Top 10 rainy day activities on the Isle of Harris
Published on 22 August 2022
If Harris is known for one thing – then it’s the weather and the unpredictability of it! The weather in the Outer Hebrides can be “interesting”: blue skies and then gail force winds at the same times, or horizontal rain. Nevertheless, Harris and Lews have got lots to offer on rainy days.
You can either snuggle up in your luxury Harris holiday home and read a book, have a hot bath or enjoy the views and the weather from behind our tripple-glased windows while listening to the crackling fire! Or – head out and explore the island’s many activities with your family. Find out about the 10 best rainy day activities on the Isle of Harris.
1. A gallery tour of the east coast of Harris – Visit local artists and art galleries on the Isle of Harris
Spend your day meandering around the east coast of Harris, exploring the rocky landscape of the bays. We recommend starting in Rodel, and popping into the famous St Celments church before heading to Finsbay where the Mission House Gallery (clay and photos), Bays of Chocolate Honesty Shop, Finsbay Gallery and seals are. As you journey north you will come across a number of galleries like Holmasaig – Margarita Williams (fine art); just keep your eyes peeled. Skoon Art, Geograb is a wonderful gallery which serves hot drinks and baking, so we recommend a stop here before joining the Golden Road to complete the circuit back to the house.
2. Isle of Harris soft play (if you have children)
A great way to keep younger children entertained on those rainy days. Ths Soft Play area is unmanned, so please leave it as you found it and follow the instructions.
Cost: £3.50 per family
Tea and coffee available
3. Isle of Harris Sports Centre
Fancy a swim somewhere warmer then the sea, then the Harris Sports Centre is for you! There is also a gym and various class through out the week.
4. Harris Distillery Tour – Tarbert
The Harris Distillery is a great place to spend a rainy afternoon; enjoy drinks (gin is available) and baking in the cafe, browse the shop and if there is space book on a distillery tour. It is very informative and the samples are delicious!
5. A walk on the headland at Nisabost, coffee at Talla na Mara and a visit to the gallery and shops there
(and charge your EV if you have one)
Nisabost headland is great for a showery walk, as you get some fresh air while knowing the walk is short! Walking a circuit around the headland gives you ever changing views from the North Harris Hills to Taransay and then south to Ceapbhal and the sound of Harris. I love to pop into Talla na Mara afterwards for a coffee, and then look at the art exhibition, before visiting the chocolate shop and the two art galleries outside.
6. Clò Mhòr tweed exhibition
Exhibits show Harris tweed through the ages and hands on sections for you to play with. An excellent look at the history and future of this famous cloth.
7. Galleries North of Tarbert
Just north of Tarbert there is another scattering of galleries. We suggest you start at Ardhasaig Glass and Crafts where you can see what is being created on the day and enjoy some hot drinks and home baking.
They also offer workshops, but these would need to be booked in advance on their website. Hebscape Gallery is also in Ardhasaig, where photographer Darren displays his work. On the way back stop at the Black Lab Gallery; Tarbert to see more local photography.
8. Watch tweed bring made e.g. Rebecca Hutton
Rebecca Hutton is a very talented weaver located in Northton and she is more then happy to give demonstrations and talk about her craft. Drop her an email to make sure she is in.
9. Seallam Visitor Centre
Seallam is home to Co Leis Thu? The genealogy service for tracing back family roots to the island. Seallam also has exhibitions based on St Kilda, Landscapes and the People of the Hebrides and Harris Emigrants. The gift shop has some fabulous books and artwork.
10. Visit Stornoway for shops, coffee and a visit to the new spa
Pamper yourself with trip to the spa – followed by some shopping in Stornoway. Make sure to visit Sandwick Bay Living, Influence, Delights, Artizan and the other independent shops.
As you head home don’t forget to stop at Charlie Barleys for the famous Black Pudding.
We also highly recommend stopping at Crust for pizza on the drive back to Harris.