West Loch Tarbert to Scarp and Loch Reasort
This full day tour will take you into the heart of the beautiful, remote area of North Harris. Some of the most gorgeous beaches that the island has to offer can be found here, as well as the remains of crofting villages and rarely seen views of the islands in the West Loch plus a chance to land at the characterful island of Scarp, famous for the ill-fated ‘Rocket Post’.
We depart the pier at West Loch Tarbert, calling in to Bagh Stithcleit where the remains of a village can be seen right at the shoreline, with evidence of cultivation in the background.
We then make my way out of the loch past Sòdhaigh Mhòr and Sòdhaigh Bheag (Great and Little Soay), then take a short detour into
Loch Leosabhaigh towards the imposing Amhuinnsuidhe Castle. Amhuinnsuidhe translates from Gaelic as ‘sitting on the river’ and this is certainly a highly appropriate name for the castle which was built as a salmon fishing and hunting lodge for the Earl of Dunmore in 1867. It is a superb example of Scottish Baronial architecture and has visitors from all over the world.
The tour continues past Govig, Bedersaig and Hushinish, crofting townships which are ordinarily reached by a winding road with numerous hairpin bends! There is a perfect arc of golden sand at Hushinish which makes an idyllic setting for the small row of houses making up the village.
We pass Rubha Hùsinis (Hushinish Point) and to our left is the island of Scarp. Going through the Sound of Scarp we pass the sparkling sands of Tràigh Mhèilein which is a breathtaking sight from the sea.
Carrying on into Loch Reasort the cottage in Crabhadail is to be seen on our right. This is also a fabulous walk from the village of Hùsinis (Hushinish). Continuing on, we pass the impressive mountains of Taran Mòr, Taran Meadhain and Taran Beag. Loch Reasort is seven miles long and there are wonderful opportunities for spotting sea eagles, golden eagles and, of course, many red deer.
During our trip we will stop ashore for lunch, which will be, depending on tides, either at one of the no longer inhabited villages of Diorascal or Luachair, or at our next destination – the Island of Scarp.
Scarp was inhabited by a fairly large community until 1971 when the last residents left and was sustained by crofting and fishing.
Scarp was the site of an experiment by German inventor Gerhard Zucker to deliver the island’s post by rocket. In July 1934 Zucker made two attempts at firing rocket mail between Scarp and Harris, both of which were unsuccessful. A feature film was made about the experiment in 2001.
There is a particularly pretty miniature gem of a beach at the north of Scarp which we will visit before our return journey to West Loch Tarbert.
Depart: : Friday morning at 9.30am from the pier at West Loch Tarbert
Return: : 5.30pm back to West Loch Tarbert.
West Loch Tarbert to Scarp and Loch Reasort Tour Duration – 8 hours
Cost – £130 adults – Children 14 and under £95
What’s included:Tea, coffee, soft drinks and home baking.