Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom
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Approximately 7½ Hours
From Stornoway, travel south to Harris Island -- remote, wild, and awe-inspiring, with picture-postcard scenery. The narrow road winds around lochs and between craggy mountains before reaching a series of stunning beaches.
You'll pause at the bay of Horgabost Beach, where an enticing expanse of bleached white sand fills the entire bay. It is washed by the turquoise sea and backed by steep dunes. All this is set against the backdrop of the mountains to the north and the beautiful, uninhabited island of Taransay offshore. Taransay was the setting for the hugely popular televised Castaway encampment, where people were left to their own devices with no modern conveniences.
Continuing, you'll journey to the southernmost point of Rodel, where you visit St Clement's Church. This fine 16th-century church fell on hard times after the Reformation in 1560 but was extensively repaired in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is widely acknowledged as the grandest medieval building in the Western Isles and houses the tomb of the church's founder, Alexander MacLeod. It also carries the best collection of medieval sculpture in the Western Isles. But perhaps the most striking aspect of St Clement's Church is the tower, built on a rocky outcropping at the west end of the church and accessed via a dark stone staircase and a series of wooden ladders to the upper floors.
Head back north to Tarbert, the main settlement on Harris, afterward to enjoy a simple lunch.
The most famous of island crafts is tweed. Harris Tweed is one of the most desirable woolen textiles in the world and is produced right here in the Outer Hebrides, hand woven on looms in the weavers' homes. Visit the largest Harris Tweed shop on the island to see the fascinating variety of patterns, colors and products of Harris Tweed, and walk about five minutes to a small tweed workshop for a demonstration of spinning and weaving this beautiful, classic product.
Enjoy some free time in Tarbert, the largest village on Harris, for a spot of island shopping before you return to the ship at Stornoway.
Tour does not operate on Sundays. Wear comfortable walking shoes.