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Stornoway is a town on Lewis.


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.

Get in

By plane

By boat

Ferry service to Ullapool on the mainland - a journey of 2 hours 40 minutes. The Ferry Service operates 6 days a week (Mon - Sat).

Get around

There are bus services available to almost all areas of Lewis from Stornoway. See the Council travel site for information on timetables and routes.


  • An Lanntair Art Centre Kenneth Street HS1 2DS 01851 703 307. New arts centre offering exhibitions, concerts and films.
  • Lews Castle a building which sadly been neglected and is currently closed, set in fine grounds which are open as a park.
  • Museum nan Eilean, Francis Street, HS1 2NF, 01851 709266



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 - 22:00. 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 has now closed in preparation for Tesco to open in its place.


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 01851 706373
  • 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 701811
  • 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 [1]
  • Fair Haven Hostel, 28 Francis Street, HS1 2ND, 01851 705 862

Bed and Breakfasts

Some can be found on the tourist board website [2], 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 [3] is the islands only 5* serviced accommodation, and has a superb beachside location and Eat Scotland 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.
  • One of the most popular but not the cheapest is 4 star Braighe House [4]just on the outskirts of Stornoway and within minutes of the airport.


The Caladh Inn, Royal Hotel and Cabarfeidh Hotel are all run by the local Cala Hotels chain.

  • Caladh Inn James Street Stornoway HS1 2QN 01851 702740 Handy for the ferry and the bus station.
  • Royal Hotel Cromwell St, Stornoway HS1 2DG 01851 702109
  • Cabarfeidh Hotel Manor Park, Stornoway HS1 2EU 01851 702604 the furthest from the ferry.
  • The County Hotel, 12-14 Francis Street, HS1 2XB, 01851 703250, the most central of all the hotels.
  • Caledonian Hotel, 6 South Beach, Stornoway, HS1 2XY, 01851 702411

Get out

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