Discover the Outer Hebrides
just sitting on a quiet sunny day, looking at some of the world's
finest shell sand beaches to
surfing in breakers that are entirely equal to California, Cornwall or
just strolling among the old streets beneath the Dutch style facades of
Stornoway, to hiking the rugged mountains of Harris, in search of the
elusive White Tailed Eagle.
From taking a
paddle, to joining an enthralling boat journey to view deserted islands
inhabited by puffins and where dolphins and whales perform
antics, purely for their own purposes - not for a theme park audience.
Enjoy the Isle of
Lewis for what it is - a world apart from the everyday.
Best beaches of the Western Isles
though it's the third largest land mass in the British Isles,
Lewis and Harris, you're never more than ten miles or so from a
fabulous, soft, sandy beach.
Close to Stornoway - Tolsta 10 miles north-east has three
beaches and you'll pass Coll and Gress Beaches on the way there.
On the West Side of Lewis - Uig (a huge expanse of shell-sand), Reef,
Dalmor and Dalbeg.
Harris - Scarista, Seilebost, Luskentyre (perhaps the best in all the
islands) and Hushinish.
Warmed by the
Stream, the water is much less cold than you might expect at this
northerly latitude and it's quite common for Carribbean seeds and
plants to be washed ashore - even whole coconuts have arrived.
(Free parking at all accessible beaches.)
Top historical sites of the Isle of
west side of Lewis will reveal a little of the fascinating history of
the island and its people, many of whom are descended from
and Scandinavian roots.
Most famous is
Calanis, Callanais, Calanais) - with its series of stone circles that
pre-date Stonehenge. A wonderful site where, unlike
Stonehenge, you can touch the stones, feel the magic and reflect on the
lack of entry charge.
Further along the
there are substantial remains of a stone fort at Carloway Broch (Dun
Charlabhaigh) which are over 2000 years old.
on the edge of
village, the Gearrannan Black House Village will take you back in time
and gives a clear picture of what life was like in a crofters'
community - there's a cottage restored and containing everyday
artefacts of the 1950's that evokes memories for many who lived in that
At Bragar, the
whalebone arch is a gruesome reminder of bygone industries.
itself, there's a
super museum that illustrates the island people's history, from
earliest settlement to the present day - highly recommended.
Culture, music, arts and crafts
hosts the Hebridean Celtic Festival every July, with performances by
modern and traditional Celtic musicians in the main festival tent, plus
further venues in the town. The Royal National Mod, which celebrates
Gaelic music and culture, is held in a number of Scottish locations,
with Stornoway taking its turn on a regular basis.
fine arts centre, An Lanntair, provides exhibitions, musical and drama
performances, also cinema throughout the year, open daily, except
During the summer, there are a number of
agricultural shows plus highland games, so there's plenty of
entertainment for vistors.
MacBrayne (CalMac) operate ferries from Ullapool to Stornoway, 7 days a
week, with between one and three
sailings depending on the day and season. From the Isle of Skye,
ferries connect via Uig to Tarbert (Harris) about 45 minutes away, and
from the Uists via Berneray to Leverburgh, about 60 miles south of
By air, Flybe
flights from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness, Eastern Airways fly from
Aberdeen and Highland Airways operate flights from Inverness and
Benbecula. The modern terminal at Stornoway Airport is just
minutes drive from the town.