May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

The Trip-Finder, January 1999
Walking the Isle of Harris
Outfitter Price Accommodations
Northwest Frontiers
011-44-185-461-2628, ourworld.
$775 tourist hotels

The Route: A weeklong ramble across a windswept island off Scotland's west coast. From the sprawling old Harris Hotel, you'll follow switchbacks that rise sharply from the white shell-sand beaches up to the tops of rubbly cliffs.

When to go: May through August

Difficulty: Moderate

Travel advisory: For longer days and a relative scarcity of midges, pick a May or June trip. But aim for August to catch the wildflowers that grow in profusion in the isle's unique soil — windblown coral sand called machair.

High/low points:

  • Watching flocks of gannets plunge into the sea from atop the cliffs at Husival Beag.
  • Getting fogged in and forced to retreat before reaching the summit of 2,622-foot Clisham, the highest point on the island.

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