Rubh’ an Teampaill

Route: Rubh’ an Teampaill (Northton Temple)

Area: Scotland, Isle of Harris

Date of walk: 7th March 2018

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 3.6 miles

Ascent: 300 feet

Weather: Sunny

Yesterday we caught the ferry from Uig on Skye and arrived on the Isle of Harris. We’d planned a short walk visiting the three sites of the standing stones of Callanish on nearby Lewis, but on arrival the weather was really poor. Driving rain and freezing winds caused us to abandon that plan and we contented ourselves with a visit to the main stone circle next to the visitor centre. I’ve included a few photos of this wonderfully atmospheric place. It was well worth the detour despite the conditions

We then drove to our base in Harris for the next few days – Blue Reef Cottages. After several days of miserable weather it was a treat to open the curtains this morning to the sight of sun and some blue skies, so without ado we set off to start our first walk here. A 10 minute drive along the coast brought us to the village of Northton. We parked at the far end of the village and after passing through a gate followed a track through the fields, with some glorious views of the sea and snow clad peaks to our right

After walking across some sand dunes we arrived at the beautiful deserted beach of Traigh na Cleabhaig, one of several small beaches which make this walk so special. Our destination came into sight – a ruined chapel known as Rubh’ an Teampaill (Gaelic) or Northton Temple (English). This medieval chapel was built on the site where once stood an Iron Age Broch, on land which has been continually occupied since Mesolithic times

After visiting the small building and admiring the stunning and extensive views we retraced our steps back to the start of a short and simple but very sweet walk

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