My daughter and I booked a private 2-day tour with Dave in mid-July to explore beautiful Harris and Lewis for the first time. I cannot say enough for what a wonderful time we had with Dave! He worked with me ahead of time, via email, to determine what eras of history, specific sites, and themes we were interested in focusing and then tailored our days to us. Perhaps even better was conversations on the way to each location, as Dave is extremely knowledgeable of both the history and current living on the isle and a pure delight, personally! Day one, he met us just off the Tarbert ferry and took us on a full tour of Harris including megaliths, a Mesolithic midden and Viking ruin, beautiful beaches, St. Clement's church, the moonscape of the eastern side of the isle, and a visit to a Harris Tweed retail and yardage shop (at our request!). Dave's provided contextual information about each site, along with varying theories for archeological finds and historical curiosities (check out St. Clement's with him!) enhanced being in the space of each place we visited. Day one ended with him returning us to our car. He then gave us directions to our guest house on Lewis and guided us through southern Lewis to our main turn-off, stopping to show various sites, including the Cailleach na Mointeach!
Day two, Dave picked us up at our guest house for a full day of exploring northern Lewis. We lingered at the Callanis 1-4 stone circles--Dave was great about staying at each location as long as we wished. We also visited the Norse Mill, the Butt of Lewis lighthouse, the Arnol blackhouses, St. Moulag's church, the huge megalith on the north end, a Neolithic quartz quarry, etc. Along the way, Dave showed us how to identify crofting land; explained the arrangement, locations, and connection between different stone circles and individual stones; where to visit a local Harris weaver on a subsequent day; and how to see the current landscape and villages in tandem with the past. He also provided ample cold water throughout both days and arranged a reservation for us to have lunch at a local pub on our full day out and about. Our two days touring with Dave set the tone for our two-week visit to the Hebrides and Argyll. The wealth of information he shared with us in conversation and stories continues to be brought into our retelling of our experiences a month later! I even discussed with Dave bringing future groups to the Outer Hebrides, and he offered optional ideas and suggestions that prove very helpful. Additionally, he sent bibliographic information for sources connected to our tours and discussions that continue to further my own reflection on the Outer Hebrides, its history, and its people.
If you want a thorough, tailored-to-your-interests, and delightful exploration of Lewis/Harris, I cannot recommend Dave more highly. I look forward to the next time we can work together!
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