Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

(Above image is of a Harris Tweed weaver at work at Tarbert.)

This evening, I am posting information on Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Latter being a chain of islands situated off Scotland's N.W.coast.

Harris is not an island in it's own right but linked to it's larger northern neighbour, Lewis. Lewis and Harris jointly form a single island which sits at the northern end of the Outer Hebrides chain.

Harris is distinguished from neighbour, Lewis by it's topography: Lewis is relatively flat whilst Harris is hilly, with over thirty peaks above 100feet in height. Area is 41 square miles.

Snow-capped mountain on Harris

Summary information on Harris:
  • Is home to about 10pct (about 2000 persons) of the joint population of Lewis and Harris which totals 20,500.
  • About 60pct of the population speak Gaelic.
  • Majority of residents adhere to a version of the Presbyterian religion which incorporates sabbatarianism consequent upon which most commercial premises are closed on Sundays.
  • The principal community on Harris is at Tarbert from where ferries operate to and from Isle of Skye (close to the mainland) and North Uist (to the south).
  • Production of Harris Tweed cloth is a major industry on Lewis and Harris and is protected by law. The cloth is woven by over 200 home weavers and then sent for finishing at one of the three mills.
  • Home of Clan MacLeod.
  • A distillery has recently been opened at Tarbert, which produces whisky and gin.
  • In addition to the ferry services operating from Tarbert, air travel services operate from Barra to the south and Stornoway (Lewis) to the north.
  • Harris benefits from some spectacular sandy beaches which include Luskentyre and Scarista, but bear in mind the water is usually very cold.Behind the beaches are the machairs, or green grassy plains which are covered in a mass of wild flowers in the summer.
  • Most of the place names date from the Viking (Old Norse) period when the Outer Hebrides were ruled from Norway. 
 Grose Bay

West Loch Tarbert

Back road on Harris

Coastal view

 CalMac ferry departing North Uist for Tarbert

 Colourful hardware store at Tarbert

 Harris Tweed products for sale on Harris

 Dyeing wool for Harris Tweed industry on Harris

© Nigel P Cole/Catswhiskerstours Limited


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