Rodel - A Destination of Remarkable History
The village of Rodel is located on the island of Harris. Every inch of the village and the entire island overflows with history, myths and legends. It is the ideal destination in Scotland for the visitors who want to go back in time and walk in the footsteps of Scottish ancestors. Here you will feel their presence in the walls of the buildings and hear them on the gentle breeze that softly caresses the breathtaking landscape.
The most fascinating sight in Rodel, is the St Clements Church. It was constructed in the 15th century, from Lewisian Gneiss Rock, which was a local building material. This beautiful historical church looks out over the Loch Rodel and it is believed that either the church was specifically built for the Clan MacLeod, or that the clan had extremely close ties to the church. Not only is this medieval church home to two wonderfully preserved tombs, but its tombstones are almost a work of art, with fine and detailed engraving still visible today. The St Clement Church is also the final resting place of Alasdair Crotach (a legendary MacLeod), who has one of the most exquisite burial sites. It is said that he had ordered and supervised the making of his gravestone, nineteen years prior to his demise. The carvings on the outside of the church are quite graphic and often evoke surprise and a few giggles from visitors.
Harris once belonged to Norman MacLeod of Dunvegan, but was forced to sell the estate in 1772, which was bought by Captain Alexander MacLeod. He immediately wanted to start on the construction of his new home, looking out over the Rodel Harbor, and the building was completed in 1781. Today, this elegant and magnificent home has been transformed into the Rodel Hotel, with its original walls untouched, and the interior being upgraded to a high standard of luxury.
The scenic road between Tarbet and Rodel is known as the Golden Road. It is a single way road that can either be walked or driven, and runs along the coast. The road was constructed in 1897 and derived its name for the high costs incurred during its construction.
The Rodel harbor is always a hive of activity, with fishermen leaving and arriving at the docks. Trout fishing and Salmon fishing is extremely popular here, and many anglers opt for an excursion on the sea. Boat cruises are also available from the harbor, with many divers viewing Rodel as a perfect diving destination in Scotland. The waters hold many secrets and shipwrecks and divers enjoy the variety and uniqueness of each dive. Yachting is another activity that is favored in Rodel, and if you are not brave enough for the water, there are many breathtaking walks and hikes available throughout the countryside. The mountains and beaches provide nature enthusiasts with idyllic photographic opportunities.