With a population of around 5,600, Stornoway ( Steòrnabhagh ) is the largest town in the Outer Hebrides and also its admistrative center. with approximately 5,600 people. Almost 30% of the total population of the Western Isles, some 8,000 people, live within Stornoway or the immediately vicinity encompassing Laxdale (Lacasdal) and Sandwick (Sanndabhaig).
The church has a significant influence on Stornoway life. Almost everything is closed on Sunday, but things have eased in recent years: there are now flights on Sundays (but still no travel by boat), a petrol station and a few bars and restuarants are now open.
Stornoway is the only place in the Outer Hebrides where you will find a selection of shops like in a mainland town. There are both multiples (Boots, Woolworths etc) and several independent stores including bakers, a bookshop and an ironmongers. The local delicacy is Stornoway Black Pudding. All shops are closed on Sunday except for Engebretsen's petrol station ( open 12pm-4pm ) with a limited selection of groceries.
Co-op 8 Macaulay Road, Stornoway HS1 2HU. Open Mon-Sat 8:00 - 20:00 (or 21:00). The largest supermarket in the Outer Hebrides. Also a smaller store in the centre of town in Cromwell Street.
Somerfield Ferry Road, Stornoway HS1 2QY. Supermarket in former Safeway building Open Mon-Sat 08:30 - 20:00 (or 21:00).
Most places to eat in Stornoway serve until 9pm with the exception of the Stornoway Balti House which serves until after 10pm. Scanned takeaway menus from a selection of the locals takeaways
Digby Chicks, 5 Bank Street, HS1 2XG, 01851 700026
Crown Hotel ( Point St entrance) Castle St, HS1 2BD, 01851 703734
Fusion ( open Sunday, Chinese Malaysian takeaway ), Manor roundabout
Peking Cuisine ( Chinese take away ), 30 Church St, HS1 2JD, 01851 705548
Stornoway Balti House ( open Sunday, sit in and takeaway ), 24 South Beach, HS1 2BJ, 01851 706116
The Thai Cafe, ( sit in and takeaway ) 14 Francis Street, HS1 2NA, 01851 703250
Woodlands Centre ( 10am-5pm ), Castle grounds, 01851 706916
Stornoway has a high density of pubs which reflect the absence of them around the rest of the island. Around half of them open on Sunday and the licensing hours are generally till 11pm on weeknights and up until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Only HS1 ( Bar/restaurant in the Royal Hotel ) offers Cocktails. The Carlton Lounge ( formerly known as the Whalers Rest ) usually offers 2 cask ales, the only bar in Lewis to do so.
There is a local brewery in Stornoway, the Hebridean Brewing Company which offers 3 different types of bottled ale which can be found in some of the bars around Stornoway. There are locally branded whiskies available but they are not manufactured locally.
Macneills ( live music 10pm Thursdays ), Cromwell Street
The Criterion, Point Street
The Carlton Lounge ( open Sunday, serves food ), Francis Street, HS1 2ND
The Star Inn ( open Sunday ), South Beach
The Lewis ( open Sunday ), Castle Street
Advance booking is recommended, especially for July.
Laxdale Holiday Park Located on the outskirts of Stornoway, has pitches for tents and caravans, and caravans and bunkhouse for hire.
Heb Hostel, 25 Kenneth Street, Stornoway. 01851 709889