Guide to the Isle of Harris: A world waiting to be discovered
The Isle of Harris is a spectacular island known for its mountains, beaches and wildlife. Exploring the Isle of Harris with its extraordinary scenery and adventurous spirit, is a world just waiting to be discovered. An ideal destination for a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and cycling, Harris’ remote landscapes and breath-taking scenery inspire everyone that visits.
The Isle of Harris is a wonderful place to visit for holidays or short breaks, to see the old villages, take a walk along the coastline or go to the many festivals held throughout the year.
And when you’ve finished outside, there’s more to explore. Harris is home to some fascinating museums and attractions, as well as some highly recommended cafés and galleries. Find attractions, hiking routes, outdoor pursuits, wildlife, beaches and more with our comprehensive Harris Visitor Guide, provided to all of our guests .
Two Isles, one Island
The Isles of Harris and Lewis are actually one island, sharing a land border at Tarbert.
A Record-Breaking Peak
Harris’ famous An Cliseam is the highest mountain in the Outer Hebrides, standing at an impressive 799 metres. It’s popular with walkers, climbers and even boasts an active cycle route!
km² to explore
Harris tweed weavers
Òran na Mara
Isle of Harris activities: Take a trip back in time…
You can’t explore Harris without visiting the island’s numerous prehistoric sites, with settlements having been discovered from amongst the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Iron Age and Viking ages. Ancient standing stones provide markers along the coast, and a drive up to Callanish on Lewis will reveal a complete Neolithic stone circle which predates Stonehenge.
You’ll be spoilt for choice with a range of things to do in Isle of Harris, from hill walks to art galleries. From fossil hunting on the coast to discovering lunar-like rocks and the atmospheric landmarks of the past, a visit to Harris offers a true trip back in time.
Discover the history and heritage of the Isle of Harris
Discover the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, with its majestic mountains, crystal-clear blue waters, unique cultural heritage and sandy beaches.
The southern-most part of Lewis and Harris, the Isle of Harris is a landscape rich with natural beauty and stunning wildlife. From the windswept north-west settlement of Hushinish to the sandy beaches of the south, it’s an island waiting to be discovered.
Located on the dramatic west coast of the Isle of Harris, Òran na Mara’s unique views to Scarista beach and the Chaipaval peninsula offer a real opportunity for adventure.
A Scottish Island of Contrasts
The mountainous north offers a wilderness to explore. The western beaches are among the best in the world.
Geological and Historical Wonders
With mountains scoured by the shifting of the glaciers, the Isle of Harris is rich with geological wonders. Neolithic and Norse settlements sit alongside medieval churches and extraordinary natural features.
A unique cultural Heritage
Home to some of the finest crafting traditions, the Isle of Harris is rightly famous as the home of Harris Tweed. This traditional weaving technique is part of the identity of the island, as are traditional Gaelic songs, passed down through the generations.
Harris is rich with traditional arts and crafts such as painting and sculpture too. And with 60% of the native population being Gaelic speakers, the unique cultural heritage of the island continues to thrive.
Òran na Mara – At the Heart of Harris
Stay In Our Luxury Beach Cottage with Stunning Views Across an Epic Landscape
Sandy Beaches on your Doorstep
Scarista Beach is undoubtedly one of the finest on the Isle of Harris and is easily accessible from the house. A vast, open expanse of white sand facing into the turquoise shallows of the Sound of Taransay, this is Harris at its glorious best.
Travel a little north towards Borve and you’ll find more pristine beaches with endless views. To the south is the stunning Toe Head peninsula with an array of white sand bays lapped by turquoise seas.
The view from Òran na Mara is extraordinary. Take in the glorious sight of the iconic Toe Head peninsula, framed by the hills of North Harris to the right. Revel in dazzling sunsets and enjoy the uninterrupted views of a star-laden night sky.
Walk for miles on Scarista beach and take in the views across to the Isle of Taransay. Venture further and discover the views from Bagh Steinigidh’s rocky, windswept shore.
Beautiful Hebridean Wildlife
Harris is home to an abundance of wildlife. Iconic species including mountain hares, otters and red deer are found here, as are many species of birds. Golden plover and snipe are seen inland, with majestic golden eagles soaring in the coastal thermals.
Harris is rich with marine life too. The Atlantic waters are home to seals, basking sharks and several whale and dolphin species. Sea birds such as arctic terns and plovers abound, with gannets dramatically diving into the sea.
Find out more about the Isle of Harris
Plan your Hebridean Holiday and create amazing memories
If you’re thinking about visiting the Isle of Harris (Outer Hebrides, Scotland) in Winter, we have put a list together for you of the top 10 things to do in Winter.
Harris in winter is brilliant! Want to know why? You’ve got the island, the beaches, the countryside mostly to yourself! Imagine going for a beach walk and not seeing another soul. Harris in winter is for those who really want to switch off, get away from it all and sit back, relax, sit by the fire, finish a novel or two, take amazing photographs, enjoy the starry skies and be rewarded with the Northern Lights.
The Isle of Harris – part of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland – is undoubtedly known for it’s fantastic beaches. They look like they’ve been transported out of the Carribean, they just forgot to add the temperature and the constant sunshine.
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.
Just as petrol stations are more sparse on the Isle of Harris and the Outer Hebrides in general, so are electric vehicle charge points. You do need to plan your EV journey to take account of this. But as an EV driver, you will be used to planning ahead, and with Scotland being EV-friendly you should have an excellent experience.
Dog friendly holidays mean that you can enjoy your time together with man’s best friend. It’s only natural you want to bring your dog on holiday with you! However, it can be hard to find dog-friendly accommodation anywhere! The luxury beach cottage Oran Na Mara offers dog-friendly accommodation on the Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides.
Winter Photography Outer Hebrides Ever wondered how to take photographs of the night sky? Learn from photographer Mo Thomson.This article was written by Mo Thomson, a brilliant photographer who loves Harris and has stayed at Òran na Mara a number of times. We hope you...
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Creating Òran na Mara - Luxury Accommodation Isle of HarrisTo us, Oran na Mara is a very special place – and we hope that you agree. To create a house in this location, to take advantage of the views, and to blend into the landscape took years of painstaking planning,...