Hebridean Hop 8: the Bays Road

Saturday 4th August 2018

From the Bays Road, South Harris

We were on the move again! To a hotel just 16 miles up the road. Why was this? Well, in February I couldn’t find suitable accommodation in Harris for the five nights we were staying there and had to book it in two blocks. February for an August holiday! How things have changed. On our last island-hop in 1989 we booked the ferries on a Thursday and set off on the Monday, booking our accommodation as we went. Mind you, my standards were lower then. We even spent time in a tent.

Rather than drive 16 miles up the west coast, we took the long way round back down to Rodel and up the east coast on the Bays Road, the C79. Bearing in mind that the main A road was mostly single track, you can imagine how small a C road was.

Unlike the fine sandy beaches of the west coast, the east coast is rocky and strewn with boulders left over by the Ice Age. Parts of the landscape were used to depict Jupiter in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nevertheless, there were several galleries and cafés along the road so we didn’t go hungry, and we got a few short walks in before the rain became torrential. And we found a lovely, romantic bench.

Our room in Hotel Hebrides in Tarbert, Harris’s largest village, was a modern contrast to the chintz of Scarista House, but just as comfortable.

The next day was Sunday and we were still in Sabbatarian country. Nothing would be open, so we had to hope for good weather. But would we get it? Read on!


  1. I have fallen behind in reading on your adventures as we were away for 3 weeks (soon new photos on our own blog) so I am catching up now. Lovely images despite the rain and the cloudy sky. (Suzanne)


  2. The bench with the inscription is truly romantic..I love it. The one picture with the mini lake looks like it was an ancient volcano that might have blown and left this small crater…I wonder.


  3. I love “bleak”, “stark”, “lonesome”, probably explains myself as well! Did you go to the Harris Distillery? i am just getting ready to order a bottle of gin and their bitters! Have you tried it?


  4. I was enjoying the trip with you until you said you were in Sabbatarian country and that is definitely not me! I once spent a similar Sunday in Wales which was dismal. Later I was told that all the locals stock up with jugs of beer from the local pub on Saturday to ease the boredom of the day. Apart from that, I loved the Welsh villages. The landscape looks rather bleak there and the grey skies seem to add to this, but it packs a powerful effect because of this.