Photo of Harris

About Harris

The Isle of Harris is one of the most spectacular parts of the dramatic-looking chain of the Outer Hebrides. Like its island fellows it has rugged peaks and rocky regions, lush meadows dotted with wildflowers in season, and pristine beaches. You can divide Harris down the middle at Tarbet, with the north of the island taking the most dramatic rocks and mountains, and the south taking the sandiest beaches. Accommodation options here can be limited though. There's a handful of hotels and guesthouses, but many of the best places to stay in Harris are private holiday cottages.

Harris' main export these days is its famed fabric, an extremely high quality tweed, still largely hand-woven by the residents in their homes and small workshops. In the visitors’ centre in Tarbet is a list of workshops open to visit, and if you’re at all interested in textiles it will be well worth your effort. Tarbet is the main settlement, and a good option if you’re looking for a central base, local shops and restaurants, and the local gin distillery. It also has a Harris Tweed shop!

Harris is also famous for its stunning beaches, some of which wouldn't look out of place on a Caribbean island! Obviously the weather isn’t quite the same, but the calm waters of Luskentyre Beach and Scarista Beach are still pretty inviting, and on a good day you’ll see plenty of surfers and kite-buggies out too. Between these two most beautiful beaches are a string of pretty coastal towns, and the Harris Golf Club, which has views of the sea and the hills.

Don't forget that between Easter and October this is a very popular destination. So if you want to guarantee a room in one of the best places to stay in Harris in the peak tourist months, do your research and book well ahead.

The Best Places to Stay in Harris

For Spectacular Views

  • Scarista House is an old Georgian manse, perfectly positioned to make the most of the spectacular coastline just minutes from its door. There are six rooms, decorated in a cosy, comfortable style — with plenty of hot water and fluffy towels. Supper is served in the original dining room, which also enjoys incredible views — it’s usually local seafood, served in a variety of excellent formats. This is a labour of love for the owners, and you’ll probably love it too.

Prefer a Private Apartment or Cottage?

  • If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner,

Travel Information

  • Stornoway Airport is the airport to head for if you’re planning to fly to Harris, it has routes to major Scottish cities, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, plus a route to Manchester. If you fancy travelling across on the ferry, it leaves from Ullapool — it’s a two and a half to three hour journey, depending on the weather. During winter you might need to make yourself a bit flexible about travel, as both flights and ferry crossings are sometimes cancelled because of squally weather.
  • The easiest way to get around Harris is by car, and if you want to hire one we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • Scotland’s unpredictable weather is well known, and Harris is subject to all the usual recommendations about packing wet weather gear whatever the season. The mildest months are April through October, and this is definitely the time to travel if you want to book boat cruises or tours, as most trips will operate fairly reliably. If you’d like to see the amazing marine animals of the region, September is the best time to travel. Visit during September, or October, and you’ve a chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Seals visit Harris in the summer months, and you can also expect a fantastic display of wildflowers in the sand dunes, but this is also when the midges are at their worst. Some tourist businesses close between November and March, so do you research extra carefully if you want to travel during this window.

Still not sure where to stay?


Monthly Weather in Harris

Best Hotels in Harris

  • Scarista House Isle of Harris 6 rooms from £210

    Back to Nature
    Hideaway  -  Tranquil and intimate.
    House party feel  -  Be prepared to meet people.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    RestaurantGardenPet friendlyViews

    Old Georgian manse on the Isle of Harris, now run as a charming hotel. Fabulous views over the stunning coastline. Rooms are cosy and comforting and the food is delicious: the freshest seafood imaginable. Perfect for a romantic escape away from it all. See More

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