If you Google (other search engines are available) Isle of Harris or beaches on the Isle of Harris you will be inundated with the most spectacular views. You could be mistaken in thinking you are looking at photos of the Bahamas. The honest truth, the Isle of Harris coastline and beaches are some of the best beaches in the world.
Before actually being on these beaches myself in March I was admittedly a bit sceptical about what the colour of the sand and the sea would actually be like BUT even on a grey day I was transported to paradise. They really are something quite special.
The sand really is white and very fine. For the most of what we walked there were no signs of other footprints either which made it even more special, somehow. The very impressive sand dunes creating a natural barrier and sanctuary for wildlife. Then the mountains. On the day we visited Luskentyre beach they appeared dark and imposing, making a statement and yet complimenting the softness of the beach against their own ruggedness.
I really like this about the Isle of Harris, it is an island of contrasts. The mountainous north end of the island with magnificent views and steep, winding roads. As this was our first visit we were surprised to see the luna like landscape just south of the ferry port of Tarbert.
Having only been a resident in Scotland since October last year I have yet to experience true wilderness but this felt pretty wild to me. Silent. Still. Beautiful. Even with the slight breeze it felt calm and relaxing. I know some people would look at this and wonder why on earth anyone would want to holiday in a place that looks so bleak. It’s a good job we’re not all the same! On the occasion that I took this photograph we had been driving for about an hour and not seen a single soul.
When you look at any map of Harris you will see the many lochans that make up the patchwork of this easterly part of the island. A complete opposite to the long sandy beaches of the west.
During our stay we also decided to visit the Callanish stones further north on the adjoining Isle of Lewis. To get there we drove the north of Tarbert into the mountains. To me this was another lovely surprise, I didn’t expect them.
That last sentence makes it sound like I don’t research the places I am visiting. I do but there is nothing that prepares you for the huge changes in landscape this island has to offer.
Some of the houses and crofts are so tucked away that I imagine island life in winter is very difficult but on the up side to this incredibly picture perfect. The thing that none of my photo’s could do justice to.
One thing I would suggest doing if or when you visit Harris is do have a nose down the teeny tiny roads. Do wander slightly off the beaten track because just over the brow of the next hill could be something amazing.
All along the Isle of Harris coastline and beaches are a wide variety of wildlife, seals, golden eagles, otters, lapwings, oyster catchers to name but a few. There is something for everyone here and to top it all off EVERYTHING stops for Sunday (excepting crofting, of course). You can’t even play golf! One of many in a long list of things I simply LOVE about this island. And the sunsets are another.