Do's and Don'ts
Do Get The Guide Book - The Visitor Information Centre in Stornoway sells The Outer Hebrides Guide Book, Third Edition by Charles Tait. It is a great book with lots of information on places of interest, wildlife, suggested routes and maps.
Don't Rush - Although it is technically possible to drive from the northernmost point of Lewis to Barra in a day, throughout most of the islands there is only one road and at many points only one lane. After a few hours you will already be used to stopping to let sheep (and cows) cross the road, so allow yourself plenty of time to travel from one place to another.
Do Pick Up A Map - Before you set off from Stornoway pop into the Visitor Information Centre and pick up a free copy of Explore: The Outer Hebrides. This handy map will show you all the places of interest, as well as the locations of some restaurants and campsites.
Do Use Passing Places - It is common courtesy in the islands to pull over into passing places and let the cars behind past if they are traveling faster than you. If you are in a camper-van or simply taking your time and enjoying the scenery, let the locals past.
Don't Trust Your Map Too Much - Tourist maps give you a great idea of what there is to see and do on each of the islands but many of the points are not quite accurate and you might find yourself driving right past point of interest if you are not careful. Likewise, some of the maps show only the campsites with waste disposal. Use GPS, if you have it, to make sure you don't miss anything!
Do Stock Up When You Can - There are not many shops in the Outer Hebrides, so get your groceries from the Co-Op in Stornoway before you set off. Whenever you pass a Co-op, stock up on anything you need for the next few days.
Don't Wait For The Next Petrol Station - Gas stations are few and far between in the Outer Hebrides, so fill up your tank when you can. There is limited mobile phone signal in many areas, so you would not want to run out of gas.
Do Ask For Directions - The local people are very friendly and helpful (and, it seems, quite used to helping lost tourists!). If you can't find something, just ask a local, they will probably be able to point you in the right direction.
Do Take A Hike - The Outer Hebrides' main attraction is its beautiful wilderness. Park your campervan, pull on your hiking boots, pack a sandwich and spend the day exploring the remote corners of the Western Isles.
Don't Get Lost - If you decide to take a hike make sure you know the way back. Stick to the paths, pack warm, waterproof clothes and plenty of water. It is easy to get lost in such remote places and you are unlikely to have any phone signal if you do.
Do Camp Wild - There is nothing better than waking up to a stunning view of the Western Isles in a spot all of your own. Drive through the remote region of Uig and find a spot to yourself but be respectful of the environment.
Do Use Campsites - There are places where you will have to use campsites, especially in or near the more populated areas of Stornoway and Tarbert. Even if you camp 'wild', find a campsite to fill up your water, throw out your rubbish and empty your waste.
Do Enjoy The Hebridean Sunsets - Hebridean sunsets are quite spectacular and can be enjoyed pretty much anywhere. The best places we found to watch the sun set were on a hill above Minch View Campsite on the Isle of Harris and on one of North Uist's beautiful beaches.
Do Buy Ferry Tickets In Advance - Especially if you are traveling in a campervan and want to travel at a specific time. There are limited places for vehicles available on the ferries so purchase your ticket and book your place in advance, either online or ask at the Visitor Information Office for the nearest ferry office.