Scotland // Skye and the Western Isles //

Harris (Na Hearadh)

Harris, south of Lewis, is much hillier, more dramatic and much more appealing than its neighbour, its boulder-strewn slopes descending to aquamarine bays of dazzling, white sand. The “island” is clearly divided by a minuscule isthmus into the wild, inhospitable mountains of North Harris and the gentler landscape and sandy shores of South Harris.


A mile or so from Rubha Reanais (Renish Point), the southern tip of Harris, is the old port of ROGHADAL (Rodel), where a smattering of ancient stone houses lies among the hillocks. On top of one of these grassy humps is St Clement’s Church (Tur Chliamainn), burial place of the MacLeods of Harris and Dunvegan in Skye. Dating from the 1520s, the church’s bare interior is distinguished by its wall tombs; look out, too, for the Sheela-na-gig (a naked pre-Christian fertility goddess) halfway up the south side of the tower. Unusually, she has a brother displaying his genitalia too, below a carving of St Clement on the west face.

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