The Harris Distillery provided a perfect backdrop on Friday evening for the official launch of the new walking and cycling trail ‘The Hebridean Way’, along with the heralding of the new Eat, Drink Hebrides Trail.
Both launches came underneath the umbrella of the ‘Connected 2020’ initiative, which is part of the Scottish Tourism Week roadshow, hoping to engage over 2,020 businesses across the country to achieve a future vision for tourism.
In excess of 100 guests attended the sell out event in Tarbert and as well as browsing a number of stands created by various Hebridean producers, including: Hebridean Bakery, Salar Smokehouse and the Isle of Lewis Cheese Company, attendees also enjoyed a cookery demonstration courtesy of Digby Chick restaurant proprietor and chef James MacKenzie.
There was also a presentation by endurance cyclist, presenter and adventurer Mark Beaumont, who earlier in the day had successfully completed cycling the length of the Hebridean Way from Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis in just 24 hours to mark the launch of the Hebridean Way route.
He regaled the audience with his experience of the journey which took in ten islands, six causeways and two rib crossings.
Mark was exuberant about his short time on the islands: “This whole Outer Hebrides experience has been unforgettable - from the moment I landed on the spectacular beach at Barra to completing the challenge at the islands’ most northerly point at the Butt of Lewis.
“What struck me most is the amazing immediacy of the landscape, which changes from island to island.
“The scenery is stunning, and you’d miss so much of it dashing along in a car.
“This has to be the best part of Scotland, and cycling has to be the best way to see these fantastic islands. The roads are perfect for cycling – quiet and safe.
“So many communities, schoolchildren and cyclists turned out to wish me well on my journey, and I’m sure I’ll be back again with my bike to soak up more of this unique Hebridean landscape and hospitality.”
Pictured above is Mark Beaumont, joined by local cyclists, during his challenge.
Below is the launch event at the Harris Distillery.