Discover some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery as we traverse the 10 islands that make up the southern section of the Scottish Outer Hebrides.
Complete a series of challenging crossings and coastal swims between and around the area's stunning islands. Then relax between swims on the beautiful Lady of Avenel tall ship, a 102-foot Brigantine square rigger - our home for the week.
Enjoy delicious meals on the Lady of Avenel, all prepared by our very own on board chef. You can even try your hand at going up the rigging and crewing the ship yourself!
Join us on an unforgettable swimming expedition where we’ll traverse the 10 islands that make up the southern section of the Scottish Outer Hebrides. From South Uist in the north, to Berneray in the south, we swim among some of Britain’s most spectacular landscapes, all while living on board the beautiful Lady of Avenel - a 102-foot Brigantine square rigged ship.
Over the course of the trip, you will discover an abundance of beautiful lochs, long sandy beaches, and scenic Scottish landscapes. You will also find plenty of fun activities out of the water on the Lady of Avenel ship, complete with your very own on board chef. You can expect to see a huge range of wildlife, both in and out of the water, making this trip a nature lover’s dream.
This trip will see you exploring some of the wildest parts of Scotland on a sustainable form of transport, with the option to learn some new skills and get involved with the crewing of the ship. This is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a unique activity holiday with some impressive bragging rights to gain along the way - this truly is an epic expedition and an exciting opportunity for adventure swimming and sailing alike.
Who is this trip for?
This trip is made up largely of crossings and some coastal swims. Conditions will be challenging, yet extremely rewarding.
Swimmers should have a sound understanding and experience of swimming in strong sea conditions and be capable of completing the average swim distance of 2.5km. The average daily swim distance is around 4km (split over a minimum of two swims) prior to the start of the trip. Due to the nature of this trip, there is a minimum swimming speed of 30 min/km (40 min/mile).
We have given this trip a ‘Challenging’ grading. These trips are for experienced open water swimmers who want to push themselves.
No sailing experience is required - however, the ship’s crew are happy for you to assist with onboard duties as much or as little as you like.
- Fully guided swimming holiday (swimmers only)
- Professional swim guides and full safety escort on all swims (swimmers only)
- All breakfasts
- All lunches
- All dinners
- Full ABTOT Financial Protection
- Six nights’ accommodation on board the Lady of Avenel tall ship
What's not included?
- Travel to and from the start of the tour
- Tipping for onboard crew
- Alcoholic drinks which can be purchased onboard
Sample Trip Itinerary
Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilots will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.
Part of the appeal of our Lady of Avenel trips is the unpredictability of the wild areas in which we will swim. We sail when the winds are favourable, meaning a degree of flexibility is required as to when we may sail out.
Please note that the below itinerary is an example of the swims that may take place during your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances can vary according to local weather and sea conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilot will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will let you know swim plans as soon as possible. Sailing a tall ship by its nature brings the excitement of the elements.
The Outer Hebrides is wild and beautiful and this trip challenged, delighted and rewarded. Stunning swimming experiences in places very few will have swum and this was due to the excellent knowledge and experience of the guides and boat skipper.Valentina Cowell, 2021
The combined open water and tall ship sailing experience really made this trip for me... We swam over kelp forests, fished for mackerel, had close encounters with dolphins and minke whale. And they fed us very well too!Lou Doret, 2021
Ultimate in adventure swimming.Carolyn Stewart, 2021
SwimTrek is such a special experience. The guides and staff are incredible, and it will be the most enjoyable swimming you do!Anna Ford, 2021
A joyously fun trip swimming in areas that would have been inaccessible were it not for the in depth knowledge of the guides. I’ll certainly never forget swimming with the seals in Mingulay or walking on white sand beaches which wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. Absolutely ace!Mary S, Malawi - 2018
Swim with the Seals in 'Barradise'!Chris H, UK - 2018
It was great to swim so far out on the very edge of Europe, yet to feel so well looked after.Crispin H, UK - 2018
I will never forget this week; incredible wild off grid swimming experience. Seals and dolphins outnumbering humans. I can't imagine any future trips matching or coming close to how brilliant this was. Thank you SwimtrekNicola O. UK - 2017
Great scenery, clear water, all in the company of like-minded swimmers. Swam with dolphins and seals and had a great time. Unforgettable.Andrew B, UK - 2017
The Outer Hebrides trip is a wild swimming paradise.Andrew T, UK - 2017
Swimming every day in pristine water, at magical locations, with like minded companions. How could it be better?Robert M, UK - 2017