The Outer Hebrides- Harris & Lewis

The Ferry left Uig at the top of The Isle of Skye heading for Tarbert on The Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides. So exciting …..

The Ferry with Harris up ahead

The Isle of Harris

It was about 2 and a half hour on the ferry so we arrived on the Isle of Harris around lunch time. If you look at a map you will see that Harris and Lewis are actually joined together, although still considered to be 2 islands. Harris at the south end is the smaller and more scenic of the two islands and has a population of approximately just under 2,000. Lewis is larger and has a population of around 20,000

I was so excited to go to Harris, the scenery was going to be spectacular and I knew we were talking even more remote. And the beaches; Luskentrye Beach is down as being one of the best beaches in the world. I couldn’t wait to swim there!

Below are some of the photos when we just arrived and were driving to Luskentyre beach which was our first destination.

And a couple more .

We were very lucky that the sun was out and it was a glorious day.

On the way to Luskentyre there was a beach hut selling tea, coffee and all sorts of gifts and bits and pieces. We bought a drink and I bought a hand knitted hat. The lady running the shop confirmed that we would be able to get down to the car park for Luskentyre and that we were almost there.

In the field opposite her shop there was a beautiful white horse . I had to go and say hello of course.

The photos above are I believe at the start of Luskentyre beach but it was further along to get to the main beach which is the best place to swim .

I hadn’t swum for 5 days since the weather got bad on Skye! That is quite a long time for me. I absolutely couldn’t wait to get in! Unlike Coral beach on Skye there were a few other swimmers there, but still only two or three. The beach was so vast that it was still like I was the only one!

I loved everything about this beach and this swim, the vastness, the clear blue sea, the white sand that went on for miles, the backdrop of mountains! What an incredible place to see and to swim at. Here is a link to my instagram reel of me going in. I think it says it all!

My swim at Luskentyre Beach

It wasn’t until later when somebody who lives on Harris asked me if I’d watched out for jellyfish that I realised I hadn’t even given them a thought! Apparently the clear ones are ok, can still sting you but not deadly but it’s the brown ones that are apparently dangerous!

After visiting Luskentyre we went to have a look at Horgabost Beach, very close and another great beach. On the way we noticed a cake shed! You could purchase cake and leave the money in an ‘Honesty Box’ which seemed to be quite popular on these Isles .

The cake shed

And another beautiful rainbow to see us on our way .

We found a park up near by right next to another part of he beach. Here is a photo of the sunset

In the morning I got swim at Horgabost. Another great swim although if I had to choose I preferred Luskentyre. We didn’t get any photos of that swim as we decided it was too similar to the Luskentyre swim.

Here are some photos of some of the beaches where we parked and also stopped at along the way .

Our next destination was another beach called Hushinish Beach. It was about 15 miles on a very bendy, mountainous single track road.

Here’s some photos of ‘The traffic’ we encountered along the way and Dee trying his best to move them along 🤣. He eventually managed with the help of the lady in the car you can see in the distance . She was a local and probably used to it!

The roads became even scarier, and we decided to turn back before getting down to the beach, mainly because we did not know if we’d be able to turn round .

You can see the beach in this though. It was a bit of a relief when we decided not to go any further .

The rest of our drive round Harris was incredibly scenic we drove through a big arch that belonged to a hotel which had incredible water falls as you drove round. You can see it here on instagram

It was time to head to Lewis.

The Isle of Lewis

Lewis was definitely less mountainous and not as scenic as Harris. The roads however were still windy and single track.

Sadly not every day is a swimming day. We headed for a beach called Reef Beach which is apparently the safest beach to swim at in Lewis. The roads were very scarey and at one point Dee had to reverse up a mountain road! After that we stopped and ate lunch then Dee asked me if I would like him to try again to get there! ‘It was a very definite “no” from me! I’m really not the best passenger!

Instead we a went to Cliff Beach which is actually just the other side of a hill to Reef Beach but far less sheltered so it wasn’t really a safe option to swim.

We parked and then walked down to Cliff Beach. As we walked we turned and took a photo of Jovanna, what a perfect place to park. Then you can see Cliff Beach .

Callanish Stones

After Cliff Beach we headed to Callanish Stones .

Callanish Stones are a collection of standing stones placed in a cruciform pattern with a central stone circle . They were erected in the late Neolithic era about 5,000 years ago and predate Stone Henge!

They were used for ritual activity in the Bronze Age although some also believe they may have been an astronomical observatory.

After visiting Callanish Stones the weather turned really stormy for a few days. We decided to sat at Stornaway which is the main town on The Isle of Lewis. There was a large car park that was central and ok to park in overnight. There was an American couple in a van next to us who we chatted to quite a lot, it was nice to have neighbours.

After two days we thought there was a small break in the weather, it was still bad but not as bad. We decided to go and have a look at Ness Point. Roads were very exposed and we didn’t really stay long due to wind and rain but we still managed to get a couple of photos before leaving and heading back to Stornaway for our last night on Lewis and Harris.

Jo taking a photo at Ness Point

The following day we were on the ferry back to Ullapool on the mainland

Next is the famous NC500 which we will probably be covering in a few different posts.

We hope you are enjoying our blog. If so we’d love you to subscribe

You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram, just click on the icons below.

One thought on “The Outer Hebrides- Harris & Lewis

Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s