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Outer Hebrides

Getting there & away




CalMac (0870 565 0000; www.calmac.co.uk) runs car ferries from Ullapool to Stornoway (Lewis); from Uig (Isle of Skye) to Lochmaddy (North Uist) and Tarbert (Harris); and from Oban to Castlebay (Barra) and Lochboisdale (South Uist).

From Monday to Saturday there are two or three ferries a day to Stornoway, one or two a day to Tarbert and Lochmaddy, and one a day to Castlebay and Lochboisdale; on Sundays there are ferries (same frequency) to Castlebay, Lochboisdale and Lochmaddy, but none to Tarbert and Stornoway. You can also take the ferry from Lochboisdale to Castlebay (car/passenger £36/6, 1½ hours, one daily Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) and from Castlebay to Lochboisdale (one daily Wednesday, Friday and Sunday).

Advance booking for cars is essential in July and August; foot and bicycle passengers should have no problems. The fare for a bicycle is £2.20 on top of the passenger fare.

CalMac has 12 different Island Hopscotch tickets for set routes in the Outer Hebrides, offering a saving of around 10% (tickets are valid for one month).

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There are airports at Stornoway (Lewis), and on Benbecula and Barra.

There are flights to Stornoway from Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow and Aberdeen. There are also two flights a day (weekdays only) between Stornoway and Benbecula.

There are daily flights from Glasgow to Barra and Benbecula. At Barra, the planes land on the hard-sand beach at low tide, so the timetable depends on the tides.

Airlines serving the Western Isles:

British Airways/Loganair (0870 850 9850; www.britishairways.com)

Eastern Airways (0870 366 9100; www.easternairways.com)

Highland Airways (01851-701282; www.highlandairways.co.uk)

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