Scarp lies off the rugged northwest coast of Harris, separated from the main island by a narrow stretch of water. This quarter-mile expanse of water served as the islander’s lifeline to the Harris mainland in favourable weather, but was a barrier to the outside world during the winter months, with gales often preventing boats from making the short crossing for weeks at a time.
At 1011 feet, the summit of Scarp offers breathtaking panoramic views of the North Harris hills, St Kilda and the nearby sea lochs of Lewis. From the same vantage point you might also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of a pair of sea eagles seen regularly in the skies above Scarp.
The 1881 census showed 213 people living on Scarp before the population declined to 74 in 1951, with the last family leaving the island in 1971. In July 1934, Scarp was chosen as the location of a government experiment examining the possibility of transporting mail to remote islands by rocket. The rocket project had very limited success and the experiment was soon abandoned when its German inventor Gerhard Zucher returned home to help with Germany's V-rocket programme in World War Two. Decades later this incredible story was turned into the movie "Rocket Post" filmed on the nearby island of Taransay in 2001.