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|The Isle of Harris is a small island in the group of islands http://www.authenticyankeesprostore.com/yankees-todd-frazier-jersey/ , off the west coast of Scotland, known as the Western Isles (which are also widely known as the Outer Hebrides). Many people will be familiar with the material called "Harris Tweed" which is hand made on the Isle of Harris and the Isle of Lewis (which is joined to Harris). Incredibly hard wearing the tweed has been popular since Victorian times when the upper classes of Great Britain became the first Scottish tourists.
The pretty village of Tarbert is the main village on the Isle of Harris. It is also the island's ferry port and prior to the building of an access road to the ferry which is close to sea level and features a large queuing area http://www.authenticyankeesprostore.com/yankees-thurman-munson-jersey/ , the village would become very congested at ferry times. The main road is set higher up the steep mountain side and features some lovely older buildings but, as it is rather narrow http://www.authenticyankeesprostore.com/yankees-starlin-castro-jersey/ , can still become congested at times. Set in a steep green valley at the narrow point where North Harris changes to South Harris, the more modern houses of Tarbert can be seen up on the hillside on terraces.
North Harris is rather rocky with huge jagged mountains that dominate the skyline and prove popular with many hill walkers. There are a number of challenging walks which usually take about an hour. Driving around North Harris you may find yourself a little confused as you approach Amhuinnsuide Castle (pronounced rather like 'avan-soo-ee'). As you approach the castle you get the feeling that you have somehow ended up on a private road. Strangely the public highway passes right through the main entrance and passed the front door.
About 15 minutes drive from Tarbert is the small island called the Isle of Scalpay which is joined to the Isle of Harris by a narrow single track bridge. Scalpay once had a population of well over 800 and was an incredibly busy fishing community. Today the population is less than 300 but there is still a small but active fishing fleet. The north harbour is where you will find the pier but one of the best places to visit involves a trek across open moorland. Eilean Glas lighthouse was the first built in Scotland erected in 1788. Now automated the buildings and surrounding grounds are both beautiful and interesting.
South Harris is very different to North Harris and many consider this area to be the most beautiful on the Isle of Harris. On the east side it is very rocky with many rocky coves and single track roads which twist and turn endlessly. On the west coast it is far greener with large area of machair leading onto some of the finest beaches in Scotland and views out to the island of Taransay (which hosted a survival type of televised competition some years ago).
Driving southwards along the west coast can be somewhat dangerous if you have not visited Harris before. While you will quickly become accustomed to the single track roads the spectacular sights of the most astounding beaches (to your right) often causes drivers to suddenly slow down. Often the drivers have become so overcome by the amazing scenery that they are unaware of traffic behind. Please be prepared for this and take the greatest care to consider others. I am not exaggerating the reactions are often extreme. The best thing to do is to pull over and take the time to enjoy the views at no risk to others.
Just after the beaches you arrive at the village of Leverburgh. If you are catching the ferry over to Berneray and the Uists it is here that you will have to watch for a turn off to the right which leads straight to the CalMac ferry terminal. Leverburgh is a useful place to stop and restock as it has two excellent shops. The first one you pass (on the right) also supplies fuel as well as groceries and other goods http://www.authenticyankeesprostore.com/yankees-sonny-gray-jersey/ , the second is on the left and is a small post office and gift shop.
From Leverburgh onwards the road now remains inland but it is only a short distance to the last village of Rodel. At one time this was the main village on the Isle of Harris but has long since lost it's importance. It is also at Rodel that you will find one of the best tourist attractions on the Isle of Harris, the medieval St Clements Church. It is well worth a visit and after a walk in the graveyard you can call inside (the keys can be picked up at the nearby hotel) and see the incredible interior with intricately decorated tombs.
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Thinking of visiting Harris? Take a look at Isle of Harris guest house and Hebrides guest house
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