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Lewis and Harris
Hello readers 🙂
I hope you’ve been up to a lot of cool travels lately. I haven’t written in a while as I have been super busy with my Master, but in between, I have also managed an amazing escape to Scotland, all the way to the Outer Hebrides Islands, most specifically the isles of Lewis and Harris, and what a blast we had!
These incredible isles are very remote, and not many people know where they are, so I took a screenshot of the map and shared it with all my family and friends and I think they loved it 🙂
Lewis and Harris are famous for their white-sanded beaches (nobody ever believes it, but Scotland could be mistaken for the Caribbean), standing stone sites and so much more that we discovered just exploring once we got there. I think you need at least six days if you are travelling from Edinburgh, in order to get a decent visit once on the isles.
Day 1: from Edinburgh to Pitlochry
We hired a car from Edinburgh and drove to Pitlochry, one of our favourite places in Scotland, a fairy-tale like town in Perthshire, the tree county. We love it because the town offers good entertainment, craft shops and great quality cafes and restaurants.
Plus, you can reach amazing walking routes from the very town centre. A walk to the dam is already a fantastic thing to do, and if you have more time, you can venture into Faskally Forest, which, especially in autumn, has breathtaking landscapes, thanks to the thousands of trees there. We did a bit of everything that day and then rewarded ourselves with a lovely dinner at the Old Mill Inn.
Day 2: from Pitlochry to Ullapool
We had a spectacular drive from Pitlochry to Ullapool, stopping here and there. To be honest, you just want to stop every five minutes, because everything is so stunning. We decided to get the ferry from Ullapool, because we wanted to stay there. I had always heard such nice things about this wee fishing village in the very north of Scotland. The town is really small but very vibrant.
A friend of mine had suggested the Ceilidh Place for drinks and dinner, and we ended up going twice as the atmosphere – it’s a bar/restaurant/book shop – was just magic. We would have loved to have food at the Seafood Shack, an outdoors seafood bar, but it closed at 6 pm every day and we didn’t manage to, but we will go back.
Day 3: from Ullapool to Lewis and Harris
I was so excited about day 3. This was the day we got to explore a new place in Scotland, one that we had spoken so many times about. After two and half hours of ferry, we arrived in Stornoway, the capital of Lewis and Harris. I did not expect to find a town with 7,000 inhabitants, ethnic cuisine and big shops, in such a remote area, but so it was.
The town has a few nice restaurants, pubs and of course, Harris Tweed shops, along the Harris Tweed Authority, Harris Tweed own museum. It was amazing to learn that this special wool cloth can be trademarked as such only if it is hand-woven by the Islanders at their own homes in the Western Isles; just fascinating.
On day 3 then, we checked into our accommodation and drove to explore this amazing area. We visited a couple of incredible sightseeings nearby: the Norse Mill and Kiln and an house I cannot find the name for just now, sorry (I am sharing its picture here below though).
Day 4: Lewis and Harris
Day 4 had to be the best day of this trip, sorry other days 🙂
This is because we went on to explore the famous white-sanded beaches and spectacular moon-like landscapes that Harris is so known for. The whole drive was unbelievable.
Except stopping at a few known places like Luskentyre, the rest of the drive was spontaneous and what made it worthy were the croft houses spread around the area, the signs indicating art galleries in the middle of nowhere, the views on the ocean, and the geological show that Harris puts on.
A part of me wanted to stay there forever. I don’t think I ever felt such calm as when driving around there.
Day 5: Lewis and Harris
Day 5 was another incredible day in Lewis and Harris, as we got to visit two amazing sites: the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, where people lived until the early 70s, and the Callanish Stones of Lewis, a 5,000 years old structure yet to be understood from our archaeologists.
I honestly cannot wait to go back to this incredible place. I would live there or at least spend long summers.
Have you ever been to Lewis and Harris?
For more ideas about trips in Scotland, have a look at my posts here: