Harris has little in the way of hotels, but Scarista would stand out even among the country houses of the Cotswolds.
   The converted Georgian manse stands alone on a windswept slope overlooking a wide stretch of tidal sands on the island’s western shore. The decoration is elegant and quite formal, with many antiques, but the atmosphere is relaxed and, by the open peat fires, conversation replaces television. The bedrooms, all with private bathrooms, have selected teas and fresh coffee, as well as home-made biscuits.
   Tim and Patricia Martin continue to maintain a high standard. They aim to be welcoming and efficient, but never intrusive, and to preserve that precious private home atmosphere.
   One of Scarista’s greatest attractions, particularly rewarding after a long walk over the sands, is the meals. The imaginatively prepared fresh local and garden produce and an impressive wine list ensure a memorable dinner in the candle-lit dining room.