An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Harris has some of the best beaches of the British Isles. Here are some of our favourites:

Traigh Scarasta – 3 km of golden sandy beach on the west coast of Harris. Stunning views across the Sound of Taransay to the island, once the setting for the TV series ‘Castaway’, and the mountains of Lewis to the north. The flower-studded machair make the perfect the backdrop.

Horgabost – a stunning white beach just around the corner from better known Luskentyre beach. The beach looks straight across to Taransay with the mountains of Lewis forming a spectacular backdrop. Close to a campsite, a shop and toilets.

Seilebost – on the southern side of Luskentyre Bay it was once voted one of the top 10 beaches of the word. Pure sands slope gently into the pristine, sparkling waters of Taransay Sound. Access requires a short walk through the dunes. The beach is handy for a sip of Harris Gin and other goodies at the nearby Machair Kitchen.

Luskentyre – this is a jaw-droppingly beautiful beach and the one usually quoted as the best in the Hebrides.. Wild sands, the sea every hue of aquamarine and framed by the outline of distant mountains.

Huisinis – remotely located at the end of the road this is one of the UK’s most beautiful beaches but you’ll unlikely be sharing it with anyone. South facing, it is more protected from the stronger Westerlies. A great place to kayak, surf and swim.

Traigh Mheilein – tranquil, pure white sands and stunningly located opposite the island of Scarp, famed for its Rocket Mail. Can only be reached by walking north from Huisinis along the coast. This route does involve a bit of scrambling but the views and experience makes it very well worth it.

Most of these beaches can be visited along our fantastic cycling circuit of Harris. For ideas for coastal circuits around other islands in the Outer Hebrides, check out our book, Islandeering: adventures around the outside edge of Britain’s hidden islands.

 

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