Shiants Trip. 3rd September 2018.

Date: Monday 3rd September 2018
Distance: 4km
Ascent: 200m

A week on Harris. We’d been hoping to visit the Shiants for a few years. A trip in 2017 was scuppered by the weather so we’d re-booked with Sea Harris to try again.

Monday was looking nice as we got up in our accommodation near Tarbert.

We went out to have a look for otters before breakfast – one of the locals was out on the kelp.

I think this was the near full-sized kit – it was wary and soon moved off.

It swam out to a nearby island and met up with another otter – mum.

Had our breakfast and wandered in to Tarbert to get the boat trip.

The trip took us out under the Scalpay bridge, round to Rhengidale and then to Loch Bhalamus prior to heading out to the Shiants. Saw a Golden Eagle and a few pods of porpoises (close enough to hear them breathe).

Approaching the Shiants we passed some skerries – Galtachan.

The boat rounded Garbh Eilean – more than 100m cliffs of columnar basalt. Impressive.

We were then dropped off on Garbh Eilean by dinghy for a couple of hours.

The island is in 2 halves connected by a shingle spit – Garbh Eilean and Eilean an Taighe.

Garbh Eilean is the higher and it presents a very steep face to the shingle spit. There is, however, a little marked goat track zig-zagging up it so it was rather easier than I’d expected.

Quick progress to 100m and a view to Eilean an Taighe.

From there it’s a grassy upland north to the highest point.

The other island in the group is Eilean Muire:

Upland of Eilean Garbh:

A quick yomp to the highest point – having seen the Shiants from many angles it was nice to stand on top of them.

Headed back across the top to the neck of the island.

Toll a Roimh and lazy beds:

Finding the top of the wee path was the hardest bit of the walk – should have paid more attention in ascent. Once found, however, all was well.

Eilean Garbh from the other half of the island – Eilean an Taighe:

Had lunch before getting back on the boat – the steep face of Eilean Garbh looms rather.

Then another fun sail around the islands.

…and a fast return to Tarbert:

The sun was out as we returned – the hills looked attractive. Todun and Caiteseal guard the mouth of Loch Seaforth.

Passed the Scalpay (Eilean Glas) lighthouse:

Great trip. Seamus and Sea Harris are good value – hopefully next year we’ll get a trip to Taransay and Scarp.

3 thoughts on “Shiants Trip. 3rd September 2018.

  1. I sailed past the Shiants twice this summer. Once they looked like any apparition floating in a calm sea. Didn’t get the chance to land. Another time perhaps……..


  2. Would love to have been able to spend more time here, but we were already impinging on the itinerary plans of the island baggers we were with who wanted more islands, and fast.


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