Harris is actually part of Lewis and Harris, the largest island in the Outer Hebrides which lies 24 miles off the north west coast of Scotland. Lewis and Harris are frequently referred to as two separate islands, but they are in fact all part of one island, over 100 miles long. Harris is the more southerly part, and is more mountainous in comparison to the relatively flat, low lying land of Lewis to the north.
Harris is well known for its spectacular beaches, which are more reminiscent of the Caribbean than the north of Scotland! Follow the Golden Road to Scarista or Luskentyre to discover miles of white sand, clear blue seas and most likely no-one to bother you other than perhaps one of the local sheep.
The main settlement on Harris is the village of Tarbert (population about 550). From here you can take a ferry to Skye if you fancy doing a bit of island hopping. The village is also home to the Isle of Harris Distillery which opened in 2015. Its Hearach single malt whisky is still quietly maturing in oak casks and won’t be ready for some time yet, but meantime you can take a tour of the facility and sample its other product: Harris Gin. The gin is infused with sugar kelp, a seaweed harvested locally by hand, which imparts a dry, maritime note – quite delicious!
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