Fly in to Barra and land on the cockle beach, before heading North through the intriguing Uists to Harris, with it's expansive silver sands, and Lewis to admire the mysterious standing stones of Calaneis.
With flight times of around an hour from Central Scotland, it has never been easier to reach the beautiful Outer Hebrides.
Outer Hebrides Fly Drive with McKinlay Kidd
Your first Hebridean destination is the tiny island of Barra, where you will enjoy the unique experience of landing on the Cockle Strand, after a short flight from Glasgow. The flight schedule varies with the tides! After collecting your hire car, at one of our favourite airports, its just a short drive to your welcoming small hotel.
During your stay in Barra, you can take a walk along the sparkling white sands of Cockle Strand and spot a plane landing at low tide ' an unforgettable sight. Drive or cycle up to Eoligarry and feast your eyes on the springtime profusion of primroses as you gaze across the sound to Fuday, Eriskay and South Uist in the distance. Or head south to Castlebay, the island capital, and visit Kisimul Castle, restored ancestral home of the clan MacNeil. Stop off at the highly informative Heritage Centre, where you can enjoy coffee and refreshments, before perhaps taking a picnic across the causeway to Vatersay, with its glorious twin beaches.
Next cross the Sound of Barra by ferry to tiny Eriskay and spend the day touring through South Uist, Benbecula and North Uist, your next Hebridean base. North Uist offers unlimited access to the interconnected isles of Benbecula, Grimsay, South Uist and Eriskay, all of which are ideal for walking, kayaking, cruising and wildlife-watching. Birdwatchers will not want to miss the RSPB Balranald nature reserve on the west coast – home to thousands of coastal waders and divers. Meanwhile, Lochmaddy itself boasts several unusual attractions, including a camera obscura and the impressive Taigh Chearsabhagh arts centre and museum.
The next islands to explore are in fact one land-mass, but two distinctive places, notable for the magical sandy beaches on Harris, and fabulous ancient history on Lewis. You will stay just outside Stornoway, a perfect touring centre.
Lewis is positively bursting with archaeological treasures, notably the eerie Standing Stones of Callanish, the Pictish Carloway Broch and several blackhouse villages. The bustling town of Stornoway boasts a vibrant social scene, where traditional music and crafts thrive in lively pubs. With its magnificent scenery, the Isle of Lewis also offers unrivalled opportunities for hillwalkers, anglers, divers, birdwatchers and wildlife-lovers.
With its magnificent scenery and spectacular beaches, Harris offers unrivalled opportunities for hillwalkers, anglers, divers, birdwatchers and wildlife-lovers. Marvel at the sight of golden eagles, cormorants and buzzards swooping down over the uninhabited offshore islands. And don't miss Rodel's exquisite 15th century church of St Clement's, with its wonderful medieval tombs and wood carvings.