Jun 1, 2024 - Jun 11, 2024
Trip Type
By Land

Group Size: 10 to 15 guests
Price: $6,895 per person double occupancy / $1,195 single supplement
Co-sponsored with: Harvard exclusive

Activity Level

Trip Overview

This hiking adventure takes you along Scotland’s west coast from the Isle of Mull to the Isle of Skye and on to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides (Western Isles). Explore all that the western Highlands and Islands of Scotland have to offer: prehistoric stone circles, burial cairns, and settlements, Gaelic culture; and remarkable wildlife—all amidst dramatic land- and seascapes.Most of the tour will be off the well-beaten tourist trail through some of Scotland’s most magnificent scenery. Hike on seven islands, sculpted by the sea, with long and varied coastlines, high cliffs, sea lochs or fjords, sandy and rocky bays, caves, and arches. There is always something new to draw you on around the next corner.

The Scots of the Gaelic Highlands long jealously guarded their independence from central authority, whether in Edinburgh or London or elsewhere. In this they were aided by difficult agricultural conditions and remoteness. The tribal/clan society survived here much later than elsewhere in western Europe, in part because of the isolation. Dominating all other landscape features along this route, we find the volcanic trace of the creation of the coast of the newborn North Atlantic that opened to a symphony of lavas and intrusions.

Schedule by Day

  • Jun 1: Independent flights to Glasgow, Scotland
  • Jun 2: Arrive Glasgow / Tobermory, Mull (1)
  • Jun 3: Mull: Dun Ara and Duart Castle (2)
  • Jun 4: Staffa and Iona (3)
  • Jun 5: Mull / Isle of Skye (4)
  • Jun 6: Skye: Oronsay and Talisker Distillery (5)
  • Jun 7: Skye: Loch Coruisk and the Cuillin (6)
  • Jun 8: Skye:Trotternish Landslips and ferry to Isle of Harris (7)
  • Jun 9: Harris: beaches and medieval chapel (8)
  • Jun 10: Lewis: Calanais Standing Stones and Dun Carloway (9)
  • Jun 11: Harris / Stornoway / Glasgow / Return home


$6,895 per person double occupancy / $1,195 single supplement


  • Three nights at Western Isles Hotel, Tobermory
  • Three nights at Greshornish House, Isle of Skye
  • Three nights at Harris Hotel, Isle of Harris



What to Expect

Activity Level 4

This is a hiking tour and people must be reasonably fit for this tour. Whilst we do not rush around, we will hike up to 5 miles per day, sometimes uphill (around 300ft of ascent on most days and up to 950ft on one day), and over uneven ground. The walking will be varied, and we will find ourselves on open and rough moorland, hill terrain and on coastal cliff tops. All hikes will be exposed to the weather coming from the Atlantic.

Walk distances and elevation:

  • Monday June 3: Hiking distance: 3 miles. Height climbed: 300 ft.
  • Tuesday June 4: Short walks
  • Wednesday June 5: Short walks
  • Thursday June 6: Hiking distance: 4 miles. Height climbed: 300ft.
  • Friday June 7: Hiking distance: 3 miles. Height climbed: 300 ft.
  • Saturday June 8: Hiking distance: 3 miles. Height climbed: 950 ft.
  • Sunday June 9: Hiking distance: 5 miles. Height climbed: 300 ft.
  • Monday June 10: Hiking distance: 4 miles. Height climbed: 250 ft.

Some of the hikes are in remote places and there will be no public conveniences during the hikes. We try to stop at a public convenience before and after the walk. Lunches will be packed lunches and on most days; they will be eaten outside during the hike.

Study Leader(s)

Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of History

For More Information

Please email or call our office at 800-422-1636 or 617-496-0806.