Walk: Ceapabhal - on the edge of it all

Harris | Northton | Half day walk | ★★★★

[Ceapabhal beyond Tràigh na Cleabhaig]

Jutting out prominently at the southwestern corner of Harris, Ceapabhal is the highest point on a scenic, uninhabited peninsula only connected to the rest of the island by a sliver of machair in between sandy bays. The hill's isolated position makes it one of the best viewpoints anywhere in the Outer Hebrides: from where else are North Harris, the western beaches, the south coast, the Uists and even (on a clear day) St Kilda visible from a single spot? The approach has two contrasting halves: a glorious coastal stroll taking in two pristine bays of white sand, followed by a steep (though relatively short) slog to the summit cairn with ever-improving views. On the way to the car park you'll drive past both a cafe and Croft 36. The latter is a charming honesty shop selling pies and other treats, and the perfect place to stock up on supplies for your walk.

[Views of Tràigh an Taoibh Thuath]

📌 Walk: Ceapabhal - on the edge of it all ★★★★
Start / finish at car park at Tràigh na h-Uidhe, minor road end 4 mi northwest of Leverburgh, Harris, G.R.: NF 986903 ///active.existence.pushed

▶ 7 km / 4 mi | ▲ 380 m | ⌚ Half a day | Moderate
Features: Tràigh na h-Uidhe; Tràigh na Cleabhaig; △ Ceapabhal (368 m, sub-2000')
Terrain: Intermittent path and sandy beaches for approach to foot of Ceapabhal, with track on return from here. Hill itself: pathless at first, but you should pick one up as you ascend.

Route & map

Car park - Tràigh na h-Uidhe - Tràigh na Cleabhaig via coast (fence may need to be climbed) - gate just uphill from track near G.R.: NF 977913 - Ceapabhal - return to north end of Tràigh na Cleabhaig by outward route - start via direct track


Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)

On our visit

Wildlife: A couple of (golden?) eagles soaring around the summit. Lapwings, angry terns, oystercatchers, sheep and lambs.
Weather:Mostly cloudy at start but improving to extensive sunshine by finish. Temperature in low teens.

Chronological photo guide

[Machair starting to flower near the start]

[Tràigh na h-Uidhe]

[View back to Tràigh na h-Uidhe]

[Ceapabhal beyond Tràigh na Cleabhaig]

[Tràigh na Cleabhaig]

[Tràigh na Cleabhaig]

[Terns on Tràigh na Cleabhaig]

[Beaches at the start of the ascent]

[The start of the ascent is mostly pathless]

[Spot the oystercatcher]

[Oystercatcher]

[Looking back down to the beaches on the west side of the peninsula]

[Views from the hill path]

[Views of Tràigh an Taoibh Thuath]

[Ceapabhal summit]

[View west from the summit]

[View north across Harris]

[View south towards the cloudy Uists]

[Croft 36]

[Ceapabhal seen from the A859 at Stangrigary (24/5/18)]

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