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The lack of roads makes it impossible to take a circular tour of the island. However, using Tarbert as your base, you can set out northwest along the coast of West Loch Tarbert, with the Forest of Harris to your north. Or you can go south from Tarbert, hugging the western coast road along the Sound of Taransay, with Rodel as your final destination.

Taking the northwesterly route first, you come to an Old Whaling Station at Bunavoneadar. In the early 20th century, Norwegians set up the station, but because of dwindling profits it was abandoned in 1930. If you continue north along B887, you'll arrive at the Amhuinnsuidhe Estate, a Scottish baronial castle built in 1868. The river to the left has one of the most beautiful salmon leaps in Scotland. The road beyond the castle continues to Hushinish Point, where you can see the little island of Scarp, which was once inhabited.

Returning to Tarbert, you can take A859 south. Some of the South Harris coastline will remind you of Norway, with its sea lochs and fjord fingers. The main road to Rodel is mostly two lanes and well surfaced; the east-coast road, however, is a winding single lane. Along the way you pass the Clach Mhicleoid ("standing stone"). Locals call it MacLeod's Stone.

From here you can look out across the Sound of Taransay, to the Island of Taransay, named after St. Tarran. It has several ancient sites, including the remains of St. Tarran's Chapel. Like Scarp, it was once populated, but now its grazing fields have been turned over to sheep. Continuing on the coastal road along the wild Atlantic -- actually the Sound of Taransay -- you see another ancient stone, the Scarista Standing Stone. Before reaching it, you pass Borve Lodge, the former home of Lord Leverhulme, the soap tycoon.

The road south passes the little promontory of Toe Head, which juts into the Atlantic. An ancient chapel, Rudhan Teampull, stands about 1.2km (3/4 mile) west of Northton and is reached by a sand track. Many prehistoric sites were uncovered and excavated on the tiny machair-studded peninsula of Toe Head.

The next village is Leverburgh, named after Lord Leverhulme. He's credited with trying to bring the people of the area into the 20th century, but his efforts to rejuvenate the economy largely failed. From here you can take a small passenger ferry to North Uist and Berneray.

Finally, drive east to Rodel, where St. Clement's Church stands high in the village. Overlooking Loch Rodel, this church is one of the most important monuments in the Western Isles. Cruciform in plan, it has a western tower, a nave, and two cross aisles. Some of the masonry work in freestone is similar to that used at Iona Abbey. It is believed that the church was built in the late 15th or very early 16th century.

In the Sound of Harris, separating Harris from North Uist, lie the islands of Ensay, Killegray, and Pabbay. They were once populated, but now are the domain of grazing sheep.

The island has a 9-hole Golf Club, Sgarasta (no phone), an isolated, windswept course carved into the Hebridean moors. The course is not staffed; however, you're asked to put £15 into the honesty box for playing 9 holes.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.