Advice for Campervans
Experiencing the Isle of Harris from the comfort of a campervan/motorhome is an increasingly popular way to explore the island. With built in transport and accommodation it solves many of the problems associated with getting around and finding somewhere to stay, particularly during the summer months. Although camper-vanning is all about freedom, a bit of forward planning will always help visitors make the most of their limited time on the island and here we have compiled a local guide focused on North Harris.
Campervans can be hired on the island allowing visitors to travel over by air or ferry. However, most visitors bring a campervan over from the mainland arriving by ferry and many take the opportunity to visit several of the hebridean islands using a ‘hopscotch’ ticket. Campervans coming to Harris have the option of using three ferry ports, Tarbert, Stornoway and Leverburgh. For details refer to our ‘Visting Us‘ page.
Where to Park Overnight?
There are suitable lay-byes and parking areas throughout Harris, but on the map below we have highlighted a variety of sites that showcase the best of North Harris’ landscape and wildlife and/or provide shelter and seclusion and/or are convenient for local services. Park at one these sites and you can rest assured that you are welcome.
The locations of other campervan related services have also been marked. Including, ferry terminals, petrol stations, re-cycling/refuse disposal points, and Chemical Disposal Points for toilet waste.
Click on the marker pins to see site specific information and photographs. Enlarge map and zoom-in for more detail
Within North Harris there are two independent grocers in the main village of Tarbert where you will find groceries, newsagents, off-license, butchery and bakery. Very handy if you’ve just come off the ferry. A bit further afield there is a An Clachan (small supermarket) in the village of Leverburgh (20 miles south of Tarbert). In Stornoway (36 miles north of Tarbert), there are 2 large supermarkets and retailers covering most needs.
There are three places to purchase fuel on Harris
Harris Garage, Tarbert.
Ardhasaig Garage, Ardhasaig.
An Clachan, Leverburgh.
Calor Gas is available from
An Clachan, Leverburgh.
On the Isle of Harris, Sunday is a quiet day for reflection. Many attend church and all enjoy a chance to slow down. Hotels and some restaurants/cafés remain open to serve guests, but all shops and petrol stations are closed. The same is true for the Isle of Lewis, but there are a few places to buy fuel on a Sunday, including:
An Clachan, Leverburgh (Un-manned, 24hr)
Ravenspoint, Lochs, Isle of Lewis (Un-manned, 24hr)
Engebretson’s Stornoway (Also sells newspapers, groceries, LPG and camping gear)
Throughout the Highlands and the Hebrides, single track roads with passing places are common and often lead to the most interesting and remote places. For those not familiar with driving on single track roads it is worth looking at the advice on these websites.
and here is a video
Caravan and Campervan drivers are often criticized for hindering traffic on highland roads, so please take this advice on board.
Drivers should also be wary of livestock and wild red deer that roam free range over extensive areas of unfenced grazings. Lambs are particularly unpredictable when they are new-born in the Spring and take heed of warning signs for cattle and deer, especially on dark nights.
Re-cycling and Refuse Disposal
As an island community, tackling the waste generated locally and brought in by tourists is a significant challenge. Visitors are encouraged to bag and take as much of their waste home as is practical. However, we accept there are limits and waste management facilities are provided at Huisinis, Scalpay Community Centre and the Community Re-cycling Centre at Urgha (just east of Tarbert). Details are available on the Local Authorities Zero Waste Western Isles website.
Chemical Disposal Points
As detailed on the map, there are two Chemical Disposal Points (CDP’s) in North Harris – one in Urgha and the other at the Huisinis Gateway (Both charged at £3). Please note that the Urgha CDP is only accessible while the recycling depot is open. Tuesday-Friday 10am-5:30pm & Saturday 10am-4pm.
The North Harris Trust does not impose charges for the use of parking areas, footpaths and picnic facilities. We welcome visitors and recognise their important contribution to the local economy. Nonetheless, if you would like to make a contribution towards the maintenance and improvement of our visitor facilities, make use of the donation posts distributed throughout the Estate, alternatively donations can be made via Paypal
Detailed information for all visitors to the Islands can be found online at:
Enjoy your trip!
NHT would like to thank Hannah Baird (Galsgow University) for her effort in preparing this page.