Island overview

Find the best adventures on Harris

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Hike to the high point of Harris

Climb Clisham (An Cliseam)

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Best beaches in Harris

Head to Harris for the best beaches

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Best food on Harris

Seafood, cakes, gin and views

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57.818271, -6.939296

About Us

Hi I’m Lisa. Welcome to Islandeering I’m an islandeer, author and marine conservationist and passionate about sharing what I have learnt from my travels around the islands of the British Isles to help you find an adventure. I started the project 12 years ago after I had one of those light bulb moments and realised the pure magic that islands held for me. After meeting so many people on their island travels who shared my passion and told me that I must share my experiences so that others could do the same I set up Islandeering.com, where we are passionate about promoting responsible travel to our great British islands.
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We have a lot of fun here, as we continuously find new islands and meet plenty of great folks along the way. Join our community to get new routes and adventures, latest blogs and news by using the email box below. Tune in also to our Facebook and Instagram pages to see where we are going next.
Distance: 68 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Method: Road cycling
Wow Factor: 9 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Outer Hebrides
  • Terrain: Minor roads and a section of The Hebridean Way (A859)
  • Access: Road from Lewis; ferry from North Uist
  • Height gain: 1142 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 455
  • Starting point: Leverburgh Ferry Terminal (57.767516, -7.024824)
  • Accommodation/food:

    This is a bit of a grand cycling tour of some excellent cafes and restaurants and a true celebration of local food. Here’s some of our favourite places to eat along this route:

    The Anchorage, Leverburgh – think haggis and black pudding bon bons and good portions of fish and chips

    The Butty Bus, Leverburgh – great place for soup or breakfast and a chat to the locals

    Temple Cafe, Northton – a mini stone hobbit house on the beach with good soups, bread and bakes

    Machair Kitchen, Talla na Mara – great seafood and local fare from the decks with one of the best views in Harris and a great place to drink Harris Gin. Nearby, there is also the new and excellent pop-up restaurant Flavour

    Skoon Gallery, Geocrab – excellent coffee and home-baking within an art gallery

    Bay of Harris Community Centre, Lackalee – super-friendly cafe great for hearty soup and mighty scones. Have a look through the visitors’ book to find Charles and Camilla’s entry – they were out inspecting the Household tweed no doubt!

    Sam’s Seafood, Rodel – a personal favourite try the seaweed roast potatoes, lobster flatbreads or salmon goujons. The list of delicious seafood changes daily. Takeaway only but lovely views to savour.

    Harris Community Shop, Leverburgh – well stocked

    There is plenty of accommodation on South Harris including a number of excellent campsites.

  • Island Summary:

    South Harris is linked to Lewis in the north and separated from North Uist in the south by the Sound of Harris. This island offers a lot more to the visitor than the Harris tweed for which it is famed. Full of natural beauty, geological wonder and plenty of cultural and foodie stops this island loop needs to be on everyone’s itinerary.

    The west coast boasts the show-stopper beaches of Sgarasta Mhor, Seilibost and Luskentyre. The east coast, known as The Bays’, is deeply indented with a patchwork of small lochs, outcrops of ancient rocks. Here the isolated communities are linked together by the historic Golden Road between Drinishader and Leac a Li  and winds and undulates through the lunar landscape. The route then continues south through the wild and watery landscape of the Bays of Harris.

  • Look out for:
    • Cycling past some of the best beaches of the Hebrides
    • Plenty of stops to sample quirky cafes, art galleries, good restaurants and local seafood
    • Pass through lunar landscapes of some of the oldest rocks in the world
  • Route description:

    This is a roller-coaster of a road route that takes in all of the natural, cultural and foodie highlights of this wonderful island with stunning beach scenery along the west coast and wild and stark scenery along the east.

    Heading north from Leverburgh the clockwise route follows the legendary Hebridean Way passing the epic beaches of the west coast, climbing the high pass between Grosa Cleit and Uabhal Beg, before turning off to follow the single-track Golden Road to Leac a Li and then onwards through the Bays of Harris.

    The east coast route passes through lunar-looking landscape. Grey rocky outcrops, the oldest exposed rock in the world, juxtaposed with patches of green and splendid waterlily-filled lochans, edged with the wonderfully named bog bean. It winds and undulates through a mix of small communities with Gaelic and Viking names that will leave you tongue-tied. There are plenty of opportunities to soak up the cultural heritage of Harris along the way and have a well-deserved break. For a Tweed-fest pull over at Plocrapol, which still hand-weaves Harris Tweed in the traditional way. There are fantastic art galleries at Holmasaig Gallery, Finsbay Gallery, Skoon Art Cafe, Ardbuidhe Gallery and the Mission House. Definitely take time to enjoy the stunning viewpoint at Manish and don’t miss Finsbay to view the seals basking on the rocks. You’ll know that you are coming up to it by the number of cars parked on the verge. This whole section feels more high mountain plateau than low level coastal.

    The southern end of the east coast route reaches Rodel with the wonderful St Clement’s Church above the tranquil harbour – both are well worth a visit and good toilets are available. The route climbs out of Rodel before the final descent into to Leverburgh – the best way to finish this energetic ride.

  • Getting there:

    Ferry: there are a choice of Calmac ferry routes including from Uig on Skye to Tarbert on Harris; from Berneray on North Uist to Leverburgh on Harris; and from Ullapool on the mainland to Stornoway on Lewis (then south by road).

    Bus: There are five buses between Leverburgh and Tarbert, taking 45 min. Most continue to Stornoway on Lewis which takes another hour.

    Other islands nearby:

    Isle of Lewis more

    Isle of Barra more

    North Uist more

    Vatersay more

    Berneray more

    Best things to do on Isle of Harris:

    Walk to the island’s highpoint more

    Visit the best beaches on Harris more

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