited in 1993.

 

Dark Island Hotel was good for bar snack lunches when we were there a few years back

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Posted (edited)

That video looks very encouraging, thanks Gordon. So the sun always shines?!  ;)

Hmm - on present searching, Horgabost looks about the most appealing, other then Flodabay Farm , where we can't go because they're quite clear you need a large 4x4.
Horgabost would mean taking maximum sweaters and socks, as with no EHU we'd be without heating other than using the stove to cook.

The research continues....

Edited by Richard_Y
correction

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Pebble said:

A guy called Andrew Ditton has trailed an Airstream around most of Scotland. He tends to wild it most of the time but check out his vlogs on You Tube as they'll give you an insight into what's what.

I've seen a few of his vlogs.  And he does include going and staying at the Outer Hebrides.  Worth checking to see it.  Very informative as well

 

 

 

Edited by Babstreefern
Put in Andrew Ditton's vlog

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4 hours ago, Richard_Y said:

 So the sun always shines?!  ;)

Of course - and you can see some lovely colours when it refracts through the raindrops :D

 

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On 05/04/2019 at 11:44, Richard_Y said:

That video looks very encouraging, thanks Gordon. So the sun always shines?!  ;)

Hmm - on present searching, Horgabost looks about the most appealing, other then Flodabay Farm , where we can't go because they're quite clear you need a large 4x4.
Horgabost would mean taking maximum sweaters and socks, as with no EHU we'd be without heating other than using the stove to cook.

The research continues....

Flodabay Farm will use a 4 x 4 to tow your van up to the site, then you can use your own car after that

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16 hours ago, Dunhamkid said:

Flodabay Farm will use a 4 x 4 to tow your van up to the site, then you can use your own car after that

Thanks, it might be worth phoning to ask, then, though on their website it said in large, extra bold letters, that caravans would need to come with own large 4x4, and otherwise not to come.

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Posted (edited)

Love the outer Hebrides. We started our caravan tour at Oban to Castlebay in Barra.  then went north through South Uist, Benbecula  North Uist where we crossed to Uig in Skye as we were running out of holiday time.  Next trip we went to Harris and Lewis from Uig.   Weather was good on both trips, but remember there is generally high winds even when the sun is beating down  so make sure you wear sun protection. 

It is a slower pace of life up there and people are very helpful and courteous.  We certainly enjoyed our time in that most Beautiful area of the UK

Edited by bessacarr425

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Thanks, we're really looking forward to the trip. We just hope the weather's kind at least some of the time :)  My wife worked in Oban for a year, so is all too aware of how it can be!

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