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Detailed Route Instructions

Section I - Seilebost to Tarbert

Grade

Moderate

Type

Walk

Description

A series of delightful old tracks lead through the intricate, loch-strewn landscape of the Bays of Harris.

Walk Waypoints

  1. 1
    After coming off the hill turn right along the old road at Seilebost.
  2. 2
    After 800m turn right onto a track. Pass through a gate and follow the track up the glen.
  3. 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. 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. 5
    Once the top of the bealach is reached the track turns into a small but well constructed path which leads easily down towards the rocky Bays of Harris.
  6. 6
    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.
  7. 7
    The grassy path heads over a small hill and through a spectacularly rocky landscape.
  8. 8
    Turn right at the signpost onto a grassy track and head down to the road.
  9. 9
    Turn left at the road. During the summer there is a fine little teashop in the community hall opposite this junction.
  10. 10
    After 500m turn right onto an obvious track.
  11. 11
    Go through a gate then follow the waymarkers up the left side of the field.
  12. 12
    The waymarkers now guide you through the damp fields. There are fine views down the length of Loch Stocanais with the Isle of Skye visible in the distance.
  13. 13
    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.
  14. 14
    Look out for the ruins of an old blackhouse on your right, with its characteristically low walls. Only the thatched roof is missing.
  15. 15
    The route climbs past the ruins of an abandoned chapel. Please do not go inside - the roof is in a dangerous state.
  16. 16
    A signpost marks where a path from Kyles Stockinish joins the route. Turn left here and continue up a small hill.
  17. 17
    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.
  18. 18
    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.
  19. 19
    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.
  20. 20
    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.
  21. 21
    The views north from a small loch near the start of the path are particularly stunning...
  22. 22
    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.
  23. 23
    Turn left onto the small road at Plocropol.
  24. 24
    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.
  25. 25
    Continue along the road past countless freshwater lochs to the small township of Meavag.
  26. 26
    At a small jetty turn right just after some fish farm buildings. Go through a gate and follow a muddy path up a small hill.
  27. 27
    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.
  28. 28
    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.
  29. 29
    The path goes around the left hand side of a house...
  30. 30
    ...before crossing to the right of a second house and heading up to the main road. Turn right and follow the road towards Tarbert.
  31. 31
    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.
  32. 32
    When you get to a house head down to its access road then continue straight across and up the small hill.
  33. 33
    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.

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