Monday 13 February 2012

Top 10 best British islands: No. 9 - Lewis and Harris

Lewis and Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Lewis and Harris is Britain's largest island, aside from mainland Britain itself. Although it's only one island it is often thought of as two, with Lewis to the north and Harris to the south. Harris in particular is a place to savour.

The journey from North Uist to Harris' capital Tarbert has to be one of the most scenic in Britain. It begins with a CalMac ferry trip from Berneray that weaves a precise route through the scores of rocks and islets of The Sound of Harris before docking at Leverburgh. From there the west coast road skirts huge sandy bays, and milky blue water. Eventually the road coils up into the rounded, rocky hills – a desolate expanse scoured and blunted by the weather. The road then descends again to Tarbert, which lies on a narrow isthmus and acts as a crossroad for the entire island. Head northwards for the mountains that include An Cliseam at 799m, eastwards to the island of Scalpay or westward along another incredible coastal road to Huisinis – none of these options will disappoint.

Harris is in the Top 10... for its sharply contrasting landscapes that range from idyllic beaches to lunar-like mountains.

No comments: