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Thread: Getting to Harris or Orkney from Yorkshire

  1. #1
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    Hi Folks,

    We just had a brilliant week on Skye and want to explore a little further next time. If we lived in the south-east, we could get cheap flights up north but from here the flights are very expensive and generally go via London, the Isle of Man, Dublin or Amsterdam. We managed to put 1,300 miles on the car over seven days (eeek!) two weeks back and want to avoid doing that again.

    We don't mind some public transport but will have a holdall each plus camera bags and will be renting a car at some point as we'll prolly be staying in a little cottage or somesuch.

    You are a well-travelled lot. Any great ideas? Our holidays aren't flexible and the soonest we can leave is late Friday evening of the May bank holiday weekend and we have to return on the following Saturday. We want to maximise time on the island which will prolly be Harris this time round unless you can persusde me otherwise.

    TIA

  2. #2
    Initiate martin barry's Avatar
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    I have to say that the last time we went to Orkney I tried to do it on the 'cheap', which was cheap flight to Aberdeen and then the overnight ferry to Orkney. I swore then that if I ever did it again I'd fly direct - not because of the journey there, but the return drag; which is quite expensive and of course terrible for the environment (travelling around Britain like that).

    Work and time limitations are the key factor. When I was an undergrad I hitched to Orkney and that was a fantastic experience; but then I was a student and time wasn't necessarily 'money' as it is now, and I used to hitch all over the place and take the train and ferry to Ireland and all that [sigh].

    I suppose if I were to do it again - and my wife would beg to differ - I would try and get as cheap as possible a sleeper ticket to Aberdeen and then the ferry, whilst trying to switch off from the work-money-clock and actually enjoy the journey. Too often these days I think we expect to land and 'start the holiday' rather than actually feelling the journey to our destination.

    I'll have to figure out the costs, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is cheaper and a lot faster to get to Barcelona by train (now they have a fast line from Madrid, which in turn is linked by a fast line to Paris) than Orkney.

    Have I rambled enough yet?


  3. #3
    Übermensch "Cunning" Duncan's Avatar
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    Hmm...flight to Stornoway and rent car there? Else you'd need to get to Uig on Skye and ferry across to Tarbert. Or flight/train to Inverness, bus to Ullapool and car rental from Sy, drive south to Harris.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    But flights from Yorkshire to Stornoway and/or Inverness don't exist...that's the problem

    I checked once and it was £255 each one-way just to Glasgow instead of £49 direct from London/south-east.

    Keep 'em coming, folks, thanks for suggestions so far.

  5. #5
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by "Cunning" Duncan View Post

    Else you'd need to get to Uig on Skye and ferry across to Tarbert.
    Aye, we know the basics; but getting from Yorkshire to there is the problem! Trying to avoid a nine-hour drive sticking a lot of miles on the car or very expensive flight to start the journey.

  6. #6
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    How about Bergen in Norway?

    Ferry from Newcastle with www.dfds.co.uk

    I'm sure you can get a ferry from Bergen to the Shetlands, how about a round trip?

  7. #7
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    Interesting! Unfortunately, you can only return on certain days so we'd get 4 days away tops. A rented cottage is charged by the week....plus we'd have to get to Newcastle somehow first.

    Martin, Too often these days I think we expect to land and 'start the holiday' rather than actually feelling the journey to our destination. Too true, but we are very short of time and we do have the 'you have to pay to rent the cottage for a whole week's charge" thing.

    I have the awful feeling that a long, bum-breaking drive is on the cards

  8. #8
    Übermensch LotC's Avatar
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    Can recommend this place on Lewis for somewhere to stay that's a bit different and very, very nice:

    http://www.gearrannan.com

    There is a SYHA in the village, or rent a blackhouse like we did. I think they do part weeks. (The little one, it's got a window and less mice).

    Otherwise camp on a beach somewhere. Done both.

    What's up with driving, anyway. Not been banned again have you? Ferry from Uig will cost yer, though.

  9. #9
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Crinkles View Post


    What's up with driving, anyway. Not been banned again have you?
    Cheeky bugger
    Thinking of renting a black house, actually. That link is to a place where a mate stayed last year. But trying to get to Harris I think.

  10. #10
    Übermensch LotC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja Pussy Cat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Crinkles View Post


    What's up with driving, anyway. Not been banned again have you?
    Cheeky bugger
    Thinking of renting a black house, actually. That link is to a place where a mate stayed last year. But trying to get to Harris I think.
    Harris is only just down the road. Stay at Gearrannan. Great place for shagging.

  11. #11
    Ultra King AT (http://AyrshireTiger.wordpress.com/)'s Avatar
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    It'll be just like homeNPC!

  12. #12
    Übermensch "Cunning" Duncan's Avatar
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    Welcome to the north of Scotland! Sadly not much in the way of options, NPC.

    List of flights from Leeds/Bradford to Sy: ooo that's some price even for a quick search! link

    Domestic flights in to Sy listed here.

    Overnight train to Inverness?

    That's me tapped out of ideas

  13. #13
    Ultra King
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    NPC

    I've checked the times of trains, buses etc and nothing matches up so it looks like your driving.

    Ayrshire Tiger

    Good luck for the rest of the season, you deserve to go up.

    A Charlton fan

  14. #14
    Ultra King AT (http://AyrshireTiger.wordpress.com/)'s Avatar
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    Thanks Michael, but I'll believe it when it happens!

  15. #15
    Übermensch "Cunning" Duncan's Avatar
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    Garenin - Leurbost - Balallan - over Clisham - > Harris - easy commute

    Was there a couple of weeks back. Not up on Harris accomodation as I just stay with my parents outside Sy.

  16. #16
    Übermensch
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    The problem with public transport is that cost bears little relation to distance! From Gloucester, Switzerland by air is cheaper than London by train. Since I believe you live in, or near, Leeds you should look at destinations that are accessible from Leeds/Bradford airport.

  17. #17
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    Jet2 do Leeds- Geneva return, out May 3 back May 10 for £80 per person.

  18. #18
    Übermensch druidh's Avatar
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    Well, the only puiblic transport option to Uig is by bus. So, rail to the bus stop? You can either pick that up at Fort William or anywhere between there and Glasgow. Check out the relative cost of taking a car on the ferry vs. hiring on Harris.

  19. #19
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by "Cunning" Duncan View Post

    Welcome to the north of Scotland! Sadly not much in the way of options, NPC.

    List of flights from Leeds/Bradford to Sy: ooo that's some price even for a quick search! link

    Domestic flights in to Sy listed here.

    Overnight train to Inverness?

    That's me tapped out of ideas
    Thanks Duncan but that was why we rejected flights. It's impossible - millionaire status if you're flying from half-way up.

  20. #20
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kilgour View Post
    Jet2 do Leeds- Geneva return, out May 3 back May 10 for £80 per person.
    arrrgghhhhh yes I know! But Geneva isn't in the north of Scotland

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