‘Honesty boxes’: The island where tourists pay whatever they want

Tall painted wooden boxes dotted across the Isle of Harris in Scotland hide delicious treats inside.

Known as honesty boxes, they mostly contain fresh produce, baked goods or crafts.

None of the goods has a price tag. Instead, tourists and locals alike are asked to pay what they think the goods are worth.

The Isle of Harris is best known for Harris tweed, a classic tartan print cloth that is protected under the Harris Tweed act of 1993.

But in recent years, the island’s honesty box system has gained more and more attention.

In fact, they have become so popular that the Isle of Harris has now linked several of the boxes to form the Eat Drink Hebridean Trail. The self-guided tour will take you on a gastronomic journey through the best places to eat and drink across the island.

Croft 36, at Northton, sells homegrown fruit and vegetables, as well as bread and home-cooked meals to take away.

The Cake Shed at Luskentyre fills its shed with freshly baked cakes, scones and ground coffee.

“Drove past today and we couldn’t believe our eyes! A small shed filled with luscious cakes?,” one woman wrote of her holiday on Facebook.

Tourists say the Isle of Harris is “like stepping back in time”. The honesty box system was common before industrial times.

And it’s not just farmers and craftsmen that use them. The Harris Golf club even has an honesty box system for green fees, trolley rental and buying golf clothes.

The Isle of Harris is part of the Outer Hebrides islands off the northern coast of Scotland. It has a population of around 2000 people. The southwest coast is filled with unspoilt, white sandy beaches but the northern regions are mountainous and wild.

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