There's been something of a trend of late to give new long distance walks names that arise from association with historical events or notable characters, such as John Muir, Sir Walter Scott, Rob Roy or St Cuthbert. "The Hebridean Way", launched by Scottish Natural Heritage in 2017, marks a return to a geographically-based name. As well it might, because the Hebridean Way stretches for 155 miles or 247km along the Outer Hebrides from Vatersay in the south to Stornoway in the north. En route, the Way crosses ten islands, linked together by six causeways and two ferries. The terrain varies dramatically, from incredible white beaches (lapped by stunning turquoise seas if you've been lucky with the weather) to rugged hills and moorland. It is waymarked throughout, though this guide's comments about the adequacy of the waymarking needs to be taken into account by anyone contemplating the walk.
"The Hebridean Way: Long-Distance Walking Route Through Scotland's Outer Hebrides" by Richard Barrett is a superb pocket-sized guide to the walk. Most walkers will be familiar with the approach that publishers Cicerone take to guides like this, and it's probably sufficient for those familiar with their output for us to say that this book lives up to the extremely high standards we have come to expect from them. For those who have somehow missed Cicerone's extensive range of excellent guides, what you get is just about everything you need to walk the Hebridean Way in one small package.
The contents include an introduction, a stage planner, sections on practicalities and planning, and background about the Outer Hebrides. The bulk of the book comprises descriptions of the walk broken down into twelve stages. The first ten cover the current "official" route, which ends (assuming you are heading from south to north) in Stornoway. Anyone who knows the Western Isles will feel this is an odd ending point, as the Isle of Lewis extends considerably further north. This oddity is addressed by the inclusion of two additional stages in the guide that extend the route to a much more satisfying conclusion, the Butt of Lewis, which marks the true northern end of the archipelago. The result is to give the reader the option of a true "end-to-end" walk. The section about each stage includes a series of full colour extracts from Ordnance Survey 1:50K maps showing the route, plus colour photographs, a detailed route description and boxed sections on points of interest, ranging from places visited to flora and fauna. Appendixes cover useful contacts and accommodation. The whole thing comes in a waterproof slip-on jacket. This book is essential reading for anyone contemplating walking the Hebridean Way: and an essential companion for anyone actually doing so.