In the Outer Hebrides, the Slí Cholmcille takes you from the wild cliffs of north Lewis to the white shell beaches of the Isle of Barra.
As you travel south, you pass crofting townships, open moorland, huge empty beaches and rugged hills. You cross from island to island by ferry and causeway, tracing ancient ways of life in this wild and beautiful location.
The remains of early Christian worship and belief lie scattered along the coastlines of these islands. They remind us that in this part of the world people have always been connected by sea – despite the high winds and fierce storms that can rage here in winter. On a calm day, there is nowhere more peaceful.
The Gaelic language is part of everyday life on the islands and this language and its music has always travelled between the communities here. For centuries communication between the islands and Ireland was as important as communication with the mainland, as trade, poetry, song, politics and family bound the people of the islands together.
The Slí Cholmcille starts just outside Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Regular ferry services (see here) connect Stornoway to Ullapool on the mainland (60 miles/90 minutes drive northwest of Inverness).
If you wish to follow the Slí Cholmcille south to north, take a ferry to Castlebay on the Isle of Barra from Oban or to Lochboisdale on the Isle of South Uist. Ferries also run from Uig in Skye to Lochmaddy in North Uist or Tarbert in Harris.
Alternatively fly into Stornoway, Benbecula or Barra’s famous beach airport and hire a car.