We booked the Blue Reef Cottages overlooking Scarista Beach for a couple of nights as it was just so beautiful.
We ended up having the most epic journey to get there. We drove out of Glasgow in the middle of a Red Weather Warning in appalling snow conditions. It was so bad that once we got to Luss, we actually phoned the cottages to cancel, but they assured us that if we were to just travel another few miles, we would be out the other side of the weather. Sure enough it was like going through a portal to another world, there was absolutely no snow although it was bitterly cold and Alan had to keep stopping to remove ice from the window wipers! We had the entire A82 northbound all to ourselves, probably because no one else was crazy enough to be there! We finally arrived at our hotel in Fort William 6 hours after leaving Glasgow, it normally takes 2.5hrs. The car was covered in icicles!
The next morning we drove over to the Isle of Skye and boarded the ferry in Uig headed for Tarbert, Isle of Harris. Of course, we had the pills, ginger beer and biscuits for lunch! All was fine again.
We FINALLY arrived in Harris YAY! Do you know what, it was totally worth the effort! I can’t tell you how many times we nearly crashed the car because we were awestruck with the scenery of crystal clear turquoise water and pure white sands! Had we driven through another portal??!
The cottage was out of this world with every mod-con you could think of. It is built into the land with gigantic windows overlooking Scarista Beach. We could have happily spent our entire time right there gazing out of the window!
As we were there out of season, there was not much open and had to plan carefully were we would go. That night we had dinner at the Mote Bar in the Hotel Hebrides in Tarbert, it was excellent. On our first morning we drove south along the coast to St Clement’s Church in Rodel – we had it all to ourselves! Then drove north along the coast to the Skoon Art Café for lunch and it was delicious!
I had read just before going on this trip that Luskentyre Beach had been voted the 2nd most beautiful in the UK and it happened to be just next to where we were staying so we went and my first question was, which beach beat this one? Again, we had the entire beach to ourselves. Surrounded by pure white sand and turquoise water, if it wasn’t so cold and we weren’t wearing thermal from head-to-toe, I would have said we were in the Seychelles!
We finished the day by having a fabulous lunch in the Harris Distillery and then visiting the Harris Tweed Shop.
We noticed that the cafes don't have much choice on their menu, usually a couple of mains but loads of cakes etc. What they do have to offer though, was always delicious!
I was only there for 3 days but Harris has made a HUGE impression on me (in my heart). I could easily live there.
If you ever visit Scotland – forget the big cities (unless its Glasgow of course!) and go to the Islands – you will not regret it!
We ended this trip by travelling north over the terrifyingly high Clisham mountain upto to Stornoway to stay with our friends again for one night and then got the ferry the next morning and drove home to food shortages and waist-high snow!!
Below are a few of my photos, you can see more here
Scarista, Seilebost and Luskentyre Beaches in Harris, SCOTLAND!