The Coffin Road is a footpath that joins the two coasts of Harris - from from the Bays of Harris in the east, over the hill to the beaches of the West Side.  As there were no cemeteries on the rough, rocky landscape of the east coast of Harris, nor was there any road through the Bays of Harris for many years, this is the path along which those attending a funeral had to carry the coffin.  Their destination was one of the cemeteries on the west side, at Scarista, Borve or Luskentyre, all of which can still be seen today, where there was suitable level ground.  

The burden of carrying the coffin for several miles was made worse by the need to wade across a short stretch of water, as they approached the Luskentyre cemetery.  In 1883, Angus Campbell, from Plocropool (the great grandfather, of the author)  told the Napier Commission, when it heard evidence in Tarbert  “The only thing I asked them finally in return for my assessments (rents) was to put a bridge over the river Lusken upon the road leading to the churchyard.  For I have seen the coffins carried upon our shoulders, dragged through the flood - six men strung together, and following the course of the stream in order to keep themselves from being swept away with the bier (coffin) upon their shoulders”.  His please were successful, and in time a bridge was built over the water,  and one passes over it on the road into the village of Luskentyre to this day.

Today, you can follow in their tracks in less troubling times, and without the weight of the coffin on your shoulders, enjoying the spectacular views and full range of landscapes as you cross the island.  Golden Eagles next in the steep cliffs and often soar high in the skies above you