Almost exactly 3 years ago, Daryll and I discovered one of the most magical places on this island. Somewhere that has no road or path to it, but somewhere that was home to my neighbour's granny as a small girl. This place is Dirascal, a tiny settlement on the shores of the deserted and beautiful Loch Reasort.
Loch Reasort carves a majestic fjord into the island's west side, threatening to divide Lewis from Harris. It once provided a sea thoroughfare to Kinloch Reasort, where there were several houses and a school, but they were never connected to the sparse road network in Lewis, so the inhabitants gradually moved away for an easier existence, or died in this serene remote homestead. Dirascal residents, however, were never given that choice. After 11 years of living in their 4 self built black houses, and toiling on an unfinished path to guide their children to school in Kinloch Reasort, they were moved on again by the landowner, who apparently decided they were 'living too well' in Dirascal, undoubtedly on the plentiful salmon and venison!
Daryll and I walked to Dirascal across the hills from home. It is an easy walk to do in a day, but too far to return again, so we had our camping stuff with us, and we woke in Dirascal to the first day of summer. It was completely enchanting. Our tent was pitched in Cathy Bell's Great Grandfather's house, and our dreams were peacefully accompanied by the gentle burble of the stream that runs through the village to the sea. We could see exactly where the villagers would have done their washing in the crystal clear burn, and where they would have spread it to dry on the sun-baked gneiss boulders that meld into and support the 4 houses there.
This summer on 23rd May, 6th June and 27th June we are excited to be working with Isle of Harris Sea Tours to take you to this secret and special place. But don't worry, you won't have to walk all the way there and back carrying heavy packs like we did; like the inhabitants of old, you will be able to either arrive or leave by boat! The boat trip will also take you to the incredible island of Scarp, which provided a good living for at least 200 people at one time. In fact, the inhabitants of Dirascal were initially forced to move to Dirascal from Scarp because Scarp was becoming overcrowded. They remained in constant touch with their friends and relations on Scarp by sea. The journey you will make will have been made hundreds of times in the past, but is made very seldom today.
You can choose whether you prefer to start your adventure with Daryll and I for the dramatic walk through Glen Ulladal to Dirascal, or whether you prefer to take the boat trip first and join us for the gorgeous walk back through Sron Ulladal to a waiting minibus which will shuttle you back to your car in Tarbert.
The whole day's adventure will cost you £140: A very unique offer. There are three dates scheduled for this summer and this is the first time such a trip has ever been planned. It might be the last, so book now!