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C78 (Eilean Siar)

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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Tarbert (NG153999)
To:  Scalpay (NG215971)
Distance:  5.5 miles (8.9 km)
Meets:  A868
Highway Authorities

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Traditional Counties


This article is about the C78 on Harris.
For other roads that are numbered C78, see C78

The C78 is the road which runs from Tarbert on Harris eastwards out to the Scalpay Bridge and on to the Isle of Scalpay. It starts by forking off the A868 barely 100m from its start on the A859 in Tarbert and runs along Main Street, itself the original route of the A868. A spur completes the One way system through the village by linking back to the end of the A868 at the pier, while the main line continues east out of Tarbert and runs along the hills above Loch Tarbert.

Looking back towards Tarbert

A right turn leads to Urgha, perhaps suggesting the old line of the road, but the modern line turns north and drops down to Lochan Lacasdail, which is crossed by a new bridge. On the far side of the bridge, a small parking area marks the start of the footpath to Reinigeadal, the only way in or out of this remote settlement, by land, until the road was built through from the north in 1989.

Heading into Kyles Scalpay

The C78, meanwhile loops back to the south, climbing steadily around the headland above Loch Tarbert, and then undulates for a mile or so before descending into the series of villages which line the shore. So far the road has mostly been S2, but as it reaches he first house it drops to single track, winding through the crofts to Kyles Scalpay, where the Scalpay Bridge carries the road across to the island.

The road dips down to the bridge, and whilst this approach is S2, the bridge itself is only single track, the passing places eating into the pavement on the west side. Widening again on the island, the road drops down past a left Turn to a give way line, which seems to be the end of the C78 itself. Right is a dead end, but left leads around and into the village, set around a pretty, sheltered harbour.


Scalpay has a small network of roads, the main road turning around the head of the harbour to get into the centre of the main village. At the head of the harbour, a left turn doubles back past a quarry to the bridge. Through the village to a fork, where right soon forks again, leading to the west of the island. Left meanwhile heads south east to a final fork where the left hand road is the longer, terminating nearly 4 miles from the bridge. From here, the Scalpay Heritage Trail loops back past the lighthouse and around the north of the island to the village.

C78 (Eilean Siar)
Other nearby roads
Lewis and Harris

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