Leverburgh - Tarbert = Eastcoast or westcoast ?


Sorry if I am speaking........posting out of turn here, but my alarm clock will go off in some hours time and I will do a pleasant 80 miles bike ride around Lake Menteith from Paisley tomorrow.

I am new here, but I am pretty experienced on the bike. See here . A webpage which sadly only included 1/3 of all my tours. I will get the page up to date this summer........ or next summer....... or next summer.

I am planning a 500 miles roundtrip......... make that 660 miles due to a map reading error around the Western Isles and over Applecross and Mallaig back again. The road choice between Leverburgh and Tarbert at Harris is baffling though. So I called the tourist information in Tarbet and got no wiser. Fair enough.

My question is:

Do I take the eastern route, the socalled Golden Route or do I take the more flat western coast between Leverburgh and Tarbert ?
What is the most scenic of those two alternatives ?
I like hills, but not desperate 10-20 degrees hillclimbs up and down for hours.

I use a racing bike with a small pannier, tent and all that. I guess I average 15-20 miles an hour on flat road. I am planning to do Leverburgh via the west coast of Lewis up past Carloway and pretty close to Port Nis that day. And yes, I am aware of the big nasty hill after Tarbert and the 100 miles between Leverburgh and Port Nis.

I will put up a presentation of myself later on and the tour I am planning. But the bed awaits and the alarm clock at 0530.


Cycling is fun ...
I've only cycled along the W coast - stunning beaches & turquoise sea. Next time we'll plan in more time and do both :biggrin: I loved every metre of that Outer Hebrides tour ...

Whatever you decide, it'll be amazing, and you'll just have to go back there again ... a terrible hardship :smile:;)

Come back here and post some pictures after you've been out there, please

Both sides of South Harris are excellent so it just comes down to your preference on the day really. West is flatter with great views out over the Atlantic and up towards the North Harris mountains and of course the stunning beaches at Luskentyre. East is a roller coaster ride through a barren rocky/heathery landscape with views east over the Minch to the Scottish Mainland (on a good day), the hills are short and sharp though so you will have the 10-20 degree climbs, but not for hours.
Wait and see the weather and decide on the day.


Thanx. It seems like the west coast in other words.

I have tonnes of pictures I will post here from other tours in Northern Ireland and Scotland so if you want pictures; you will get it. I have just bought a new camera and I am testing it out now.

But now, I am heading off to Erskine Bridge and Lake Of Menteith for a 80 miles ride. Speak to you later.
I have ridden both east and west coasts of south harris. The west coast was picturesque, but also very windswept. And there was a lot more traffic because all of the tourists like to drive around there. You can also see beaches like that on lewis and the uists. There aren't really any facilities along it after leverburgh unless you like golf...

The east coast road, or the 'golden road' as it is known, is more sheltered from the wind and there is less traffic. There is even a cafe and a bunkhouse along it. I have ridden it in both directions and the surrounding geology is absolutely stunning. You won't see a landscape like it anywhere in the UK or most other places for that matter. There is a massive amount of granite outcrop, all of which has been smoothed over by glaciation, and because of the weather conditions, hasn't been eroded much. So it looks like the glacier left last week! It's amazing. because of the topography riding it is like riding a rollercoaster. It's lots more fun than the coast road IMO.


Legendary Member
toroddf said:
I am seriously seeking informations.

There really is no simple answer to your question toroddf, both routes have their own attractions.
Perhaps you could manage a complete circuit and do both coasts? It's the only way to get satisfaction, which ever route you choose you will wonder for the rest of your life if you should have gone the other way.:tongue:
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