Lewis and Harris

Introduction

This area covers the Outer Hebrides north of the Sound of Harris. The area begins just north of Rodel on the east side and at Traigh Scarasta on the west side (excluding Toe Head). Its thus includes the Isle of Lewis and most of Harris. It also includes the Flannan isles to the west and the Shiants to the east.

Information is given working clockwise around the islands.

Times of high water

Information is given in sequence clockwise around the islands.

Taransay: High water is 53 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Loch a Siar: High water is 53 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Braigh Mor: High water is 53 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Loch Rog: High water is 53 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Carloway: High water is 15 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Stornoway: High water is 10 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Loch Eireasort: High water is 10 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Loch Sealg: High water is 16 minutes before high water at Ullapool Tidal streams in the Loch are barely perceptible, but the in-going stream begins 6 hours and 10 minutes before high water at Ullapool, with the out-going stream beginning 5 minutes before high water Ullapool.

Loch Claidh: High water is 26 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Loch Seaforth: High water is 27 minutes before high water at Ullapool

East Loch Tarbert: Loch an Tairbeairt: high water is 26 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Loch Sgadabhegh: High water is 27 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Loch Gheocrab: High water is 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool

Tidal streams

Information is given in sequence clockwise around the islands.

Sound of Taransay: The north north-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 50 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The south south-west going stream begins at 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool.

Loch A Siar: The east south-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 40 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The west north-west going stream begins at 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. Flows are weak.

Off Gaisgeir: The north going stream begins at 5 hours and 50 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. Streams along the coastline in this area are weak except off salient points.

Off Scarp: The north north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south south-west going stream begins at 1 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Caolas an Scarp: The tide flows north and south. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. Some sources, assert that there are no significant tidal flows.

Braigh Mor: In Braigh Mor and the lochs around it, there are no significant tidal streams.

West of Mealasta: The north going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 1 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Aird Mhor: The north north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south south-west going stream begins at 1 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Ullapool.

Gallan Head: The east north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west south-west going stream begins at 1 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Off the entrance to Loch Rog: The north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 5 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1 knots at springs.

Loch Rog: The south-east going stream begins at 6 hours after high water at Ullapool. The north-west going stream begins at 10 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1 knots at springs. This speed is attained in the narrower channels.

Caolas Phabaigh: The tidal stream here flows north north-west reaching a maximum speed of 1.5 knots at springs. There can be significant swell at the entrance, which can be intensified by an opposing tidal stream.

Loch Rog an Ear: The south south-east going stream begins at 5 hours and 50 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The north north-west going stream begins at 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1 knots at springs. This flow rate is only achieved in narrow channels.

Narrows of Loch Rog Beag: The north going stream begins at 20 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 6 hours and 5 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 6 knots at springs. Whirlpools and small waves form, but the narrows are well sheltered and there is a good run out. It is possible to eddy hop up against the tide.

Between the islands north of Great Bernera: The north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 25 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs. The channel between Great Bernera and Little Bernera runs at 1.5 knots at springs.

Between Loch Rog an Ear and Sgeir Mor: The east north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 5 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs. This flow rate is attained off some of the headlands.

North west coast of Lewis: The north-east going stream begins at 4 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 5 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs.

Butt of Lewis: The east going stream begins at 4 hours and 35 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west going stream begins at 1 hours and 50 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 5 knots at springs. The flow turns around the headland NE, E and SE and N, W and SW. The flow rate given is for close to the Butt - streams reduce to 3 knots a mile offshore. The water around the point can be turbulent and confused.

Eddy to west of Butt of Lewis: An eddy flows north east on the west side of the point during the west-going stream

Eddy to east of Butt of Lewis: An eddy flows north west on the east side of the point during the east-going stream. The eddy can extend to Meall Geal.

Between Tolsta Head and Meall Geal: The north going stream begins at 50 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 5 hours and 35 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.. This is the flow off headlands - there is much less flow in the bays.

Tolsta Head: The north going stream begins at 50 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 5 hours and 35 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. Flows are much slower in the bays nearby.

Loch a Tuath: The north-east going stream begins at 5 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 55 minutes before high water at Ullapool. Streams are weak.

East side of Eye Peninsula: The north going stream begins at 50 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 5 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1 knots at springs.

Stornoway Harbour Entrance: The north going stream begins at 6 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 5 minutes before high water at Ullapool. Streams are barely perceptible. Seiches of 20 to 25 minutes period, and range up to half a metre, occur at Stornoway during unsettled weather, which may result in more rapid flow in and then out of the harbour (or vice versa).

Within Stornoway harbour: Streams are insignificant. Beware boat traffic - it may be worth checking the ferry timetable!

Loch Eireasort: The east going stream begins at 5 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The west going stream begins at 6 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Ullapool. Streams within the loch are insignificant, although they may be felt in the smaller channels.

Between A Chabag and the Eye Peninsula: Tidal streams are weak between A' Chabag and Tiumpan Herad on the Eye Peninsula.

A Chabag: Between Gob na Miolaid and Kebock head (A'Chabag): The north north-east going stream begins at 3 hours and 5 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 20 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs.

Sound of Shiant: The north-east going stream begins at 3 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 3 hours after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1.9 knots at springs. Close to the coast, the flow is closer to 1-1.5 knots, less in bays. In the Sound, heavy overfalls can form, even in settled weather. The worst overfalls form around 2km north west of Garbh Eilean.

Gob Rubha Uisnis: The north-east going stream begins at 3 hours and 5 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 3 hours and 20 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 4 knots at springs.

To the east of the Shiants: The north north-east going stream begins at 3 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow is slack from 1 hour and 40 minutes after high water at Ullapool until the south-going stream begins. The north-going stream is 'uncertain', the south-going stream runs at 2 knots.

To the south of the Shiants: The north-east going stream begins at 3 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 3 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs. Eddies occur near the islands.

Pender Rock: The tidal streams run strongly around Pender rock, just south-west of Aird a Bhaigh, west of the entrance to Loch Claidh. The disturbance can be dangerous to small craft.

Entrance to Loch Seaforth: The south south-east going stream begins at 25 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The north north-west going stream begins at 6 hours after high water at Ullapool.

Around Seaforth Island: The south south-east going stream begins at 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The north north-west going stream begins at 6 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1 knots at springs.

Narrows of Loch Seaforth: The north going stream begins at 4 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south going stream begins at 25 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 7 knots at springs. A tidal rapid forms here. The south-going stream continues until the incoming tide covers the rapid, around 2 hours after low water at Ullapool. The north-going stream may start an hour earlier.

Braigh Mor: The south-east going stream begins at 1 hours and 5 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The north-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The north west-going flood stream runs into Braigh Mor, turns north through the gap between Sgeotasaigh and Scalpay, then turns east through the Sound of Scalpay. The ebb stream does the opposite.

Sound of Scalpay: The west going stream begins at 1 hours and 5 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The east going stream begins at 5 hours and 20 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. The flood tide sets north between Scalpay and Sgeotasaigh and then east into the Sound. The ebb goes in the opposite direction. It is possible to eddy hop against the flow in the channel, even on a spring tide.

South east of Scalpay: The north-east going stream begins at 3 hours and 5 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 3 hours and 20 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2.5 knots at springs. At neaps, the north-east going stream is reported to begin earlier at 5 hours and 5 minutes before high water at Ullapool.

South east coast of Harris: The north-east going stream begins at 3 hours and 35 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 50 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. The streams are weaker between the headlands and much weaker in the lochs.

Between Sgeir In-ao and Sgeir Graidach: The east going stream begins at 3 hours and 45 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west going stream begins at 2 hours and 40 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2.5 knots at springs.

Sgeir Graidach*: Sgeir Graidach is an area of shallows north of Fladda Chuain, marked by a south cardinal buoy. The streams in its immediate vicinity begin earlier than in the channels to the north and south. The east going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west going stream begins at 1 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 2.5 knots at springs. At neaps, the east going stream may continue until 4 hours and 10 minutes after high water at Ullapool. Turbulence and heavy overfalls can form here.

Halfway between Eilean Trodday ant the Shiants*: The east going stream begins at 3 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The west going stream begins at 3 hours after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 1 knots at springs.

South end of the Shiants*: Inshore eddies cause the tide to turn here a little earlier than in open water to the south: The north-east going stream begins at 3 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Ullapool. The south-west going stream begins at 2 hours and 55 minutes after high water at Ullapool. The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs. There is slack water at around 1 hour and 40 minutes after high water at Ullapool.

Notes

Access/Egress

Port Stoth: (NB 525 660) g A small gravel track leads to the beach

Eoropie Beach: (NB 512 646) g Accesible from a small road to the south (leading to the cemetery) or from the east (car park by play area). In both cases, there is a 4-500m carry.

Port Nis: (NB 540 638) g A number of landing options, including the slip just inside the harbour, which has space for a car to be parked.

Traigh Ghearadha: (NB 535 499) g Good parking area at the end of the road, 200 m carry to the beach.

Traigh Ghioradil: (NB 542 464) g Parking area at the end of a track above the beach.

Loch Shiabost: (NB 254 476) g Some parking possible at the road end, near the water. The loch is somewhat sheltered, but landing could be difficult in a north-easterly swell.

Carloway Pier: (NB 192 422) g Small harbour with slipway.

Breivig: (NB 482 390) g Harbour with slip and lots of space to park.

Bostadh Slip: (NB 145 402) g A small working slip gives easy access to the water, but finding a considerate parking space may be difficult as this is a working slip.

Port nan Giuran: (NB 558 374) g Sheltered landing behind the pier. Some space to leave a car.

Bostadh Beach: (NB 138 402) g Small car park 200 metres from the beach. It may be possible to drop boats a little closer by the graveyard.

Sheisiadar: (NB 556 341) g Slipway. Swell can make landing and launching difficult.

Bhaltos Pier: (NB 095 369) g Slipway and small harbour. May be possible to park a car out of the way.

Cliff Beach: (NB 085 365) g Car park near the beach. The likelihood of surf probably limits this to an option for calm days.

Cuddy Point: (NB 419 328) g Best place to embark for a paddle in Stornoway harbour. Reached by the road past the golf club, through the castle grounds. The gate may be closed on Sundays.

The Braigh: (NB 479 321) g Car park, from which beaches to the north and south can be accessed.

Bridge to Great Bernera: (NB 165 342) g Small slipway to the north of the bridge near a small parking area.

Iarsiadar: (NB 159 339) g Fish farm slipway.

Bagh Phabail: (NB 528 309) g Sandy beach by pier. Space to park.

Holm: (NB 460 311) g Slipway with nearby parking.

Traigh Uige: (NB 035 316) g Gravel area by the road near the bridge over a stream. May be long carry/drag down the stream to the water.

Crosbost: (NB 387 245) g Plenty of parking near the slipway (and church).

Giosla: (NB 130 257) g Next to hydroelectric power station and a house. Launch from a stony beach through the gate. Limited parking - please be considerate.

Mealasta: (NA 993 234) g Smal parking area by a cove, old slipway.

Arivruaich: (NB 232 173) g Take out by the weir and drag/carry up the shallow river to the road. It may be possible to leave a car or two on the verge here by a small turning.

Leumrabhagh: (NB 380 116) g Working slipway.

Jetty north of Huisinis: (NA 990 124) g

Huisinis: (NA 993 120) g Small parking area at the east end of the beach.

Aird a Mhulaidh: (NB 191 103) g Working jetty. Do not use the jetty to the north of here (Loidse Ath Linne) as it is down a private road.

Maraig: (NB 196 059) g Slipway

Rhenigidale: (NB 229 017) g Small bay

Tarbert west, Taobh Siar: (NB 145 006) g Working quay.

Tarbert west, old pier road: (NB 149 003) g Slipway onto gravel beach. May be possible to leave a car.

Tarbert, east side: (NG 155 999) g Slipway with parking nearby.

Carnach: (NG 222 977) g Working quay, may be space to leave a car hereabouts.

Traigh Niosaboist: (NG 048 970) g Toilets in the campsite area. Carry down to the beach.

Traigh Iar: (NG 040 967) g Grassy pull offs from the road are a short carry from the beach.

Cluer - Caolas Beag: (NG 140 905) g Working pier with parking area.

Suggested trips

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