Top of a mountain in one of the world’s most emotionally-charged places, in good company, a little sunburnt (what?!? Those that know me or that are familiar with my travel ramblings will be unsurprised to learn that the Outer Hebrides have a very special place in my heart.Hyperbolic and a tad mushy as it may sound, there is something overwhelmingly captivating about this far-away little segment of this fabulous country. Throw in a lovely bunch of travel companions, the organisation and experience of a leading outdoor specialist and I’m there with bells on.The only place to start, this beauty is the highest point in the Western Isles and has been a bucket-lister for me for some time. I know and love the beaches of South Harris, the lunar landscapes in the north, the constant whiff of Viking and Gaelic presence in the air and the lure of the local seafood and gin (Harris Gin, dear god by the way) hubs along the way.But Clisham delivers something very different to my mind’s eye view of the place.Starting at the Community Centre just past Breacleit, the route is a low level wander across the western coastline of Great Bernera and is the most straightforward of the walks on this list. The magnificent beach faces across the water to Little Bernera and an Iron Age settlement was uncovered here in 1992. Throw in distant views of Luskentyre beaches and add this to the list of truly stunning Scottish climbs.Building remains dating from the 6 Century AD add further interest to another of the gems of the Outer Hebrides. The restored 19 Century Blackhouse Village to the north of Carloway is a favourite with photographers and gives an interesting insight into the life of local crofters and fishermen who would have made a home from this kind of settlement.
You will also be supplied with a suggested kit list of things to pack, a useful touch as there’s lots to consider here.I took the opportunity to go bounding about gleefully (I do that a lot in these parts, can’t be helped) in the overlooking stretches of coastline in search of the best angles. Well worth a half hour nosey, a coastal walk to explore the area further is well rewarded.With the drama of the Atlantic for company, the 2 hours route snakes around the coast in a circular trail ending back at Carloway.While most will take the return route by the same way, we make a full day of it by continuing on the obvious horseshoe shaped ridge.
The 4 peaks that we took in present very different views throughout and with Golden Eagles looming overhead, beaches visible to the south and spirits high in the group, even an ordinarily challenging descent is full of fun.
Powerful and mysterious, it proudly glares down on passers-by on the A859, calling out to be conquered.