Photos Hebrides 2006 Harris
Harris is the southern part of the largest and most northerly of the islands. The south and west coast has a number of bays dominated by peaks. Cattle, including the iconic highland variety, are reared in some of the small settlements. There remain a very few cottage industries that continue the tradition of weaving Harris Tweed. The children's playground in Scalpay illustrates the dominance of strict religion throughout the northern isles. Sunday is a day of total rest - you see few people outside unless they are going to church, no shops, cafes or restaurants are open and in some families there is not even any cooking. As you walk along the coast abandoned isolated settlements perch close to the sea, miles from any road and a reminder of a not too distant time when the main means of transport was in a boat rather than on wheels. The evidence of 'lazy-beds' recalls the time of the clearances when wealthy landlords forcibly evicted crofters to poorer lands where they had to make their own strips of soil by spreading seaweed over thin peaty land. Rare flowers such as butterwort and the carnivorous sundew can be found far from any road. The highest point of the Outer Hebrides, An Cliseam, rises above the main road heading north. From its summit extensive views east to the mainland, north and south along the island chain and, on a clear day, west to St Kilda can be enjoyed.