The ECO ESCAPE
THE ROUTE Round trip from Stornoway to Lewis and Harris in the Hebrides THE CAR Nissan Leaf THE DISTANCE 280km
START IN... Stornoway
The landscape on the Hebridean island of Lewis and Harris (above) is wildly beautiful. There are the rugged peatlands of Lewis, the moonlike craters and miniature lochs of The Golden Road, the mountain streams and the world-class beaches (Luskentyre, Uig, Huisinis), with white sands and Caribbean-hued water. Start at Stornoway, the capital, and head north to Butt of Lewis, where you might see whales, then meander south along the west coast, past the Callanish Standing Stones and into the wilds of Harris, where you’ll find the historic Amhuinnsuidhe Castle Estate (far right).
THE PIT STOP Uig Sands
Who would have thought this tiny island would be so foodie? In Stornoway, don’t miss Digby Chick for its cosy interior and creative menu – think pork belly with toffee apple and onion puree. In Tarbert, which links Harris and Lewis, you can fill up on shellfish in the Harris Gin Distillery (right) while you charge the Nissan. But possibly the most scenic restaurant in the whole of the UK is Uig Sands, on the west coast of Lewis, where you can sit by the window eating fresh scallops and seafood chowder watching the sun go down over the spectacular beach.
THE FINISH The Sheep Station
The most stylish place to stay is The Sheep Station (left and bottom), made up of two luxurious, contemporary, one-bedroom cottages in the tiny hamlet of Scaristavore. Designed by Dualchas Architects, who are defining the new Hebridean style, you will find hardwood floors, a high-spec kitchen, marble bathroom, underfloor heating and floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the sweeping views of the wild Atlantic. Head to gorgeous Scarista beach for a bracing walk and return for eggs, smoked salmon and Bollinger – all from the welcome hamper – by your log-burning stove. Cottages (sleep two) from £900 for three nights
THE CAR Nissan Leaf
There’s a reason the cute Nissan Leaf (left) is the UK’s most popular electric vehicle (EV). But you can’t just hit the road in an EV – you need to plan your route around roadside chargers. Lewis and Harris have plenty, but you should still keep an eye on the charge and master regenerative (battery recharging) braking. At the charge point, note that the ‘quick‘ charge takes three to four hours, whereas the ‘rapid’ ones take only an hour. Getting there: Loganair flies from Southend to Stornoway via Glasgow from £236 return, visitscotland.co.uk