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New Tours & Tourists

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Head guide Sandy Fraser and one of the first tour groups of 2021.

The sun is shining, the air is warm, and it's not just the rare Great Yellow Bumblebees creating a buzz around these parts right now.

Despite the ongoing saga of our local inter-island ferries, we've started to welcome more and more intrepid travellers to our shores with each passing day.

With our distillery doors open and the peat fire lit once more, it's been a pleasure to see the public spaces of the distillery come to life as lockdown rules and regulations ease.

Tastings of our new-make spirit awaits.

We caught up with three special people from the distillery Guest team to find out more about these first forays as we get back to giving our visitors a traditional warm Harris welcome.

Head tour guide Sandy Fraser tells us…

"The novelty of having an island all to ourselves was beginning to wear thin, and it is lovely to be so busy again! We are seeing many familiar faces coming through the door and first-time visitors to the islands. There's a real feeling from them that it's been a relief to be able to travel again!

Sandy gets into the swing of the new socially-distanced tours.

'MM' shows guest around the aromatic atmosphere of Spirit Hall

Sandy and her team have had to adapt their award-winning tours to the new normal and ensure their groups are safe and socially distanced as we show them around and share our story.

Her colleague Marie' MM' Morrison explains…

"Our tours are more intimate with only groups of 8 being allowed, but the content is full, and we now have added outdoor extras, which have been a lot of fun. When the weather is good, we get to see the cask deliveries outside and to learn more about the nearby marina and harbour."

Bottles of Isle of Harris Gin and beautiful botanicals.

Back inside, the Shop is restocked with plenty of Isle of Harris Gin, and we have some exciting new products to add to the offering over the coming weeks.

Some new faces are being added to the team too, as Guest Services manager Shona Macleod elaborates…

"We're pleased to welcome Jeannine Mackenzie as a new tour guide. She speaks French, German and Spanish and although originally from France, she has been married to an islander for 40 years!"

Some fresh faces have joined the guest team for the new season.

Shona continues…

"We also have mum of three Leona Mackay from Luskentyre joining us alongside 19-year-old Seumas Morrison, a student from nearby Scalpay, young Rebekah McIntosh who has just moved to Harris, and Niall Hetherington from Ontario who is spending the summer at his family home in Ballalan."

As our islands make the welcome move into the Scottish Government's official Level 0 this weekend, we remain careful and uncomplacent about the safety of both customers and the wider community.

Keeping things safe and socially distanced as lockdown life eases.

Thankfully, everyone is playing their part and following the simple rules of sanitising hands and keeping faces covered as they spend time with us here in Tarbert.
If you're heading our way this summer, there's lots of great advice for visitors here, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

And, if you can't be with us, then get hold of some Isle of Harris Gin and let the best of the Outer Hebrides come to you!

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