Isle of Harris

History of the Hebrides

Situated in the North West of Scotland, the Hebrides consists of a number of small islands all with their own beauty.

Harris is the southern part of the Hebridean island Lewis and Harris. It is known for sandy beaches like Luskentyre and Scarista on the west coast and for rugged mountains in the North.

The island is well known for Harris Tweed production as well as most recently Essence of Harris candles and home fragrances and the Isle of Harris gin and whiskey distillery. While touring the island you will see a lot of sheep and cows but if you are lucky enough you could spot some golden eagles, seals, otters and if you take one of the boat trips some dolphins and puffins.

Local Wildlife

You don’t have to go far to find some of the local wildlife, some while driving, some on walks and some on our local boat trips. Check out the Visit Outer Hebrides website for more information and great tips on spotting wildlife on your trip.

Birds of Prey

Look out for the Outer Hebrides website for the birds of prey trail – a great help if you are travelling through the islands.

Seals

Not an unusual sighting for this area, lookout for the friendly seals which are often found exploring the shores and lying around on rocks!

Highland Cattle

You will find highland cattle dotted about the island. Many are photographed just by Huisinish beach but you will spot them on your drive to any part of the island.

Killer Whales

Another potential spotting on a local sea tour. Check out WhaleTrail for more information on the best places to spot them on your trip.

Machair

This is the Gaelic name for the coastal low lying grassy plains of West Harris. One of the rarest habitats in Europe, only occuring on exposed western coasts of Scotland and Ireland.

Dolphins

There are many sea tours you could take on the islands.  While you are out in the waters you may spot Dolphins swimming along side the boat.  

Golden Eagle

See one of nature’s most majestic animals in their natural habitat, an experience you won’t forget.

Otter

You’ll be delighted to watch otters frolic in the water, streams and nearby lochs.

Corn Crake

At the right time of year, you may be able to say you saw a corn crake. A very rare bird which loves the island habitat.

Puffins

Bring some binoculars and watch the puffins on nearby rockfaces chattering away to each other.

Experience the Unique Culture of Harris 

The island is steeped in history everywhere you look. We recommend a trip to St Clement’s church in Rodel.

The church was built from around 1520 by Alexander MacLeod of Dunvegan and Harris. The Countess of Dunmore then restored it in 1873. The tower itself was restored again after being struck by lightning in 1907. The church is now in the care of Historic Scotland.

The church is widely thought to be the grandest medieval building in the Outer Hebrides. It fell into disuse following the reformation in 1560, although it is now often used for small weddings.

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