Hebridean Way Walking Route Section I: Seilebost to Tarbert

Add Hebridean Way Walking Route Section I: Seilebost to Tarbert to your Itinerary

Harris: view of Seilebost from Hebridean Way
  • Harris: view of Seilebost from Hebridean Way
  • Harris: scholars path
  • Harris: Tarbert


**Note the diversion on this part of the route**

Height Climbed: 664m / 2,179ft

Height Descended: 665m / 2,181ft

Terrain: 9.5 miles on good paths and tracks; 5 miles on quiet single track roads.

After the hard, pathless hiking of yesterday, today’s walking is a delight, with a series of beautiful tracks guiding you through the intricate rocky landscape of Harris’s east coast.

After saying a reluctant farewell to exquisite Luskentyre beach, follow an old route over a small hill pass and drop down to the tiny village of Leac a Li. This is the Coffin Road, made famous by the Peter May novel of the same name, and was once used by islanders on the east coast to carry bodies for burial in the graveyards of the west.

More fine paths, interspersed with sections of quiet single track roads, lead past the countless sparkling lochans and craggy knolls of the Bays of Harris. Spare a thought as you walk for the islanders who were forced to scrape a living from this barren, rocky landscape after being evicted from their fertile crofts on the west coast in the 19th Century.

The day ends at Tarbert, the tiny capital of Harris. With 700 inhabitants it is the largest settlement you have encountered since the start of the walk! There  is lots of accommodation options here, including a couple of hotels.  

The distances and timings above do not include any extra distance you may need to reach your accommodation for the night. 

Map & Directions

Route Waypoints
  1. After coming off the hill turn right along the old road at Seilebost.
  2. After 800m turn right onto a track. Pass through a gate and follow the track up the glen.
  3. You are now on the Coffin Road. In the 19th Century many Harris folk were evicted from their homes on the fertile west coast of Harris and sent to the barren, rocky east side of the island. The soil there was so thin and peaty that they had nowhere to bury their dead. The islanders had to carry the coffins over the Bealach Eorobhat (the hill pass in front of you) and on to the graveyards on the sandy soils of the west coast. The cairns at this point would originally have had flat tops, providing somewhere to rest the coffin whilst the tired bearers had a well earned rest...
  4. The track continues along the banks of Loch a' Bhealaich. Keep an eye on the skyline here - this is a good spot for seeing golden eagles.
  5. Follow the path left around the front of the house, then cross a small bridge over the burn, go through a gate and follow the path as it heads left up the hillside.
  6. The grassy path heads over a small hill and through a spectacularly rocky landscape.
  7. Turn right at the signpost onto a grassy track and head down to the road.
  8. Turn left at the road. During the summer there is a fine little teashop in the community hall opposite this junction.
  9. After 500m turn right onto an obvious track.
  10. Although faint in places, at other times this path is very well constructed. The "Golden Road", the winding tarmac road along the shoreline of the Bays of Harrris, was only built in the 20th Century. Before this, everyone travelled by boat or on rough tracks like this one. This route is sometimes called the Scholar's Way, as it was used by pupils walking to and from school in Greosabhagh.
  11. The route climbs past the ruins of an abandoned chapel. Please do not go inside - the roof is in a dangerous state.
  12. A signpost marks where a path from Kyles Stockinish joins the route. Turn left here and continue up a small hill.
  13. The next 1.5km provide delightful walking on one of the best paths in the Hebrides. Beautifully constructed and with a pleasant grassy surface, it winds its way past the crystal blue waters of Loch Mhic Neacaill, with great views of the North Harris hills in the distance.
  14. The descent to the road at Greosabhagh can be quite muddy. Pick your way through the waterlogged ground, go through a gate and turn left when you reach the road.
  15. After 200m turn right onto a small road signposted for Scadabhagh and Drinisidair. If you are struggling with how to pronounce Gaelic place names this signpost handily has the English versions too. These are usually phonetic approximations of how the Gaelic sounds to English ears... A short way along this road is the Isle of Harris Knitwear Company shop - a handy place to call in if you're finding the Hebrides a bit chillier than you expected.
  16. The walking along the quiet single track road is very pleasant, passing more gorgeous freshwater lochs. After 2km leave the road and turn left onto a good path.
  17. The views north from a small loch near the start of the path are particularly stunning...
  18. Just after this loch turn left at a path junction and continue along another fine old path. Geologists refer to the landscape of this part of Harris as "cnoc and lochan" - undulating terrain with many small lochs lying in the rocky hollows.
  19. Turn left onto the small road at Plocropol.
  20. This quiet road winds its way past a number of attractive little villages. At Drinisiadair there is an excellent exhibition on the history of Harris Tweed. Look out for the signs for Clò Mòr, "the Big Cloth", as the tweed is referred to in Gaelic.
  21. Cross a small bridge then follow the path up to two houses. Go past the first house, pass through a gate, then follow the route past the left hand side of the second house.
  22. The route now follows the shore of the loch. In places it is very well waymarked, in others the path is quite faint. Keep walking along the shore, however, and all will be well.
  23. The path goes around the left hand side of a house...
  24. After 1km a small road to Direcleit heads off to the right. Opposite this, on the left, a path heads uphill. Follow this, admiring the views of East Loch Tarbert as you go.
  25. Follow the waymarkers which will lead you back down to the main road. Turn left and a short distance ahead lies Tarbert, Harris's fine little capital, complete with hotels, restaurants, shops and a striking new whisky distillery.

Along This Route

  1. The Clò-Mòr or Harris Tweed exhibition in Drinshader Harris, exhibits Harris Tweed…

Along This Route

  1. Islands: 1 (Harris)
    Causeways: 0
    Ferries: 0
    Distance: 14.5 miles
    Route Time: 6 hours…

Route Time -

6h - 7h

Distance -

14.5 miles

Grade -


Terrain -


  • Route Information - Terrain - Paths. Tracks. Roads.

Route Type -


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