Following the success of ITVs Tales from the Coast with Robson Green we thought we’d share some pictures from our similar trip to Harris and Lewis at the end of last year, it truly is a magical place to visit. The Campbell’s team headed off on the CalMac ferry in the iconic Land Rover Defender to Stornaway. We were joined by mascot cocker spaniel sisters ‘Islay’ and ‘Sula’ and started our four day trip with a tour and tasting session at the famous Harris Gin Distillery which was fascinating, Informative and executed in an innovative way. You really can taste the flavouring from the hand dived sugar sea kelp coming though the gin, giving a slight saltiness. The sugar kelp is supplied by Lewis Mackenzie photographed below who also took Robson Green out to view the local wildlife, we were lucky enough to also see the stunning Sea Eagle, and I was delighted with my photographs of it mid-hunt.
The main reason for our trip was to find some stunning Harris Tweeds to take back to the Highland Tweed House and share with our customers. Margaret Macleod of Harris Tweed Hebrides looked after us beautifully, with a private tour of the factory we were able to see the entire process unfold in front of us, dyeing, spinning, design and pattern making, to the distribution of the work to the 10’s of local ‘cottage industry’ weavers in the islands and then the finishing process where the woven cloth comes back to the factory where it is washed, pressed and finally stamped with the Harris Tweed orb – all under careful supervision from the Harris Tweed Authority. We caught up with legendary Donald John Mackay of the Luskentyre Tweed Company who gave us a lesson on peddling a single width traditional loom – it certainly is a workout and a half.