Our favourite beach is Luskentyre on Harris. Which is impossible to describe adequately, and because of its "widescreen" estuary aspect, is very difficult to do justice to in a photograph.
The Observer picked up on this in its recent survey of the top deserted beaches in the world, plonking Luskentyre at no.1. In a previous Observer beach article, the Outer Hebrides was discussed a bit then too. Though I haven't of course been to every beach everywhere, they may be onto something; it's preferable to any I've strolled on in California, Barbados, St. Lucia, or the meditteranean (he says modestly).
Will this mean that thousands of people will appear on Luskentyre, turning it from deserted to as crowded as the Costa Blanca. No and never; for three reasons:
- Air fares from the mainland to here cannot compete against those to the med and other European destinations. "Do I spend 20 quid on a return fare to Costa Polluta in Spain, or 200 quid plus on a return fare to the Outer Hebrides?"
- The ferries and planes, between them, have a limited capacity. Unless they swim, it is impossible for thousands of people to suddenly converge on the Outer Hebrides.
- Lots of beach. Masses of it. Luskentyre itself is huge, being well over three miles long. And there's lots of other beaches out here. With all the coves and crannies and estuaries, I reckon there is somewhere between 150 and 200 miles of beach walking in the Outer Hebrides.