Taking Harris To Harris

We’ve been back from Harris a good few weeks now and, despite this, we are all homesick for Harris. Normally I return from holiday longing to return to newly discovered trails, whilst Leanne is happy to be back in the familiarity of our own home. This time around, however, the charm of the rugged island of Harris has won us all over, to the point that we would all happily up sticks and move there permanently. I never thought I would see the day that I would say that about anywhere else in Scotland other than our beloved Cairngorms.

Straight off the back of Glenmore 24, there was no running on this holiday, other than those times when I found myself chasing Harris along a beach, up a hill, over rocks, or running, armed with swords, around the stunning Callanish Standing Stones.

A carefully planned move by Leanne?

Perhaps!

Given that, on our Mallorcan holiday the previous year, I had nipped out for a quick run and returned some four hours later, cut and bloodied, having let curiosity and the desire for the most scenic photo possible get the better of me, resulting in me ascending the mountain that overlooked our accommodation, and then, having lost the trail (!), having to make an improvised, entirely awkward, not entirely sane/safe descent, who could blame her had ulterior motives played a part in the timing!

A holiday free of running. Now there’s a novel idea!

Or was it just circumstance, convenient dates for us to take up the extremely kind offer of accommodation on Harris from Carolyn (of West Highland Way Race crew fame)?

Whatever the circumstance, after catching up on some sleep post Glenmore 24 on the Sunday evening, Leanne, Harris and myself, found ourselves heading from Aviemore to the West coast and then over the bridge to Skye, and then on to Harris, taking the ferry from Uig to Tarbert.

We stayed at Carolyn’s lovely croft in the Harry Potter-esque sounding Quidinish, a remote area with no more than a few houses dotted along a long and winding road. The lack of light pollution meant we were treated to a star spectacular of an evening, when cloud cover, or rather the lack of it, permitted. Standing outside at 4am one balmy evening, I was fortunate enough to see more stars than I think I have ever previously seen, what I think was the space station, and a number of shooting stars. Fantastic!

The weather was mixed, not entirely unexpected given that it was a) Scotland and b) September, but we made the most of it regardless, spending many an hour wandering along the many beautiful beaches, wondering at the moon-like terrain, quite unlike anything that we have seen on the mainland, save perhaps for the top of the Cairngorm plateau, and exploring the many nooks and crannies of this stunning Island.

One of the many highlights has to be the amazing Losgaintir/Luskentyre Beach, which we visited on no fewer than 3 occasions, climbing high above the beach before enjoying the beach itself. Having seen someone brave the waters of the chilly (understatement!) North Atlantic Ocean, we arrived the next time prepared to similarly enjoy a swim, guaranteed to invigorate the senses!

It has to be the most relaxed holiday that we have ever had, even with our three year old tornado, and we were all gutted when the time came to leave. We barely made it off the island before inclement weather and rough seas stopped the ferry service briefly. Harris seemed oblivious to the choppy return ferry trip, loudly exclaiming, “Daddy, we’re flying”, shortly after the legs were taken from underneath me and I landed on my rear! At least it hasn’t put him off boat trips!

After the ‘novel’ of my previous post, I will let the photographs do the talking for this one. Suffice to say that we made an excellent choice when naming our son, and that we have found a new home from home, that may perhaps one day be our home if circumstances permit.

The photographs below are a tiny selection of the hundreds that were taken in and around the following places:

  • Tarbert
  • Rodel
  • Borve
  • Seilebost
  • Scarista
  • Losgaintir/Luskentyre
  • Lewis – (Day trip covering Stornoway, Lews Castle, Callanish Standing Stones and Carloway Broch)

I should add, we did, of course, take Harris to the Harris Tweed Museum, where we could claim to have ‘Harris holding Harris Tweed, in the Harris Tweed Museum, on the Island of Harris. Had to be done! Additionally, the locals, who were most welcoming, loved our own little Harris!