50 Walking and Backpacking Routes
Inspirational guidebook to 50 varied walking and backpacking routes in the Hebrides, featuring classics such as the Skye Cuillin and the Paps of Jura, but also many lesser-known routes on Jura, Scarba, Islay, Colonsay, Rum, Eigg, Canna, Muck, Coll, Tiree, Mull, Skye, Raasay, Harris, Lewis, Berneray, North Uist, South Uist, Barra and St Kilda.
SeasonsThe Hebrides are a wonderful place to walk year-round, though in spring and autumn you'll avoid summer's midges and tourists and winter's storms and short days.
CentresBowmore, Craighouse, Scalasaig, Salen, Craignure, Baile Mòr, Arinagour, Scarinish, Kinloch, Galmisdale, A' Chill, Port Mòr, Broadford, Sligachan, Portree, Castlebay, Lochboisdale, Howmore, Lochmaddy, Borve, Tarbert, Stornoway, Timsgearraidh
DifficultyThe walks in this guidebook are suitable for experienced walkers with good fitness and navigational competence. Many of the routes have no waymarkers or signposts and the terrain is often rough, rugged and pathless. Routes are not graded, though the introduction to each walk makes clear the scope and strenuousness and any difficulties involved.
Must SeeSome of the British Isles best coastal walks are found in the Hebrides. There are many miles of wild, beautiful coastline garlanded with white sand beaches, vertiginous cliffs, rugged headlands and magnificent geological features. Awesome volcanic peaks and rocky whale-backed ridges provide some serious hill-walking challenges with stunning island vistas.
Inspirational guidebook to walking in Scotland's Hebrides islands. 50 adventurous walks on well-known and remote islands; from Syke, Mull, Rum, the Uists and Barra, Ulva, Iona, Eigg and Muck and more besides. Most of the walks provide a full day for experienced walkers, with a few multi-day adventures as well as some shorter routes. The terrain is often rough, rugged and pathless, while waymarking and public transport can, in many places, be hard to find. The challenge of wild walking, and the self-reliance needed to discover the best of the Hebrides, make the islands all the more appealing for adventurous walkers.
The walks also include Hebrides classics, like the Skye and Rum Cuillins, the Paps of Jura and full circuits of smaller islands. Each walk combines clear route description with mapping and spectacular photography, while also advising on the route's facilities, public transport access, length and terrain. The result is a collection of the very best walks with which to uncover the wild and rugged beauty of the Hebrides.
People, language and culture
Plants and flowers
Getting to the islands
When to go
Access, camping and bothies
Safety and emergencies
What to take
Maps and route-finding
Using this guide
Walk 1 Rhuvaal and northwest coast
Walk 2 An Cladach and Beinn Bheigier
Walk 3 Ardnave Point
Walk 4 The west coast of Jura
Walk 5 The Paps of Jura
Walk 6 Ardlussa to Corpach Bay and Tràigh a’ Mhiadair
Walk 7 Evans’ Walk to Glenbatrick Bay (and return)
Walk 8 Cruach Scarba
Walk 9 South Colonsay Coast and Oronsay
Walk 10 Lower Kilchattan to Kiloran Bay
Walk 11 Garbh Eileach
Walk 12 Ben More
Walk 13 Beinn Talaidh via Glen Forsa
Walk 14 Carsaig Arches
Walk 15 Dùn da Ghaoithe
Walk 16 Ormaig and the south side
Walk 17 Around Iona
Walk 18 Coll’s western tip
Walk 19 Around the coast of east Tiree
Walk 20 Tiree’s west coast and three highest points
Walk 21 A Round of the Rum Cuillin
Walk 22 Kinloch to Harris Bay around the coast
Walk 23 The Guirdil Horseshoe
Walk 24 An Sgùrr and Grulin
Walk 25 Around the coast of Canna
Walk 26 Gallanach Bay and Beinn Arien
Walk 27 The Beinn Deargs
Walk 28 Marsco
Walk 29 Blà Bheinn
Walk 30 Elgol to Camasunary
Walk 31 Loch Coruisk
Walk 32 Bruach na Frithe
Walk 33 Glen Ollisdal, Idrigill Point and Macleod’s Maidens
Walk 34 The Trotternish Ridge traverse
Walk 35 Dùn Caan, Hallaig and the southern coast
Walk 36 The Barra watershed
Walk 37 Hecla, Beinn Mhòr and South Uist’s wild east coast
Walk 38 Eaval
Walk 39 Around the Udal peninsula
Walk 40 Around Berneray
Harris and Lewis
Walk 41 Roineabhal and Rodel
Walk 42 The Clisham Horseshoe
Walk 43 North Harris mountains and moorland wilderness backpack
Walk 44 Huiseabhal Mòr, Oireabhal and Huiseabhal Beag
Walk 45 Circuit of Tòdun from Urgha
Walk 46 The Uig Hills
Walk 47 Uig Hills and coast backpack
Walk 48 West side coastal path
Walk 49 Tolstadh to Port Nis heritage walk
Walk 50 The hills and sea cliffs of Hirta
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Glossary
Appendix C Useful contacts
Appendix D Further reading
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We have belatedly spotted that the map for Walk 7 in this book shows the start/finish point at Glenbatrick Bay, whereas it should be at the other end of the route line, on the A846. Apologies for any confusion caused.
"This is by far the best walking book i have ever seen... The photos [are] breathtaking... Simply stunning.""the author's love for this wild countryside shines through on every page. It's almost impossible to read it and not smell the sea-air flying on a strong westerly wind, lifting the waves and shuffling the grass. It's utterly inspirational.""The book may be too large and heavy to carry, and a 50 route selection cannot do justice to what is some of the finest walking in the British Isles, but its key role is stimulating, motivational - and more - ‘The Hebrides’ is inspirational [and] demonstrates there is no shortage of challenges.""Such is the quality of these guides that I happily award the maximum 5 stars and recommend them without question but do give consideration to what you want in terms of area. If you want something on most of the islands this guide is for you. If you want more in a smaller area, there are other Cicerone guides to look for. The Skye guide is particularly good.""This is an excellent volume. Superbly well illustrated. Great introduction - history, archaeology, geology, anthropology. Author's passion shines through. The walks are are mostly for the fitter, more adventurous walker. I'll do them from my armchair. That way I can be sure I won't be mistaken for a deer and shot, during the hunting season."A superbly photographed book of walks with very good descriptions of directions and a box with bullet points for each walk detailing the walk times/distances, set in a beautiful and virtually untouched area of Scotland.A selection from Amazon
"This fine guide... acts as a compelling invitation to put on boots and pack a bag to become a highly informed Scottish islands explorer. The splendour of the sights and the intricacies of the islands are captured by the text, the images and the maps."Scottish Islands Explorer, July 2015
"peter edwards knows corners and crevices of the hebrides like no-one else... not only is he well educated in the topography of each, but seems rather adept at capturing the beauty of each on what would once have been referred to as film. the photography in the hebrides is often breathtaking, particularly the mountainous regions of skye."Read the full review on thewashingmachinepost website.
"WOW! It looks absolutely fantastic, really inspirational and one of the best books of its kind I've seen for a long time."Trail magazine, April 2015
This great new guide achieves the tricky double of being inspirational and also practical. It offers 50 walking and backpacking routes, many of them distinctly off the beaten track, such as one to the highest point on the island of Scarba in the Firth of Lorn. Even when tackling familiar destinations, such as Clisham, on Harris, the author presents an appealing alternative to the obvious route. The maps and pictures are superb, too.
Scotland Outdoors magazine
The books published by Cicerone Press have long been firm favourites with anyone who loves hills, mountains and remote places, both in Scotland and far beyond it. With Cicerone, you know exactly what you are going to get, right? High quality and well researched walking routes presented beautifully in a form that can usually be slid into a fleece pocket. We recently commented very positively on the first of their books that broke away with their traditional, fairly plain covers. And then "The Hebrides: 50 Walking and Backpacking Routes by Peter Edwards" dropped through the letterbox with an uncharacteristically loud thump.
This is the first, or at least the first we have seen, of an entirely different approach by Cicerone to a walking book. The things that Cicerone always did best continue to be very well done indeed. The fifty walks set out here have been meticulously researched and well written. And the presentation is as clear and attractive as ever. Actually, it is better than ever. The main reason for this is one of scale. "The Hebrides: 50 Walking and Backpacking Routes by Peter Edwards" is a Cicerone guide on steroids. Gone is the "fit in a pocket" approach. This book is much larger, very much larger. Think large novel or sub-coffee table in size and you are getting there.
What this means in practice is more and bigger (excellent) photographs, longer descriptions and bigger and (as a result) clearer maps. The fifty walks that are included extend from the northern tip of Lewis in the north, to Islay in the south, and to St Kilda in the west. The walks featured are on popular and well known islands such as Skye and Mull, as well as on smaller and less well known ones such as Canna, Muck, Colonsay and Tiree. Also included are walks on islands that take more effort to reach than simply hopping on a CalMac ferry, such as Scarba, The Garvellachs, Ulva and St Kilda. The result is a book with something for everyone, and however well you know the Hebrides you'll find places here that are new and interesting. At one level this is a book that will inspire people to don their boots and turn their faces to the west. At another, the scaling up in size means that it is also a pleasure to read in its own right while firmly ensconced in an armchair, perhaps with a glass of whisky at your side.Undiscovered Scotland, April 2015
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Since moving to Scotland from the south of England in 2006, Peter has developed a passion for the Hebrides. He lives at Rhenigidale on the Isle of Harris with his wife, Fiona and their Labradors, Dougal and Mara.View Articles and Books by Peter Edwards