The Isle of Harris - Outer Hebrides - has an incredible diversity in its landscape. The East coast of The Isle of Harris is dramatic, a rocky landscape. The west coast of Harris is perhaps as breathtakingly beautiful with miles of golden sandy beaches and fertile machair soil with stunning mountainous backdrops. Isle of Harris, Harris, from the old Norse meaning 'high land' is often described as the 'high heart of the Hebrides'. The Isle of Harris has a wide range of landscapes, all of which have their own charm and interest
The Isle of Harris is the southern part of the largest island of the Outer Hebrides - or Western Isles which is the description given to the islands in modern times. The Isle of Harris lies 25 miles North West of the Isle of Skye and 40 miles West of mainland Scotland.
Isle of Harris - Joined to the Isle of Lewis
The Isle of Harris is actually joined to the Isle of Lewis, Harris has a wide range of landscapes. On the west coast are some of the most spectacular beaches of Britain with large open machair areas. In the north, the terrain is rugged, mountainous and has a Lunar feel to it. The east coast is more isolated and has some of the oldest rocks in the world, up top three million years old!! The rocks are a result of scouring by the glaciers in the Ice Ages. The area is known as ‘The Bays’ as there are lots of small, quiet inlets and bays. We love Harris for its total peace and tranquility, (a little busier during the touristy summer months)
Just this last year, there is even a new whisky being created, a fine single malt, this is a long term project, being inspired by the environment, heritage and culture of the Isle of Harris. The whisky seeks to fill a demand, as well as ensure economic growth for Harris
Wild Mountainous Moonscape - Golden Sandy Beaches
The Isle of Harris and a wild mountainous almost moonscape feel about it - Harris has fantastic white, golden sandy beaches and you do see clear blue skies and aqua marine seas. There are many inland lochs in The Isle of Harris which really are pretty, and of course are excellent for fishermen who can often be seen relaxing by the lochs. The Harris islanders have a beautiful soft lilt to to their voices and the accent is unmistakable and even sounds very romantic.
Winding Single Track Roads
Harris has winding single track roads - which make it very different from being on the mainland - and these and the Harris hills and mountains provide a wonderful scenic backdrop that lets you exploit the beauty of The Isle of Harris in a very leisurely way.
Adjoining Lewis has "An Cliseam" , the highest mountain in the Outer Hebrides at 799 metres. The landscape of North Harris is unique. The hills are rugged and mountainous. They are split by lochs and valleys, which have been scoured by glaciers. There is now peat on much of the moorland hillsides, however at the top peaks and ridges, bedrock is to be found. The rock often is Lewisian Gneiss a rock that is very old - up to 3 billion years old!
The southern part of Harris is less mountainous, with lots of unspoiled white sandy beaches on the west coast.The main settlements are Rodel, known for its medieval St. Clement's Church, and Leverburgh, where you can catch the ferry south to the Uists. Luskentyre and Scarista are considered to be most spectacular beaches with miles of golden white sands.
There is a spectacular east coast road which winds along through the Bays of Harris - and small villages like Lickisto, Geocrab, Manish, Flodabay, Ardvay, Finsbay and Lingerbay. Harris Tweed
Harris Tweed Weaving
A weaver who lives and works at Luskentyre - Donald John MacKay, in 2011 was given the MBE for services to the Harris Tweed Industry. Nike had been looking for a way to update their trainers and after seeing swatches of the Harris Tweed ordered immediately and many of the Islands weavers were put to work, to help meet the demand. Mr Mackay has been weaving for over forty years. Over the past 21 years, he and his wife Maureen have been independently producing the tweed, trading under the name Luskentyre Harris Tweed.
Part of the pretty rocky east coast of South Harris - Western Isles, Flodabay - lies at the head of Loch Flodabay, to the west of Manish. It is about 4 and a half miles northeast of Rodel. Seals lovely wildflowers and a beautiful jetty make this one of the prettiest bays in Harris......
The village of Rodel, Isle of Harris. At one time the main town of Harris was Rodel - the ferry for Skye used to depart from Rodel - however in more recent times it is Tarbert that is the main town and port. Rodel harbour is a peaceful tranquil harbour.Many divers view Rodel as a perfect diving destination in Scotland.....
The Golden Road winds and twists through the East Coast of Harris - sometimes called The Bays. The single track road connects all the tiny hamlets. The specatacular scenery encompasses a 'lunar' landscape, rock that shines in the sun and beautiful lochs and inlets where seals and otters bask on the rocks......