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In Monty Halls' Great Hebridean Escape footsteps - a guide for Hebridean Hopscotch holiday guests.

Follow in the footsteps of Monty Halls as he explores the Outer Hebrides.

Cottage Monty HallsMonty's stay in the Western Isles began in summer 2009 and lasted through the winter.  He took on the post of volunteer nature warden and lived in a restord crofters cottage on the island of North Uist.

In the first episode, we saw Monty arrive on the ferry from Oban, calling at Castlebay before reaching his disembarkation point at Lochboisdale, South Uist.

After settling in to his new home, he teamed up with James (Jimmy) MacLetchie, a former nature ranger who now runs guided tours and walks for individuals and small groups - call 07543 094 491 or see - www.hebrideanadventures.co.uk

Below, we have picked out the highlights of the episodes and show you some of the ways in which you can sample the activities.

A visit to St Kilda

A fabulous expedition that you will remember for the rest of your life. Most boat trips to St Kilda leave from the Isle of Lewis or from Harris, so after you've visited the Uists we can suggest a suitable location for you to stay, depending on your chosen departure point.  It's worth allowing a couple of days - usually Monday and Tuesday - so that if weather prevents your trip on the first day, it may take place the next.  See Seatrek, Sea Harris and Kilda Cruises.

The North Uist Highland Games

St Kilda Monty HallsFriday 23rd July 2010 at 10.00am.  At Balone Field, Tigharry North Uist. On the west coast of North Uist about 15 minutes drive from the main road junction at Clachan.

The North Uist Agricultural Show

Wednesday, 11th August at Hosta, North Uist. Aslo on the west coast of North Uist about 15 minutes drive from the main road junction at Clachan.

Other events

See http://www.hebevents.com/

St Kilda Viewpoint

On a clear day, you can see the St Kilda archipelago from the west coast of North Uist.  The recently completed viewpoint is at Clettreval Hill (shown on OS maps as Cleitreabhal)  close to Hosta above.

Sea and fly fishing

There are literally hundreds of great fishing spots throughout the Outer Hebrides.  In North Uist, call James MacLetchie on 07543 094 491 if you are looking for fly fishing tuition, a ghillie or a fishing boat trip.  Clachan Stores -  01876 580257 - sells licences permits and boat hire vouchers for the North Uist estate. If you're staying at Langass Lodge ask at reception for assistance.  

Local ghillie, Stewart Wiseman at Ardnastruban House (another of our B B hosts) is happy to take guests from complete beginner level for fly-fishing tuition and experience on lochs.  Phone 01870 602452.

For the remainder of the Outer Hebrides, fishhebrides.com is a good starting point.

Monty Halls' livestock

Turkeys Monty HallsMonty needed stock for his croft and contacted one of our Hebridean Hopscotch B&B hosts, Heather at Bonnieview, who provided him with turkeys and young Gloucester Old Spot  pigs to fatten for Christmas.  

Our guests can usually enjoy Heather's home grown sausages at breakfast, by asking us to book Bonnieview on your itinerary.

Otter Walks

James Macletchie (07543 094 491) leads a number of otter walks on Berneray - (2009 price £4 per person).  Hebridean Hopscotch guests report that the weekly otter walk at Langass Lodge, led by Jamie Boyle (RSPB warden) are excellent - call him on 01876 560287 for more info.

While driving around the Outer Hebrides, take a quiet look at any loch or lochan - there's always a chance of seeing an otter.

Seal Watching 

The island of Berneray has a specially constructed seal watching area - drive or walk through the village until you reach the area, on your right. Seals are common throughout the Western Isles and you'll often see them form the shore or one of the island ferries.

Peat Cutting

With the convenience of oil fired central heating, peat use is diminishing, but it's still popular for many islanders.  As you travel around over the months of May to August, you'll see cutting and drying of the peats.  We don't know of any organised cutting experiences, but strike up a conversation and you could find yourself with the opportunity to dig, too.

Monach Islands

With huge seal colonies, a wealth of birsd and a huge variety of summer flowers, the Monachs are an excellent place to visit - and not too long a sea journey.  2010 price is £60/adult at  www.hebrideanadventures.co.uk. - you can see more about the trip at http://www.uistboattrips.com/

Beaches

Seals Monty HallsA simple, free and highly pleasurable pastime.  Monty was seen on Bonnie Prince Charlie's beach on Eriskay, the west beach of Berneray and the several beaches down the west coast of North Uist.

On other islands, Luskentyre (Harris) has been nominated for best beach in Britain, together with Traigh Mhor (Barra).  Lewis has several spectacular beaches, including those at Tolsta, Uig, Dalmore and Dalbeg.

Scuba diving

Uist Outdoor Centre at Lochmaddy offers a range of watersports http://www.uistoutdoorcentre.co.uk/

Seafood

Kallin Shellfish on the island of Grimsay has a small shop selling freshly caught and cooked shellfish.  This is where you saw Monty collecting seafood for the banquet.  Monty's visit to the fish smokers was at Hebridean Smokehouse - where a range of shellfish is smoked in addition to salmon and sea trout.  It's close to Clachan village, on the west coast route around North Uist.

Fishermen's Co-op and other Hebridean shopping

Monty's trip to the chandlery store for supplies was in fact to the Fishermen's Co-op in Stornoway - ask any local person for directions. This, like many of Stornoway's shops, is deceptive from the outside.  Of special interest to holiday makers, will be a vast range of outdoor clothing brands at very low proces.

Take a stroll around the town for quality souvenirs and every day needs.

Deer stalking

James  (07543 094 491) can arrange this for you on the North Uist estate. As an alternative, his 'Call of the Wild' trip allows you to see a stag at close quarters, without it being in danger from the guns!

Langass Lodge

The hotel hosting the charity banquet organised by Monty Halls.  Langass Lodge has offered excellent hospitality to Hebridean Hopscotch  guests in recent years.  It's a well located base from which to explore the northern islands of the Uists.  Find out more by visiting our detailed page describing  the hotel's facilities.


0845 230 1236

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