Home » Society and Culture » Holidays

Cycling Tour of the Hebrides

Jun 14, 2008
Cycling is an extremely popular sport and more and more people are discovering the pleasures of taking a cycling tour in preference to other types of vacation. Most choose to tour areas where the ground is rather flat and any hills are but gentle slopes while others prefer to visit areas which offer much more of a challenge. The Isle of Harris in the Western Isles (also known as the Outer Hebrides) of Scotland continues to increase in popularity for cycling tours and vacations and is well worth consideration if you are a competent and athletic cyclist.

The Outer Hebrides (or Western Isles) is a group of over two hundred islands found off the west coast of Scotland in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The vast majority of islands are now uninhabited with only a handful remaining populated. There are two distinctive land masses with the Isle of Harris and Isle of Lewis part of one in the north and to the south the islands of North and South Uist with a number of other smaller islands dotted around. Happily these islands have excellent transport links and it is possible to tour from the very south up to the northern tip via a network of double and single track roads, bridges, causeways and ferries.

One of the best ways to tour the Western Isles/Outer Hebrides is by starting in the south traveling north until you reach Stornoway. Stornoway is the main town of the region and where you will most likely depart by ferry or air however it is well worth exploring even further north if you have the time. The southern parts of the islands appear much flatter with South Uist having long stretches of flat road until you reach North Uist. North Uist is very much like the Isle of Harris which you reach by ferry and by the time you reach Tarbert you are greeted by an ominous climb up the hills of Harris and over to Lewis (which is once again rather flat).

When cycling in the Western Isles/Outer Hebrides it is important to keep a number of things in mind with relation to safety. It is incredibly important that you understand that you do not have to be blinded by the sun to end up being badly burnt by the UV rays. Great care must be taken on the roads as the scenery is often so astounding that you find yourself distracted and unaware of others on the road. The best idea, at all times, is to stop to admire some of the views, moving well away from the road while doing so.

You may not have experienced single track roads before so remember that you should always pay special attention to safety while using them. Do not ride alongside each other and keep an eye both forwards and backwards for any traffic. To allow traffic to pass simply use the next passing place, you should pull into those on your left but if it is on the right you must pull over to the left and the traffic will drive around. Even on double track great care should be taken as many locals (and some visitors) can drive at rather fast speeds and, with the roads being so full of bends, there can be danger if you are not diligent.

It is important that you understand that on the Isles of Harris and Lewis (and areas of North Uist) most places are closed on Sundays due to their strict observance of a Sunday Sabbath. It is therefore vitally important that you stock up on the Friday or Saturday so that you do not find yourself without the following day.

Although one or two places now open in Stornoway on the Sunday the local bicycle shop is not one of them. If you think that you will needs bike spares, repairs or need to return a hired bicycle, then you will need to get there early Saturday. If the weather is good it is well worth visiting the wonderful grounds of Lews Castle just across the harbour. The town itself is rather small and easily explored on foot.

If you enjoy cycling but a full tour of the Outer Hebrides is too much then why not consider basing yourself on the Isle of Harris and spend a couple of days here and there cycling to the places you wish to visit? There are plenty of places to stay on Harris with a number of places to camp, hostels, hotels, guest houses and plenty of self catering accommodation to choose from.
About the Author
If visiting the Isle of Harris check out our listings of Isle of Harris self catering accommodation and Isle of Harris bed and breakfast
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 261
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources