A lovely summer daytrip around the Isle of Harris, Scotland

The weather in Scotland in summer 2018 has been pretty spectacular and there is no better place to spend a beach holiday in the British Isles than on the Isle of Harris. We spent 4 days during early May on the Outer Hebrides and the most memorable of these was a bespoke daytrip around the island with a new tour operator called Harris Scenic Tours (website, Facebook page).

post1

Actually our first stop, to meet the locals

We were absolutely blown away by the beauty of the island and Kathleen Duce was an exceptional tour guide. Not only did Kathleen set us up to meet a real Harris Tweed weaver, she was also super friendly and shared local island stories hard to find in a guidebook. We cannot recommend their tours enough, even if you are bringing your own car / campervan as they really show you a side of the island as only a local can.

secretBeach

View from the other side of Hushinish

Top tip: We cannot recommend driving down the underrated east coast (Golden Road + Bays Road) enough. We could see Skye very clearly and some of the views were pretty unbelievable.

Isle of Harris Daytrip Itinerary

Note: Our daytrip was roughly a combination of the Hushinish tour (£30pp) and the South Harris tour (£50pp) operated by Harris Scenic Tours up to the month of September (link to all tours). The trip legs below end at major stops.

harrisNonBeach

A landscape that would be at home in the Highlands

Note: Both the Harris Tweed stops have been discussed in greater detail here: https://beyondourhorizons.com/2018/05/25/harris-tweed-outer-hebrides-a-behind-the-scenes-look/

Seilebost to Loch Miabhag

The road to¬†Hushinish is pretty dramatic and we got to see a number of unique landscapes and buildings along the way. We passed by an erstwhile Nordic whaling station and one of the world’s most remote tennis court before stopping to take in the dramatic landscape behind Loch Miabhag. The path right in the middle leads to the Harris Eagle Observatory (Walkhighlands), home to 20 pairs of Golden Eagles! The day started off grey for us till we reached the viewpoint in the video below.

We also saw a helicopter(!) ferrying salmon from an inland loch to a boat that would that would essentially take it away along the supply chain. Now that is something that you’d be hard pressed to see anywhere else.

helicopterSalmon

That bucket contains Salmon ferried from an inland loch

Loch Miabhag to Hushinish Beach

Often overshadowed by heavyweights like Luskentyre and Seilebost, Hushinish is absolutely one of the very best beaches in all of Scotland and one that should be on every Harris visitor list. Kathleen first took us towards the Scarp end and showed us a “secret beach” that is reachable after a short trail walk that was looking so enticing.

scarp

The “secret beach” is the one to the right, Scarp is on the left

After seeing this lovely view (for which Kathleen drove over as very sandy road), Yoda and Dalek took a lovely walk down the beach. The description for the shimmer blue water was aptly put as “glittering diamonds” by Kathleen. We took a relaxing walk on the white sands and used the facilities in the modern Huisinis Gateway.

Public transport tip: Direct (non-request) buses run from Tarbert to Huisinis making this beach one of the very best to reach solely by public transport (timetable). Pack a tent, get some meal deals, take the bus and camp!

hushinishLeadup

Even the lead up to Huisinis looks like a postcard

huishinish

The classic Huisinis beach shot

Hushinish Beach to the Golden Road

After thoroughly enjoying the sunshine, we left for our first Harris Tweed stop Рthe exhibition at Drinishader on the Golden Road. On the way back, we stopped by the unmanned honesty shop to buy crisps and real honeycomb at the Amhuinnsuidhe Castle shop.

castle

Amhuinnsuidhe Castle – also a B&B

It was past noon at this point and the skies were so clear, we could see the Trotternish ridge on the Isle of Skye! Clo-Mor in Gaelic means “The big cloth” and is the local name for both Harris Tweed and the wonderful exhibition centre and shop in Drinishader. This is the one place we’d recommend for anyone wishing to learn more about how Harris Tweed is made. More details in the Harris Tweed blogpost.

juxtaposition

Marion Campbell’s pictures and equipment – she is an inspiration

Golden Road to Rodel via Bays Road

This leg contains one of the most underrated parts of the Outer Hebrides and is essentially the Hebridean equivalent of the Bealach Na Ba / NC 500. We saw a number of seals sunbathing, birds dipping in inland lochs, fjords, dramatic hills and, our favourite part, stories from Kath about growing up in the eastern part of the island. Manish Hill, Geocrab and the iconic St. Clement church in Rodel are scenic spots of note.

sunbathingSeals

Sunbathing seals

rodelChurch

Rodel church

Rodel – Leverburgh (Seafood Lunch)

It was a bit past 2 PM and our stomachs had begun to rumble so we headed to one of the best restaurants on the island – the Anchorage. The food was pretty spectacular with fresh langoustines (and chips ;)) being the star main and the sticky toffee pudding the perfect dessert. Great wine selection as well, highly recommended.

anchorageunch

Super-fresh seafood @ The Anchorage Leverburgh

roadToLeverburgh

A lovely view driving to Leverburgh

Leverburgh to Seilebost via Northton

The final leg of our journey had us visit Rebecca Hutton of Toabh Tuath Tweeds who is an award winning Harris Tweed weaver based in Northton (details in the Harris Tweed post). Here’s where we rounded off the day seeing some of the most spectacular beaches on the west coast of Harris including Northton, Scarista, Borve, Hogarabost and our home base of Seilebost. It rounded off a spectacular day of sightseeing, one that we would do again in a heartbeat.

post3

Becca’s Loom and a weave in progress (+hidden lego)

post4

We walked the sandbar the very next day

Public Transport  & Travel Logistics

Getting In by Public Transport

  • Glasgow to Stornoway with LoganAir (arrives at noon)
  • Short taxi to Stornoway bus terminal + lunch (langoustines again)
  • 2:20 PM Bus W10 to Tarbert operated by Hebridean transport
  • A short break at the Isle of Harris hotel (+ meeting a colleague randomly 300 miles away from office)
  • Bus W10 to Beul Na Mara, Seilebost (review pending, the best B&B we have stayed at in Scotland, TripAdvisor)

    DSC_0498

    Our B&B Beul Na Mara on the left

Getting Around

All the pictures in this blogpost were taken on the same day travelling with Harris Scenic Tours. They run a tour 5 days of the week (not on Friday and Sunday) and also provide local taxi services.

northtonBeach

The Harris Scenic Tours van on Northton beach

If you’re short on time and have a day to spare while on Skye, you could take their South Harris tour during the summer by taking the first ferry to Harris from Uig on Skye as a foot passenger in time for the last ferry back.

Public transport timetables: https://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/roads-travel-and-parking/public-transport/bus-services/harris/ (No buses on Sunday)

Other modes of transport: Cycle hire from Horgabost Cycle Hire¬†(¬£15 a day) and a local taxi operated by Stevie’s Taxi Service

Other Tips

  • Bring lots of cash from the mainland.
  • Only EE & Vodafone work in Seilebost & Luskentyre.
  • Don’t miss our next post on our favourite businesses on the island (Isle of Harris gin is unmissable, of course)

© 2018 Beyond Our Horizons

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook RSS RSS RSS

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “A lovely summer daytrip around the Isle of Harris, Scotland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.