Download GPX file for this article
57.921389-6.829444Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lewis and Harris are a single large island in the Outer Hebrides or Western Isles of Scotland. It's the third largest island in the British Archipelago, only Great Britain and Ireland being larger. Harris (Gaelic Na Hearadh) is the mountainous southern third of it, while boggy low-lying Lewis makes up the northern two-thirds. Only in modern times were they connected by road: historically you could only travel from one to the other by boat, as if they were individual islands. Moreover their transport links were to different mainland ports, so they became separate counties.

Map showing Harris in red


Harris is divided by the deep notches of West and East Loch Tarbert.

  • 1 Tarbert is the main village and ferry port, and the obvious base for exploring all of Harris.
  • 2 Leverburgh on the west coast is the main settlement of South Harris

Get in[edit]

The Golden Road between Rodel and Tarbert
Luskentyre beach

By boat[edit]

Calmac car ferries sail:

  • from Uig on Skye to Tarbert on Harris, twice a day taking under two hours (Nov-March some days in just one direction).
  • from Berneray (linked by road to North Uist, Benbecula and South Uist) to Leverburgh on Harris, four a day taking an hour.
  • from Ullapool in Wester Ross to Stornoway on Lewis, twice a day taking 2 hours 30 min (Nov-March only one on Sunday).

By plane[edit]

Harris has no airport. The most convenient air route is from Glasgow to Stornoway then drive south. Another way is to fly to Benbecula then take the ferry from Berneray to Leverburgh.

By bus[edit]

There are five buses M-Sa between Harris and Lewis, taking 75 min. A linked bus / ferry service[dead link] runs up the Western Isles through Barra, the Uists and Harris and across Lewis to Stornoway, so M-Sa it's may be possible to go the whole way in one day.

Get around[edit]

Car is best in this remote area.

By bus: Bus W10 is the Western Isles "spine route" from Barra and the Uists. It runs along the west coast of Harris on A859, from Leverburgh via Northton, Borve, Seilibost, Luskentyre turnoff, and Golden Road turnoff into Tarbert, 45 mins. It continues across north Harris to Stornoway. There are six per day Mon-Sat.

Bus W13 runs up the east coast lane from Leverburgh via Rodel, Ardslave and Geocrab then either direct to Tarbert or meandering through Grosebay and Drinishader. Two run Mon-Sat, another four are school buses.


  • The lighthouse on Scalpay island, linked by road to Tarbert.
  • Rodel church, south of Leverburgh.
  • Luskentyre beach.


  • Climb Clisham, north of Tarbert, the only "Corbett" in the Western Isles.
  • Hike the "Postman's Path" above Rhenigidale, past abandoned villages.
  • Take a boat trip to lonely St Kilda.
  • Drive or cycle the "Golden Road" along the east coast between Tarbert and Rodel.


  • Various cafes along the main road, but the best dining options are the two hotels in Tarbert.


  • There are no pubs but the Tarbert hotels have public bars.
  • The Isle of Harris Distillery in Tarbert produces gin and scotch whisky and is open for tours.


  • Camping: There are sites around the island, some extremely picturesque, some not official.
  • There are hostels in Tarbert, Leverburgh plus some remote locations eg Rhenigidale (near Tarbert).
  • There are hotels in Tarbert and a small one at Scarista near Leverburgh. The most luxurious splurge is at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle on the lane between Tarbert and Huisinish.
  • There's bed & breakfast and self-catering cottages dotted around but mostly near Tarbert or Leverburgh.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Harris is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!