Harris coastal scene, Outer Hebrides.

This evening, I am reporting on Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Latter comprise a chain of islands off Scotland’s west coast.

Key information:

  • Population: 2000 persons.
  • Gaelic speakers: Sixty per cent of the island population.
  • Religion: Protestant (Presbyterian).
  • Area: Together with adjacent Lewis extends to 841 square miles.

In Gaelic, Harris translates as Eilean na Hearadh. Being part of the same island of adjacent Lewis, Harris is not a separate island in its own right. Harris is split into South Harris (Ceann A Deas) and North Harris (Ceann A Tuath Na Hearadh). Tarbert (An Tairbeart) is the principal town on the island with usual complement of shops, a bank, post office, hotels, restaurants and a Tourist Information Centre. There is also a ferry connection from Tarbert to the mainland.

Colourful hardware shop in Tarbert, Harris

Harris is perhaps best known for its Harris Tweed textile product, mountainous scenery, and white sandy beaches.

Snow-capped mountain on Harris, Scotland

In 2015 a new whisky distillery was opened, the first ever on Harris.

In recent years there has occurred a revival in the demand for Harris Tweed cloth, which has inspired increased production and recovery from near extinction of the industry.

Here is a short video clip of a weaver at work, one of about 140 in the industry.

Dyed wool being prepared for Harris Tweed production on Harris.

Harris Tweed retail outlet on Harris, Outer Hebrides

Tourism is also a key industry with Harris providing wonderful sandy beaches, prehistoric standing stones, hiking and bird watching. The rugged, mountainous scenery of Harris contrasts with the (mainly) flat, peat covered landscape of adjacent Lewis. The scenery provides good material for photographers and artists.

Harris backroads scenery

Be Sociable, Share!