Subject: Re: Scotland

I found a car very helpful out on the Outer Hebrides, even tho it meant taking it on the ferries.

It's easy to get reservations on the ferries & they are a wonderful mode of transport, but schedules have to be stitched together if you're going to make a circuit, as operations are not daily & vary by season as well. CalMac ferries have several pre-organized routes at decent prices & I recommend looking at the suggestions because they can help figure out which islands you can visit on what time frame. So, for example, even tho it looks as if you should be able to ferry from Tobermory (Mull) to Castlebay (Barra), you actually have to go back to Oban to head to Barra & that takes time.

Another advantage of having your car is that once out on the islands, you'll be able to see more. Of course, local buses will get you just about anywhere, but unless you have lots of time, the car will be more efficient. The walking tracks are beyond wonderful, but it would take a while to make it from Barra to Lewis in one season by foot. You can probably guess that such an activity is on my list of things to do, tho!

Many of the stone circles, menhirs & brochs are best located with a car as well, & even then may require some hillwalking to find them.

I also recommend highly taking the flight from Barra's airport on the cockle sands (only operates when the tide's out) to Benbecula. The standby rate for the roundtrip is reasonable, about 30GBP as I recall. You can leave your car at the Barra airport without worry.

Gail In Eugene