The Isle of Harris

The Isle of Harris is a small island in the archipelago known as either the Outer Hebrides or the Western Isles, found not too far off the western coast of Scotland in the United Kingdom. This incredibly unique group of islands are considered the heartland of the Gaelic language and culture and, in the Gaelic, they are known as 'na h-Eileanan Siar'. Although there are hundreds of islands in the Hebrides only a small number are inhabited, the main ones in the Outer Hebrides being; the Isle of Lewis, Isle of Harris, Barra, North and South Uist. The Isle of Harris is found at the southern tip of a larger landmass (with the Isle of Lewis being the northern part).

Harris BeachOne of the many things for which the Isle of Harris is famous is the amazing beaches which are to be found along it's west coast and especially those of South Harris. Incredibly it is still possible to find yourself lying on a beach in the most glorious weather with not another soul to be seen. While the islands continue to grow in popularity as a vacation destination you will still be able to find the most fantastic beaches all to yourself. One of the aspects of these beaches that catch alot of visitors by surprise is the clarity of the waters. Even the rock pools seem deceptively shallow as you can see right to the very bottom of the very deepest - so care should be taken!

 

One of the many beaches on the Isle of HarrisTo give things a sense of scale the photograph to the left shows a guy standing on the rocks to the bottom right. As you can see the weather is fine and yet he is the only person to be seen on this massive expanse of golden sand. However, to be truthful, there were a number of vehicles parked alongside the main road futher up the hill with plenty of passengers outside taking in the spectacular view. There was also a small family walking up the hill, seen at the background, heading towards the single standing stone known as "Macleod's Stone" but the beach itself was empty. The photograph was taken just before the peak of the vacation season in 2007.

If you are planning a vacation to the Ise of Harris, or anywhere else in the Hebrides you will find that the Virtual Hebrides has a wealth of useful information about places to visit and things to do.