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This Page: Isle of Lewis Tourist Information P1

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Discover the Outer Hebrides

Garenin Black house Village - Western IslesFrom 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 Australia.

From 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 natural 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

Garenin Black house Village - Western IslesEven though it's the third largest land mass in the British Isles, on 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 wonderful beaches and you'll pass Coll and Gress Beaches on the way there.  All sandy.
On the West Side of Lewis - Uig (a huge expanse of shell-sand), Reef, Mangersta, Dalmor and Dalbeg.
Harris - Scarista, Seilebost, Luskentyre (perhaps the best in all the islands) and Hushinish. 

Warmed by the Gulf 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 Lewis 

Garenin Black house Village - Western IslesA circular trip including the west side of Lewis will reveal a little of the fascinating history of the island and its people, many of whom are descended from Celtic and Scandinavian roots.

Most famous is Callanish (aka 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 same road, there are substantial remains of a stone fort at Carloway Broch (Dun Charlabhaigh) which are over 2000 years old.

Garenin Black house Village - Western IslesJust on the edge of Carloway 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 period.

At Bragar, the whalebone arch is a gruesome reminder of bygone industries.

In Stornoway 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 

Garenin Black house Village - Western IslesStornoway 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.

A fine arts centre, An Lanntair, provides exhibitions, musical and drama performances, also cinema throughout the year, open daily, except Sundays.

During the summer, there are a number of agricultural shows plus highland games, so there's plenty of entertainment for vistors.

Getting here

Garenin Black house Village - Western IslesCaledonian 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 Stornoway.

By air, Flybe offers direct 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 10 minutes drive from the town.

Gearranan - Isle of Lewis


Cala Hotels Limited, Registered Office: 11 James Street, Stornoway Isle of Lewis HS1 2QN  
Company Registered in Scotland No SC124560. VAT Reg. No: 481 5881 17