Harris and Lewis: Who is the fairest of them all?

Peter Edwards tell us more about a recent research trip to the Hebridean Isle of Lewis.

After a recent 'research' trip to the Hebridean isle of Lewis, Cicerone author, Peter Edwards, was telling a friend where he'd been only for her to respond 'Lewis? Isn't that Harris's ugly twin?'

Bhaltos Beach Isle of Lewis
Bhaltos Beach

Lewis and Harris are actually part of the same land mass, their territories delineated by the natural barrier constituted by mighty Clisham and the other Harris Hills. These hills are the most popular destination for serious walkers visiting the Outer Hebrides with good reason, and Harris is indeed an extraordinarily beautiful 'island', but the 'ugly twin' epithet for Lewis is wildly innaccurate!

Though perhaps less 'popular' with visitors, Lewis has some fantastic walking to offer, from rugged and dramatic coastal walks, to challenging and remote hill-walking; there are also many glorious, empty white sand beaches for something a bit more relaxing.

Our trip was very much enhanced by Richard Barrett's Walking on Harris and Lewis, which is the definitive guidebook for walks on the Long Island – as the twins are also known – and is also rammed full of interesting accounts of the island's history, geology, flora and fauna as well as information on local services, covering all bases.

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