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Isle of Harris

Is Isle of Harris where the Harris Tweed factory is?

Any suggestions regarding the island visit, accommodations, etc?

Many thanks!

Posted by
901 posts

Hi, ds,

Harris is my favorite of all the Scottish islands. The beaches are absolutely stunning, and the Golden Road, on the east side of the island, has to be one of the top road trips in the world. Lewis isn't so bad, either, with the Standing Stones at Callanish, the Dun Carloway broch, the Gearrannan Blackhouses, and the HebCelt festival, if you're there in July.

Accommodation is hard to find on Harris, as it has become almost as much of a tourist destination as Skye (albeit more difficult to reach). On our last few visits, we've stayed at the Harris Hotel, which is a classic Scottish hotel (built in 1865), as well as Luskentyre Lodge. Unfortunately, the excellent TI office in Tarbert has shut down for lack of funding, so you're pretty much on your own as far as finding accommodation.

The easiest, and shortest, way to reach Harris is on the CalMac ferry from Uig (Skye) to Tarbert. You can also go from Uig to Lochmaddy on North Uist, then Berneray to Leverburgh, for a more adventurous route. You can also travel by ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway.

Many of the roads on Harris are single track, with passing places.

Most of the tour guides don't give a lot of coverage to Harris and Lewis. The RS guide doesn't mention the Outer Hebrides at all. There are a few pages in the Lonely Planet guide. You can probably obtain a copy through interlibrary loan.

If you're up for further adventures, Kilda Cruises operate all day trips to the islands of St. Kilda from Leverburgh. It's not cheap, but it's one of those once in a lifetime things that you need to do.

Best wishes for your travels!

Slainte!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
1579 posts

We visited Harris / Lewis a few years ago. The west side of Harris was beautiful beaches, there was an interesting mostly ruined church at the southern tip of Harris, and the east side of Harris looked like a moonscape. We only saw a couple of other cars while driving. When researching that trip, I recall something about the eastern side being used as a set for the filming of one of the earlier Star Wars movies.

Lewis, which is connected to Harris, is much larger and has the Callanish stone circles and a Pictish broch. Stornoway had an excellent restaurant, Digby Chicks, and a workshop where one could choose from a large selection of Harris tweed clothing or yardage.

Rough Guides are good sources for detailed UK travel information.

Posted by
458 posts

In addition to the information you've already got above, you might like to know that most of the tweed is made by very small independent producers. Much of it can be found in the large (by Harris) standards shop right near the ferry terminal in Tarbert. Opposite you will find the Harris Distillery, selling excellent gin and now also making whisky although it will be a couple of years before they can sell that (as it needs to be a minimum of 3 years old).