It’s not often you hear someone say they’ve completed a campervan trip to The Outer Hebrides. But that’s exactly what camper_versions team members, Mark and Susan did. They hopped in their trusty 2008 VW T5 campervan, that they bought from us over 10 years ago, and set sail for the beautiful island-chain, that sits 50 miles off the north-west coast of mainland Scotland.
The trip spanned over 16 days where Mark and Susan travelled just over 1,000 miles, caught 3 ferries, stopped at 13 campsites and a night of wild camping. They saw some of the most spectacular scenery, that had an eclectic mix of old and new and featured a new level of rare, tranquil and rugged beauty, at every corner they turned.
Their island hopping itinerary
Below you’ll find Mark and Susan’s full itinerary, including the places they visited and the things they saw, all in their own words. Click the links to read what they got up to in full detail for each day.
The day has finally arrived and Mark and Susan are off! We see the first leg of their journey to Lochmaben and the ‘see-it-to-believe-it’ moments kick off as they arrive at their first campsite stopover, with swans and Canada geese officially welcoming the pair to Scotland!
Day two sees Mark and Susan explore their surroundings and discover the quaint village of Lochmaben before making tracks to Arrochar. On their journey, they start to see the true, rugged beauty of mainland Scotland with gorgeous mountainous crags, that look as though they’re a backdrop in a Hollywood film.
Mark and Susan put on their tourist hats and head for a trip planned to Fort William train station, to view a spectacular twice daily steam train, but an unexpected sight appears on their way through the craggy mountains – a Highland Piper! Dressed in full kilt and giving the pair a tuneful burst on his bagpipes. You simply couldn’t ask for anything more Scottish.
Heading for their first ferry journey of the trip, Mark and Susan have a gruelling 105 mile journey ahead of them, as they destine for Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. The beautiful Scottish scenery makes up for the long-haul journey and even calls for a spot of lunch on the peaceful River Ness.
It’s time to board the ferry to Stornoway, so it’s an early start for the pair on day 5. With time to kill before they board, Mark and Susan discover a harbour of working trawler boats and a schooner called ‘Blue Clipper’. After a short voyage later, the pair make it to Stornoway and whilst trying to find their next campsite, they accidentally stumble across a gorgeous, white sandy beach filled with nothing but solitude.
It’s their first day in Stornoway and Mark and Susan plan a trip to Callanish…but not before another visit to their hidden gem they found. When in Callanish, the pair explore some ancient stone circles and discover these pre–date Stonehenge! On their way back to their campsite, they investigate a village that has been standing there since the 1850’s.
Loving the campsite they’re currently stopping at, Mark and Susan decide to stay put for another night, giving them time to explore more white, sandy beaches close-by. Unfortunately, the weather is not on their side, meaning the pair become soaked from head to toe. Luckily, that’s when their Eberspacher diesel heater saves the day!
Day 8 sees the pair move on and head further south to a place called Kneep. On their way, they’re able to tick off more places on their bucket list, including Camas Sandaig bay, near Tobson, Great Bernera and the tiny fishing port of Miavaig.
After a wild night of wind and rain, Mark and Susan awake to meet a fellow camper who’s here to give advice for a movie, that is being filmed in close proximity. After breakfast, the pair head for a long journey to Harris and see a typical, ageing house, which is still habited to this day. After chatting with the homeowner, the pair head to the charming campsite situated next to Loch Stocanais on Harris.
Mark and Susan head to catch their next ferry to Bernera on North Uist. The scenery changes and on this island there is little light pollution. When the pair get settled at their next campsite after dark, they look out to the clear skies and enjoy some star-gazing, where they feast their eyes upon many of the main constellations and even spot Saturn.
When Mark and Susan awake and head to Sollas, they find themselves in the middle of Balranald RSPB nature reserve, which is home to many species of birds. They spend their day learning about the old Hebridean way of life in a local exhibition centre, before witnessing a farmer herding his cattle, and his frisky bull, off the main road. They also find they’re in for a night of wild camping too!
After their night of wild camping, Mark and Susan enjoy a stroll along another white, tranquil beach and spot a group of kite surfers. After a spot of lunch, they head to their next campsite, which is filled with converted hen huts that feature a verandah with a mesmerising log burner along with…yep, you guessed it, roaming hens on site!
The pair begin to head south after leaving their poultry friends behind and discover Nunton Farm, which was at the centre of a land raid in 1923. They soon learn that not much has changed in these farm buildings and that’s evident with the original cobbled stable floors. They end their day with a magnificent sunset, watched from a large outcrop rock, above one of the many white sandy beaches.
It’s an early start for Mark and Susan as they head to catch their ferry – aptly named ‘Lord of The Isles’ – back to mainland Scotland. This turned out to be the perfect opportunity to view the remaining islands of the Hebrides. What’s more, Mark and Susan view these islands over sunrise, making them feel even more dramatic and magnificent.
It’s the final 48 hours of their trip and Mark and Susan start their day with a morning walk, which saw them witnessing a sheep farmer herding his cattle, with his trusty Border Collies – a truly mesmerising sight. The pair make tracks back to Lockerbie and after a few traffic jams and diversions, they come across a delightful spot which they call home for the night and it even includes its very own duck pond.
Mark and Susan come to the end of their Hebrides adventure and head home. They reflect on the past 16 days and realise just how much of a relaxing experience it’s been. They’ve seen an interesting mix of things and met some wonderful people along their journey. This has all been achievable with their trusty VW T5, that they purchased from us all those years ago.