South Harris & Bays
As an island community, the Harris identity encompasses as rich history of isolation, occupation and inspiration and nowhere is this more evident that in South Harris and Bays.
With the latter area taking its name from the many sea inlets that pit the eastern shoreline, blurring the line between land and water and creating communities on the edge at one with the elements, Bays is a great place to learn more about the history that shaped modern Harris as well as the many traditional and contemporary activities that the island has taken to its heart.
Start your explorations with a drive along “The Golden Road”, named either for its importance to the island or the expense of its installation – depending on who you ask. Winding its way from Tarbert to Rodel, this single track lifeline connects today’s east coast communities, whose alternating Norse and Gaelic place names speak to a more divided past.
Visit the traditional Harris Tweed outlets that are housed in the hamlets along this coastal corridor and pick up a piece of island history to take home, or organise an excursion to explore these wonderful waters from another angle, with canoeing, kayaking, sailing and fishing all on offer in the area.
Stay at the nearby No 5 Drinishader, which offers both hostel and self catering accommodation or head down the coast to Likisto and camp at the Blackhouse campsite – one of the few facilities of its kind on the island.
Make time to take in the stunning viewpoint at Manish offering great sea and skyscapes and stop in at Flodabay to view the Common Seals basking on the sands.
A short hop from the bottom end of The Golden Road will take you to Rodel where you can explore the church of St Clements, established on this spot in the late 15th Century for the chiefs of Macleods of Harris, which has, over the ages, been ruined, burned and used as a cow byre before finally being restored to its former glory.
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