Harris is actually part of the same landmass as Lewis, although the two are often considered to be separate islands. The main road leads from Stornoway on Lewis to Tarbert on Harris and then down to the southernmost point of Harris. Driving from one ‘island’ to the other leads visitors through fjord-like landscapes, past Loch Resort and Loch Seaforth, where the border between Lewis and Harris lies. The road climbs as it passes through the Harris Mountains that completes the barrier between Harris and Lewis and unfolds a marvellous panoramic view.
Harris has a wide range of landscapes, all of which have their own charm. In the north the terrain is rugged, mountainous and has a Lunar feel to it, with imposing mountains formed of some of the oldest rocks on the planet.
The east coast is isolated and is also made up of some of the earth’s oldest land, being dated at around three thousand years old. These exposed rocks were created by the scouring of the glaciers in the Ice Ages.
On the west coast lie some of the most spectacular beaches in Britain with large open areas of machair. The white sand and turquoise waters rival the beaches of the Caribbean.
The main road descends towards West Loch Tarbert and then into the village of Tarbert, Harris’ main ferry port and settlement. The town is nestled in a valley where North and South Harris meet, and features quaint, steep streets and some interesting shops. Tarbert is also the location of the Isle of Harris Distillery and Harris Tweed Isle of Harris.
At Tarbert the road splits. To the west the main road continues to Leverburgh in South Harris, passing Scarista, Harris’ spectacular beaches and the island’s stunning 9 hole golf course, located a stones-throw from the Atlantic ocean.
To the east the Golden Route winds along the picturesque, wild, rocky coastline. This area is known as ‘The Bays’ because of the many small, quiet inlets populated by tiny townships, each with their own unique character.
1 week camper van road-trip with Hebridean Campervan Holidays
- The Outer Hebrides Guide Book Third Edition By Charles Tait
- Explore: The Outer Hebrides 2016-2017