Island at the edge of the world - home to the Vikings for centuries and the Lord of the Isles dominion. Every visitor to this magical place leaves the land as it was but takes away experiences and visions. For some there are personal transformations. The Isle of Harris is the living heart of Gaeldom. Gaelic is in daily use at work and in the home. English is of course used with equal fluency.
There is a great attraction in the soft sounds of spoken English from the native Gaelic speaker, but to hear the melodious language itself spoken in Harris, with the ancient Harris accent, convinces that this historic tongue was created for poetry and music. And so it is still. The artistic cultures of Harris have survived enormous pressure over the last two centuries to delight us today.
For lovers of music, song, poetry and dance, there are many opportunities. Be sure to get an invitation to at least one Ceilidh before leaving Harris. Information on various events appears in the De Tha Dol local paper and on notice boards around Harris. The residents of Harris observe completely the traditional Scottish Sunday. The Harris beaches are broad, long, beautiful and glistening white.
Exhibition of Water Colours: Isle of Harris
A visit to the Ardbuidhe Art Gallery in Drinishader to see the work of Willie and Moira Fulton is a must for any discerning Harris tourist. Throughout Ceol na Mara Guest House, you will see early examples of their limited edition watercolours which include - Rodel Church: Luskentyre Beach & Taransay: Harris Golf Course: Tarbert Ferry terminal: Bays of Harris etc.
The gallery used to be a typical Hebridean dwelling, the bottom floor now converted to create an open-plan gallery area where Willie and Moira's work can be exhibited to full advantage - Moira's studio is situated above the gallery, while Willie works from his studio, next door. It is little wonder, given the stunning location of the gallery, that much of Willie and Moira's work is influenced by what lies outside their studio door.
The vista across the Minch provides constant inspiration and their most recent work reflects an attempt to understand the chemistry between the clouds : the sky and the sea as well as the quite unique Harris landscape.
Visiting Times: 12 - 5pm April - October and at all other times by appointment.
Skoon art cafe
The Skoon art cafe is less than 15 minutes drive from Ceol na Mara. Here you can find home baking, freshly ground coffee, homemade soup and breads, leaf and herbal teas, original art and traditional Scottish music for sale. Well worth a visit.
Harris is famous for having given its name to Harris Tweed. The first marketing of Harris Tweed was arranged by Lady Dunmore, the owner of Harris in the 1850s. She arranged to sell the cloth woven by the weavers of Harris to her own family and friends and so commercial Harris Tweed was created. Today visitors to Harris can still see Harris Tweed being made on the croft using the single width loom, the old wooden loom, and even the new double width loom.
Harris Tweed and Knitwear
Harris has a large and varied wildlife population. Several wildlife types that are rare elsewhere are remarkably common on Harris. For example Golden Eagles nest at a higher density here than almost anywhere else in Europe. The otter populates the whole of Harris, as do Polecats. The Common Seal (in fact now very uncommon) is resident here, whilst the Grey or Atlantic Seal, rare elsewhere, is common in Harris. In addition to several types of Dolphin and Porpoise, Whales are back. Of the Baleen Whales, there are Minke, Fin and Sei Whales. The great Humpback Whale is believed to be back in our waters. Other Whales to be seen include the toothed Pilot and the Killer Whales.
Take a cruise to St.Kilda. This remote and stunningly beautiful island captivates and enchants visitors leaving memories that will last a lifetime.
There are outstanding opportunities for Brown Trout, Sea Trout and Salmon fishing in Harris. Permission is readily available in most cases. Charges are low or even non-existent and very reasonably priced licences are readily available. Sea Fishing from beaches, rocks or boats is very rewarding and no licence is required. Boats with crew are readily and reasonably available.
A Genuine Links Course Scarista Links was not designed by any famous
person - it was designed by nature. It is a natural links course, formed by wind, sand, sea and land, requiring thoughtful and skilful play. When the wind blows from the Atlantic Ocean, wear your most expensive gear - and prepare to be humbled. Within 20 minutes drive from Ceol na Mara
Tennis: Come and play tennis on the most remote court in Britain. In a beautiful setting overlooking the Atlantic ocean on the road to Husinish, North Harris, the new court at Bunabhainneadar. Within 15 minutes drive from Ceol na Mara
An Seallam ,Genealogy centre
Genealogy Research Centre at Northton run by Bill and Chris Lawson. Bill Lawson has been specialising in the Family and Social History in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland for over forty years, and is widely recognised as an authority in the area. Within 25 minutes of Ceol na Mara
Bunabhainneadar whaling station
The Bunabhainneadar whaling station was set up in Harris in 1904 and was used intermittently up to the 1950s. It was originally built by a Norwegian company. A fleet of catcher vessels worked out of the station. These were 90 foot boats capable of speeds of up to 12 knots, and manned by Norwegians. Most of the whales were caught around the islands of St Kilda, Rockall and the Flannan Isles. Within 10 minutes drive from Ceol na Mara.
St. Clements Church, Rodel
St Clements Church at Rodel is a magnificent legacy of Clan MacLeod’s ownership of Harris. It became the main church of the MacLeod's in the early 1500s, when Alasdair Crotach MacLeod, the eighth chief of the MacLeods of Harris and Dunvegan rebuilt the church on a much older religious site. In 1528 he built a tomb for himself which is the finest of its kind in Scotland today. In the church too are the tombs of William, the ninth chief, and of John of Minginish. Within 30 minutes of Ceol na Mara
Abhainn Suidhe (Amhuinnsuidhe) - The castle is by the B887 road and overlooks a river cascading into the sea over a rock slide. Within 30 minutes drive from Ceol na Mara
In 1997 the Scalpay bridge linking the islands of Harris and Scalpay was officially open by the Prime Minister. Within 20 minutes of Ceol na Mara
Calanais Standing Stones
This archaeological treasure is one of the most remote and ancient monuments in Europe. Popular explanations link the stones to the complex astronomical theories of the Druids .Within one hours drive from Ceol na Mara
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village Built by drystone masonery, and thatched roofs, the blackhouses of Gearrennan are the last group of traditional dwellings to survive in Lewis. Within one hours drive from Ceol na Mara.