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Stac a' Phris Sea Arch

This massive sea arch stands guard over the stormy waters of the North Atlantic. It's not easy to get to, but the arch and surrounding coastal scenery more than make up for the effort!

Where: Stac a' Phris is located on the Isle of Lewis (also called the Isle of Lewis and Harris), part of the Outer Hebrides chain of islands off the Scottish coast. You can reach Lewis either by flying to its capital Stornoway, or you can take a ferry from Ullapool on the mainland.

The arch is near the towns of Dalbeg and Shawbost. There are no roads leading directly to the arch; the most direct route is to park at the Norse Mill and Kiln on A858 and walk overland northwest for about a mile until reaching the coast. You'll have to hop a few fences along the way (Scotland has a "right to roam" law allowing people to use and cross private land for recreational purposes). Stac a' Phris is very large and fairly easy to find, but Google Maps has it in their database, which can take the guess work out of navigating to the arch.

When: You can visit the arch any time of year, but spring, summer, and autumn will be more pleasant than winter. You might want to consult a photo planning app like Photo Ephemeris or PhotoPills to determine where the sun will be during different times of the year to plan your visit to Stac a' Phris, depending on whether you want light on the arch or to have the sun setting behind the arch. Photography: The cliffs overlooking Stac a' Phris are stunning, and you can use the interesting rock formations as foregrounds for wide-angle compositions. You can also zoom in for a tighter framing of the arch. Sunset is typically better than sunrise, as the surrounding cliffs block the sunrise light from hitting the arch. Consider using a long exposure to creatively blur the motion of the swelling ocean, or if you have big waves crashing on the shore, use a faster exposure (try 1/500 second) to freeze the action.

Learn More: The Isle of Lewis has some eye-popping scenery, you can learn more about visiting this amazing place here:

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