Hebridean Hop 7: the beaches of West Harris

Friday 3rd August 2018

Sandcastles, Luskentyre Sands

In contrast to the previous day, we had no rain at all as we set off on a series of short beach walks, although the cloud never lifted far enough to clear the tops of the hills as you can see above.

We started on our own beach, Scarista, just across the road from the hotel. While John contemplated whether to paddle …

… I was looking for interesting textures on the sands.

Next, we moved on to Traigh Iar (traigh means beach) and climbed a small hill to Macleod’s Stone, an imposing prehistoric standing stone.

On the way there, we had driven past a sign mentioning the magic word “lunch”, so we backtracked and made a real find. Too new to be in our guide-book, the Machair Kitchen is part of a complex owned and managed by the West Harris Trust on behalf of the local community. Talla na Mara, Gaelic for the “Centre by the Sea”, houses a café, exhibition, performance and events spaces, offices and artists’ studios. We certainly enjoyed lunch with a view.

After lunch, we went on to Luskentyre, home of Harris’s most famous beaches. A circular walk took as round a headland via the beach and back along a minor road.

The trees probably give a hint as to the direction of the prevailing wind (and my hair often ended the day looking much the same shape). It was very windy all the time we were in the Hebrides, but we were actually grateful for that because it kept the midges away. And here’s another picturesque cemetery – who wouldn’t want to spend eternity with that view?

By the time these posts are at an end, you will probably be sick of beaches! However, the next day we explored Harris’s east coast which is completely different.


  1. Anabel, I never tire of beaches, I have always lived near them, and I enjoy all types. Scotland has a few splendid ones to admire 🙂


  2. I laughed at the comment about your hair in the wind. Although my hair is short, I’ve come home with some interesting styles – usually of the porcupine variety 😆

    This is when I like beaches the most – just a quiet walk along the shoreline with no crowds. How was the water?


  3. Can’t beat a good beach walk and it’s one environment where strong winds can really add sparkle to the seascapes in the form of big wave action. Love being out in places like that during storms.