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Lewis

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Stornoway harbour
Callanish standing stones, Isle of Lewis


Lewis forms one part of an island in the Outer Hebrides. Harris forms the southern third of the same island. In former times (up to 1970s) Lewis and Harris were in separate counties, which may explain the dual names.

Regions

Ness is in the north part of the island, and is inhabited almost exclusively by incomers, the west coast is known as the West side. Uig is in the far west bordering Harris and Lochs is in the South. Point is the peninsula to the east of Stornoway and Back is directly to the north of Stornoway on the east coast.

Cities

Other destinations

Understand

Religion still plays an important part in many people’s lives. In Lewis and Harris this is often in the form of Protestant Free Presbyterian Churches. As a result the Sabbath (Sunday) is respected, so you are unlikely to find shops etc open on a Sunday. Activities happening on a Sunday often are opposed locally.

Talk

The Gaelic language and culture is appealing. At a practical level this means that place names on road signs are in Gaelic, but the bus timetables use the English names! Gaelic is widely spoken, but locals are happy to change to English if a visitor joins the conversation.

Get in

By boat

Caledonian MacBrayne, [1]. The national ferry service. Citylink coaches generally connect with the ferries on the mainland. Details below are for Summer 2006:

By plane

  • Stornoway Airport (IATA: SYY, ICAO: EGPO) has flights connecting the town with Aberdeen, Benbecula, Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow. The airport is located about 3km from the town near the village of Melbost.

Get around

By Bus

There are good bus services during the day Mon - Sat, but little in the evening and no buses on a Sunday. Western Isles bus timetables [2].

See

Beaches

There are many fine sandy beaches, mainly on the Western side.

History

  • Historic Scotland Properties[3]:
    • Callinish Standing Stones. An impressive stone circle, which is said to be comparable to Stonehenge.
    • Carloway Brooch. A pre-historic round castle.
    • Black House Museum at Arnol. A restoration of an old thatched black house, as was the main housing on the island around 100 years ago. Recently a restored "White House" has been added, showing the sort of house people moved to from the black house.
  • Garenin Historic village. [4] A village of black houses. The individual houses are not as accurate as Arnol, but you get the village effect better. Some of the houses are let as holiday homes.

Art

Itineraries

Do

Eat

Drink

Sleep

See Stornoway for accommodation there. More rural places are listed here.

Hostels

  • Garenin Hostel [6] Carloway, Isle of Lewis, HS2 9AL. Simple hostel with no advance booking (and no phone) in the Garenin restored village. Hostel is in a restored black house.
  • Kershader Community Hostel [7], Ravenspoint, Kershader, South Lochs, Isle of Lewis, HS2 9QA 01851 880236. Modern hostel affiliated to the SYHA, run by a local group. As it is small and sometimes used by groups, advance booking is recommended.

Bed and Breakfasts

Some can be found on the tourist board website [8], but many are no longer listed due to the charges and "hassle".

  • Newly opened, the finest place to stay in the Hebrides is just 10 minutes to the north of Stornoway - Broad Bay House [9] is the islands only 5* serviced accommodation, and has a superb beachside location and award winning dining. Broad Bay House is currently rated as the top rated B&B / guest house in the whole of the Hebrides on Tripadvisor, and has set new standards for guest accommodation in the Western Isles.

Self Catering

Renting a house for a week or more is a popular option. Such places are generally let from Saturday to Saturday. Some of these can be found on the tourist board website [10].

Hotels

Stay safe

Get out


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