However, start to explore this area you will also find an exciting illustration of generations of efforts in industry and innovation – wonderfully showcasing the hardworking Harris spirit.
Head out to discover Harris and you can’t help but come across examples of islanders’ initiative – such as the ruins of the once busy whaling station between Bunavoneader and Huisinish operational until the 1950s when it closed after providing islanders with employment for half a century.
The perfectly preserved Amhuinnsuidhe Castle dating from 1865 was designed by David Bryce and built for Earl of Dunmore Charles Murray, whose mother Lady Catherine chose it as the base for her embroidery school, where she offered encouragement to early Harris Tweed makers – the founders of an island industry that would one day take the catwalks of the world by storm.
The castle now serves as a sporting lodge, welcoming visitors from across the world to enjoy some spectacular salmon and trout fishing, and providing just one of the great activity bases in the area –which offers a range of attractions for sports lovers and adventurous souls.
North Harris, for example, is also home to the Outer Hebrides highest mountain Clisham – the only Corbett classified peak in the island chain, with various ascents on offer to suit a selection of abilities. If you are looking for more challenging climb, Harris has it in the form of the overhanging cliff at Sron Uladal. Dubbed the UK’s finest inland precipice, it recently served as the location for the BBC’s Big Climb Live broadcast.
Energetic visitors can even serve up a few aces on Britain’s most remote tennis court, which is situated along the A859 in an isolated spot surrounded only by the rolling landscape of the Harris hills.
Walkers can choose from a wide range of signposted trails, all of which offer ample opportunity to learn a little more about the area’s important island identity. Walk the Glen Miavag Trail to the acclaimed eagle observatory and spot some stunning examples of these iconic island inhabitants, or follow the Postman’s Trail between Rhenigidale and Caolas Scalpay for a better understanding the impact of the elements on everyday occurrences.
Alternatively head up the headland from the jetty at Huisinish to the wonderful white sands of Traigh Mheilein – whose views over the island of Scarp, the location of the post rocket experiments of the 1930s, serve as a great reminder of the islands’ untameable ambition.
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