|Location Map ( geo)
|Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
An Tairbeart, is the Gaelic name for the main settlement on Harris, in the Western Isles. Being a Gaelic speaking area, it is officially known by the Gaelic name, although most people use the Anglicised 'Tarbert' in day to day speech. Whilst Tarbert has all of the hallmarks of being a town, such as shops, Hotels and a High School, it is little more than a village that just happens to be in the middle of Harris, and so a good centre for the scattered population to north and south. Tarbert is also the main ferry port for Harris, and a new distillery has recently been built.
The main road through the village, indeed the main road across Harris, is the A859, which starts in Stornoway to the north and continues south to Rodel. The only other classified road in Tarbert is the A868, a short spur which serves the ferry port, and follows a comparatively new road since the reconstruction of the car parks and queueing areas, partly on reclaimed land. There are, however, other roads leading away from Tarbert which are of critical importance to the local communities.
First, the C78 heads east from the A868, running along the coast of East Loch Tarbert to the Isle of Scalpay. The Scalpay Bridge then carries the road over onto the island, which has seen a reversal of fortunes since the bridge opened. A couple of miles south of Harris, the first turning leads to the C79, more commonly known as the Golden Road due to the high cost of constructing this route which meanders southwards down the east coast of Harris to meet the A859 once more at Rodel. Finally, a few miles west of Tarbert, the B887 forks left off the A859 as it starts the climb northwards and follows the coast to Husinish. This, as indeed are all roads on the island, is a stunning drive, worth lingering over.
As mentioned above, Tarbert is also the main ferry port for Harris, with the Uig-Harris Ferry sailing from Uig on Skye, the crossing alternating with the Uig - North Uist Ferry service in the summer months, and sometimes doing a combined sailing in the winter, allowing Harris to North Uist traffic (or vice-versa). The mainland can also be reached via Stornoway to the north, from where the Lewis Ferry sails to Ullapool. Continuing south, the normal route to North Uist is via the Sound of Harris Ferry, which crosses from An t-Ob (Leverburgh) at the south of Harris to Berneray, which is connected by a causeway to the Uists.
|Roghadal, Aiseag Caolana Hearadh / Sound of Harris Ferry (Leverburgh), An t-Ob / Leverburgh
|link between A859 and ferry. Was B898
|Urgha, Scalpaigh / Scalpaidh
|via the Scalpay Bridge
|The Golden Road
|Uig and the A87 on Skye