Cycle the Hebrides

All the Gatliff Hostels welcome cyclists who come to explore the quiet roads and tracks of the Outer Hebrides. Many cyclists visit Howmore and Berneray while the adventurous cycle the steep pass from the main Tarbert to Stornoway road that connects to Rhenigidale on the east coast. Both Visit Scotland and Visit the Outer Isles have a focus on cycling on their websites. Since 2015 bikes can no longer be carried on buses in the Uists and Benbecula.  The buses in Lewis and Harris may accommodate bicycles.

According to Visit Scotland:

Cyclists arriving Rhenigidale webCycling on the peaceful roads of the Outer Hebrides is a fantastic way to take in the many wonders of the islands, including its wildlife, dramatic scenery and historical treasures.

These islands have some of the most challenging off-road cycling in Britain as well as gentler road routes, which wind past sandy Atlantic shores and machair meadows. For such a compact geographical area, the Hebrides offer a world of diversity: from beaches and cliffs to hills formed on the oldest exposed rock in the world.

The Hebridean cycle route is an exciting long distance challenge route, island hopping and cycling from Barra in the south through South Uist, Benbecula and Harris and finally up to the Butt of Lewis on the Isle of Lewis. The quiet island roads, considerate drivers and stunning scenery provide the perfect backdrop for this challenging route.
Visit Scotland’s Cycling web pages

According to Visit the Outer Hebrides

Cycling in the Outer Hebrides is a great way to discover our islands – offering an opportunity to really experience the unique identity of the area.

With cycling routes in the Western Isles on offer to suit all ages and abilities, and minimal traffic on many island roads, cycling holidays in the Hebrides can be as leisurely or as challenging as you choose – from the easy rides offered round South Uist or Berneray to the breathtaking ascents of the Harris Hills, or dedicated mountain bike trails such as those in the grounds of Lews Castle in Stornoway.

Visit Outer Hebrides Cycling web pages.

Cicerone Press have published the Book Cycling in the Hebrides written by Richard Barrett. Cycling in the Hebrides is a comprehensive guidebook of routes, day rides and suggested island cycle tours throughout the Inner and Outer Hebrides and the Firth of Clyde with ferry schedules and timings. Routes range from rides suitable for a weekend break to a challenging 600-mile tour covering the entire region.

Plan your journeys with CycleStreets

CycleStreets provide details of the cycling journey times and distances between the Gatliff Hostels and from the connecting ferry ports. The CycleStreets website provides maps and route details of three potential routes for each journey: The fastest, a balanced route, and the quietest route.

Berneray to Rhenigidale 34 miles, cycle 4 hr 20 minutes plus ferry wait and crossing times.
Further details here.
Howmore to Berneray 41 miles, cycle 3 hr 45 minutes.
Further details here.
Tarbert to Rhenigidale 13 miles, cycle 1 hr 40 minutes.
Further details here.
Rhenigidale to Stornoway 38 miles, cycle 4 hr 15 minutes.
Further details here.
Lochboisdale to Howmore 14 miles, cycle 2 hours.
Further details here.
Lochmaddy to Berneray 13 miles, cycle 1 hr 20 minutes.
Further details here.