Coast and Islands Orienteering Week
Orienteering Adventures along the West Coast of Scotland
2023 Harris (and Lewis)
Pre Info – Updated 30/11/22
Saturday 22nd to Friday 28th July 2023
After the success of Coast and Islands 2021 and 2022, we’re back for 2023. This time we head north and west, just about as far as you can go in the UK – to the Isle of Lewis and Harris (yes it is just one island!). A truly unique place with rugged terrain, golden beaches and turquoise seas.
Orienteering has never ventured to the Outer Hebrides which means all areas will be brand new.
We’ll be based for the entire week in Tarbert on Harris (yes another Tarbert!). Most of the areas will be close by.
The areas we’ve lined up are amazing – Harris is incredibly rocky – mostly bare rock with occasional boulders with short(ish) grass meaning runnability is generally good. Not many trees up here but if we do make it to Lewis then we should encounter some there.
Religion still plays a significant role in Hebridean life, we therefore will not be hosting an event on Sunday.
Our focus is on finding great areas and planning interesting courses. The organisation will be low key due to the location, number of people we can accommodate and to keep costs reasonable.
Most of the areas comprise bare rock and ankle deep vegetation with occasional boulders (think Ben Shieldaig for those on the first Coast and Islands event). There is little ‘stony ground’. We describe runnability as good.
There are generally two types of areas: hill sides with re-entrants/spurs and more lumpy terrain – small hills and knolls.
The sprint in Tarbert will be a mix of mountain rock and urban tarmac.
The unconfirmed areas are a sand dune area on West Harris and a park/wood sprint in Stornoway.
Cnoc na Cloiche
Isle of Scalpay
Creag na Bunaig
More information will be posted here in due course.
It’s an island. So you’ll need to catch a ferry (or plane) to come! There are 2 main ferry options, timewise there’s not so much of a difference if coming from central Scotland. However Ullapool is significantly closer to the 6 Days if you’re going there. But you can also make more of a trip of it by sailing to Barra or South Uist and then driving/cycling/ferrying up through the Outer Hebrides.
Uig, Skye to Tarbert – Timetable – Make sure to look at summer one.
Ullapool to Stornoway – Timetable – Make sure to look at summer one.
Ferry Map from Calmac (most ferries in Scotland are operated by Calmac)
The other option is to fly to Stornoway on Lewis. Then cycle, catch the bus or hire a car.
Travelling to Scottish 6 Days afterwards?
Ullapool to Moray – 1.5 hours
Uig, Skye to Moray – 3.5hours
Public Transport – Probably easiest to get train/bus to Inverness. Then bus to Ullapool, ferry to Stornoway and finally a bus to Tarbert.
Cycling – Either get the train to Oban, ferry to Barra then cycle/ferry up through the Outer Hebrides to Harris. Or train to Kyle of Lochalsh, cycle up through Skye to Uig to catch the ferry.
We really want to encourage people to bring bikes!
Potentially on 2-3 of the days there is no easy parking and we may have to bus. The bus would be from Tarbert. So for these days there would be an extra cost (in region of £5-10 an adult) if you don’t bring a bike. The bus trip won’t be long (20mins max).
The best place to stay is in (or as near as you can to) Tarbert. 3 of the areas are adjacent. And for 2-3 of the others it’s a short cycle or bus ride.
When searching make sure you’re looking at the right Tarbert, there are at least 3 in Scotland!
Unfortunately it has not been possible to arrange camping at the school in Tarbert.
The largest permanent campsite is Horgabost Campsite, 10 miles from Tarbert. No electric hookups. But it is on a beach!
West Harris Trust run some camper only parking spots which have a variety of facilities including electric hookups. Roughly 10 miles from Tarbert.
There are some smaller campsites on crofts to the south of Tarbert.
Tarbert Hostel 3 dorms. 19 beds.
Generally accommodation is Friday to Friday or Saturday to Saturday. The below links are Fri-Fri but there may be other options if you change to Sat-Sat.
Entry Opens: Thursday 1st December
Entry Limit: 200 entry limit
Entry Deadline: 30th June 2023 (unless entry limit previously reached)
Whole week only
Early Entry – Before 31st Jan 2023
– Adults £160
– Under 20s / Students £50
– Under 18s £25
Standard Entry – Before April 30th 2023
– Adults £170
– Under 20s / Students £55
– Under 18s £30
Late Entry – Before 30th June 2023
– Adults £180
– Under 20s / Students £60
– Under 18s £35
NB: Costs are higher than the last 2 years due to increased organisational costs due to the remoteness of location! But we’ve reduced Under 18 entry fee to try and help make it affordable to families.
On 2 of the days there is no convenient parking nearby. If you therefore don’t cycle to the event you will need to book a bus we’ll provide from Tarbert, the maximum distance is 6 miles from Tarbert to the event. The combined cost is below, irrelevant of when you enter:
– Adults: £20 (£25 after 1st May 2023)
– Students/Juniors: £5
Questions? Contact the coordinator Chris Smithard here.