Even though Lewis is the most populated of the Outer Hebrides, it sometimes seems like the quietest – perhaps because there is so much space over which the population is scattered…..
In fact, the total landmass of the Isle of Lewis and Harris, is the third largest of the British Isles.
Stornoway is the main point of entry to the Outer Hebrides, offering two or three daily ferry sailings from Ullapool (one on Sundays) and a modern airport with around a dozen flights daily (limited Sunday services).
Holidays on the Isle of Lewis
There’s a diverse range of shops, serving local and tourist needs. Visitor attractions include an excellent museum of local history, the Lewis Loom Centre where you can learn about the history of Harris Tweed and the delightful grounds of Lews Castle.
Travel a few miles in any direction from your ferry or airport arrival at Stornoway and you’ll find the treasures of the Isle of Lewis.
Close to the lighthouses at Tiumpan Head or the Butt of Lewis, you can view seabird colonies and migrating birds on passage through the Outer Hebrides – maybe even whales or dolphins.
Take a trip round the West-side, where superb sandy beaches, rocky cliffs and crystal clear, clean breaking waters attract surfers and kayakers. The coastline is a joy for climbers, walkers and those who just sit and watch.
There’s a wealth of history, too, with restored Blackhouses at Arnol and Gearrannan, which give a fascinating glimpse into life on the Isle of Lewis in the last century.
A little further on, you’ll find the ancient Carloway Broch and the 5000 year old stone circles of Callanish – a little smaller than Stonehenge, but some find the accessibility at this Western Isles attraction provides a better experience. At Carloway, you can visit the Harris Tweed mill – there’s also a weaver in the village who welcomes visitors.
Continuing along the Atlantic coast, into an even more remote area, of the Outer Hebrides the re-created iron age fort at Bosta dominates a beautiful, almost white, shell-sand beach at the north of Bernera.
More extensive beaches and machair lie alongside the ocean as you travel further south-west, towards Uig.
Along this road, said to be Europe’s longest cul-de-sac, you’ll find an amazing area of sand of around two square kilometres. The land here is more rocky and rugged and you’ve a fair chance of glimpsing red deer, plus golden or even sea eagles.
Attractions and organised activities.
See our Discover pages for more detailed information. Highlights are: a St. Kilda day-tri with Seatrek, events at An Lanntair – the art centre in Stornoway, Dave’s Hebridean Archaeological Tours (includes Callanish), Harris Tweed.