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Harris Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    The name Harris comes from the old Norse word meaning high land. This part of the outer Hebrides, also known as the Isle of Harris, is made up of a rocky landscape. The Lewisian gneisses, in Harris, are the oldest rocks in Britain and date back to around 3,000 million years ago. These rocks are mostly granite-like in origin.

  • 2. Now

    Harris is well known for its spectacular beaches, such as Luskentyre, situated in the south. The west coast of Harris is mountainous while the east coast has many inlets, known as The Bays, containing small villages. The Isle of Harris is joined to the Isle of Lewis and comes under the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar council.

  • 3. Events

    The Isle of Harris Mountain Festival is held in September and includes a program of guided walks, talks, sea kayaking, mountain films, and more. The festival runs for one week. The Harris Arts Festival takes place in June and July and includes traditional music and classical concerts, craft workshops, exhibitions and more. The Isle of Harris Half Marathon and family fun run i...Read mores held in July and gives competitors a chance to take part in a running event and enjoy spectacular scenery at the same time. Read less

  • 4. Attractions

    Harris Tweed and Knitwear, in Tarbert, has a variety of Harris Tweed items on display and for buying. Weaving demonstrations can be arranged here in advance. The Seallham Visitor Centre, at Northton, tells visitors all they need to know about the Isle of Harris through its exhibitions. It also has a book and coffee shop.

  • 5. Things To Do

    The beaches are one of the highlights in Harris, and South Harris is the area to find these. One of the renowned beaches is Scarista, which has wonderful views, vast sands and crystal clear water. This beach is used for all kinds of sports including kite buggying, windsurfing and jogging and walking. The beach at Luskentyre is also well known. Boat trips are available daily fr...Read moreom the Isle of Harris and give visitors a chance to see the scenery as well as some of the smaller islands nearby. Read less

  • 6. Business

    The Harris Tweed Shop, in Tarbert, offers visitors a chance to buy souvenirs and Harris Tweed items. It also has a section selling outdoor clothing and equipment. The Harris Tweed Knitwear Company, in Grosebay, sells a selection of coats and jackets made from the authentic Harris Tweed. The Finsbay Gallery displays and sells the work of many known artists who have painted on ...Read morethe theme of the Hebrides and Scotland. The Skoon Art Café, on the east coast, offers visitors a chance to enjoy refreshments and the stunning scenery at the same time. Local art and music is also available to buy here. Tarbert is the main place to head to for grocery and other shopping. The Isle of Harris Inn, in Tarbert, is also a venue for eating out. Scarista House, in Sgarasta Bheag, is a hotel and restaurant offering stunning views. Read less

  • 7. Transport

    Ferries travel directly to Harris from North Uist into Leverburgh and from Skye to Tarbert. To get to the Isle of Harris you can also travel to Stornoway, in the Isle of Lewis, by plane or ferry, before driving to Harris on the A859. Plane services run from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness and ferries run from Ullapool.

  • 8. Entertainment

    An Lanntair, in adjoining Isle of Lewis, is the place to go for live entertainment. Its programme includes live music and entertainment as well as workshops and talks.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    The Church of St Clement, in Rodel, is at the southern tip of the Isle of Harris and was built in the 16th century. The church has three tombs carved in black gneiss depicting knights. The church tower offers great views.

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    The BBC series Castaway was filmed on the Isle of Taransay, which is just off the west coast of Harris. The island can be seen from a roadside parking bay between Horgabost and Borve. The island is unoccupied, apart from sheep and deer, but boat trips are available there during the summer.

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