In this guide we outline the best things to see and do on Lewis and Harris, including beaches, walks, scenic routes, and cultural sites. We also give recommendations for food and accommodation to suit all budgets, and offer a detailed map and practical travel tips to help your trip run smoothly.
Known as two islands but actually one landmass, Lewis and Harris are the most northern of Scotland’s Western Isles. Lewis is the most populous island of the Outer Hebrides by far, with ten times more people than Harris – understandable when you see the geography of the two.
Harris is rocky and mountainous for the most part, with a distinctly Highland feel, while Lewis is lower-lying, featuring rolling expanses scattered with lochs and smaller hills. Both however are blessed with truly spectacular coastal areas. Harris has some of the best beaches in Scotland, while Lewis, no beach slouch itself, has endless miles of dramatic coastline to admire.
While the highlights of Lewis and Harris can be seen in 2 – 3 days, we would recommend about a week to take advantage of all the stunning walks, scenic cycling/driving routes, fascinating cultural experiences, and delicious food on offer. Many people plan a trip here as part of an island hopping adventure including Barra and Uist, but if you prefer to spend time getting to know a place more deeply, there is plenty to keep you busy on Lewis and Harris alone.
Note that place names and spelling can vary between maps and street signs, with both English and Gaelic spellings being used. Sometimes places are commonly known as one thing, but on a map are named something different. In this guide we try to use the most commonly used names, along with any alternative name (as per Google Maps or Ordnance Survey maps) in parentheses.