(6 minute read)
Summer is a truly wonderful time to experience the Isle of Harris, and although we can't always guarantee great weather, we can guarantee that you will see gorgeous scenery, spectacular beaches and even spot some furry friends on the way.
All of our beaches are incredibly unique, featuring different landscapes, sand textures and surroundings, all of which inspired our Classic Collection. Our team have put together our top recommendations for how to enjoy some of our favourite beaches on the island.
This world-famous beach is a must-visit
Losgaintir (English spelling 'Luskentyre') is recognised as one of the world's best beaches. Its white sand shoreline is often compared to those found in the Caribbean, and those visiting for the first time are often shocked to discover this Hebridean paradise is located just off the west coast of Scotland.
Only a twenty-minute drive from Tarbert, on the west coast of Harris, Losgaintir is the perfect spot for a peaceful dog walk or a day out with friends.
As you drive along the route towards the beach, you will find one of the island's many Honesty Boxes - The Luskentyre Beach Hut, which sells locally made gifts, snacks and drinks. Shortly after, you will turn round the final bend towards the beach, where you will catch a first glimpse of what’s to come. You won’t truly appreciate the beauty of Losgaintir until you walk right onto the soft white sand and dip your toes in the turquoise water.
We recommend exploring the sand dunes just above the beach to take in the magnificent views from a different perspective.
There aren't any places to grab a bite to eat at Losgaintir, so we recommend fuelling up before you set off. Loomshed Deli is conveniently located in the heart of Tarbert. The deli serves fresh homemade soup and sandwiches, mouth-wateringly good treats and hot drinks, making it the perfect place to pick up a picnic lunch.
Enjoy swimming at Seilebost
With impressive views of Taransay, Losgaintir shares its crystal-clear waters with the picturesque Seilebost beach. The shallow waters extend further than other beaches on the island, which makes it a popular spot for adventure seekers to swim or even enjoy some paddleboarding.
It's easy to miss the entrance to this little pocket of beauty, so keep your eyes peeled for the turn in the road. A short walk through the machair flowers will lead your toes into the soft sand of Seilebost.
Although extremely close in location, Seilebost isn't as well-known as its big sister Losgaintir, so it's usually much quieter.
The perfect spot for camping
Another white-sand Hebridean beach is Horgabost, which shares the same crystal-clear blue-green waters as Losgaintir and Seilebost.
Sheltered by the coarse landscape of Harris, the campsite at Horgabost provides the perfect location for a beach picnic or barbecue, with picnic benches located close to the beach.
Horgabost is the perfect place for those looking to camp near the ocean. You can listen to the waves glide against the sand as you drift into a deep slumber. If you're lucky, you might even awaken to some new friends sleeping by your tent. Careful though; they're known to be a tad sheepish!
Visit the beach where our story began
On the far west coast of Harris, following an exceptionally scenic drive, you will find Huisinis. The single-track road that leads to this beach is the gateway to awe-inspiring scenery. It's no surprise our founders, Jamie and Deenie, found the inspiration for Essence of Harris while surrounded by such stunning surroundings.
Huisinis is an excellent spot for water sports, such as kayaking and surfing. If you are a keen walker, the walk to Cravadale from Huisinis is an absolute must! Start the walk from behind the bird-watching tower block and follow the path along the rocky cliff edge to discover a hidden beach.
If you're looking to spot some of the best wildlife in the Outer Hebrides, then Huisinis is the place to go. You might even be stopped in your tracks by a few of Huisinis' finest Highland Cows – they're known to roam wherever they please and aren't afraid to have a rest in the middle of the road.
Another great camping spot where visitors can spend the night for a small donation is Huisinis campsite. The campsite even has electric hook-up points available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Watch as the sun meets the horizon at Nisabost
Watch the sun melt into the horizon when you spend the evening at Nisabost. There's no better spot for watching the sun set over the island while you cosy into the rocks and enjoy a campfire with friends.
If you're visiting during the day, we recommend checking out the West Harris Trust Community Centre, which often hosts events such as art exhibitions and pop-up shops. There's even a cafe where you can enjoy a bite to eat with spectacular island views.
If beaches aren't your thing
Don't worry if a relaxing day at the beach isn't for you. Although we are huge fans of spending time on our beautiful beaches, there is so much more to our island.
The Isle of Harris has a rugged and mountainous landscape, making it a hillwalkers dream. Home to the tallest hill in the Outer Hebrides, the Clisham is one that can't be missed. Walking routes can be found on the Walk Highlands website.
Explore a different side of the island by embarking on the walk from Urgha to Rhenigidale, where you'll experience the more rugged landscapes of Harris.
The North Harris Trust have many guided walks across the island. You can stay up to date on their events by checking their Facebook page.
Looking to venture off land for the day? Sail away from shore on a boat trip from Harris to St Kilda. These trips are popular, especially at peak times, so we'd recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Check our Sea Harris and St Kilda Tours for bookings.
The Eilean Glas Rib Tour is a shorter boat trip located in Scalpay. Sightseers will be taken to see the Eilean Glas Lighthouse, and you're guaranteed to spot some local wildlife on the way. Say hello to the seals for us!
Whether you are relaxing on the beach, swimming in turquoise waters, or enjoying a walk amongst the rocky landscape, please help us preserve the beauty of our island by familiarising yourself with Wilderness Scotland’s Leave No Trace Principles. No matter where you end up, we are sure you will enjoy your time here on the Isle of Harris.