How do I get to Lewis? You can fly to Stornoway with Flybe from Belfast, Benbecula, Barra, Birmingham, Campbeltown, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kirkwall, London (Gatwick), Manchester, Manston (Kent), Norwich, Southampton and Sumburgh. Most of these flights are via Glasgow or Benbecula. There are also flights available from Eastern Airways that fly via Aberdeen. There are three Caledonian Macbrayne Car Ferries that service Lewis. There is a direct Car Ferry from Ullapool on the north-west coast of mainland Scotland that arrives at Stornoway. The two indirect Car Ferries are the Uig (on Skye) to Tarbert ferry and the Berneray to Leverburgh Ferry, further south in the Outer Hebrides. To travel throughout Scotland and the UK, you can book your tickets through The Trainline.
How do I get around Lewis? There is a very good Bus service on Lewis and there are Buses between Stornoway and all the other main villages and towns on Lewis. There are several Car Hire firms in Lewis such as Lewis Car Rental, Mackinnon's and Arnol Car Hire. Cycle hire is available at Alex Dan's Cycle Centre and Bike Hebrides both located in Stornoway. Taxi's are available from Stornoway Taxi & Courier Services, Hebridean Taxis, Coastal Cabs and Associated Taxis & Couriers, all located in Stornoway. Tours around the Outer Hebrides - including Lewis, are available through Shearings Holidays.
What's worth visiting on Lewis? The Callanish Standing Stones are one of the most important Megalithic complexes in Europe. They are made from local Lewisian gneiss and occupy a beuatiful lochside setting. Carloway Broch is one of the best preserved Broch's in Scotland. Some of it's drystone walls rise to a height of over 30ft. The Ness Heritage Centre has many interesting artefacts of life in and around the village of Ness, in the north of Lewis. There is also an impressive amount of information for research such as photographs, video and audio recordings and genealogical records. There are Restored Blackhouses at Gearrannan and at Arnol. The village of Gearrannan also has a Museum and a Cafe. Finally, Shawbost Crofting Museum highlights life in a typical crofting village in the early twentieth century.
Where can I stay on Lewis? The restored Blackhouse village of Gearrannan has self-catering accommodation available, as does Hebrides Self Catering, in Stornoway and Whitefalls Spa Lodges, in Breasclete. Also, there is Caberfeidh at South Lochs, Hollyburn at Crulivig, Mountview Spa Lodge at Callanish and Beach Bay Cottage near Uig. There are a few Hotels on Lewis such as the Sandwick Bay Hotel, Cabarfeidh Hotel, Caladh Inn, the Royal Hotel and the County Hotel, all in Stornoway and the Doune Braes Hotel in Carloway. Other accommodation includes Braighe House, Jannel Bed and Breakfast, Seaside Villa B&B and Carnan Beag all in Stornoway. Broad Bay House is about 7 miles out of Stornoway, as is the excellent Daleview Cottage on Point. Loch Roag Guest House in Breasclete and Planasker Old School in Marvig also provide Bed and Breakfast accommodation. For Hostel accommodation there is the Heb Hostel and Laxdale Bunkhouse in Stornoway and the Garenin Hostel, run by the Gatliff Trust, in Garenin. For campers there is the Eilean Fraoich Camp Site in North Shawbost, Tolsta Chaolais Campsite in Tolsta Chaolais and Laxdale Holiday Park, just outside Stornoway.
Are there any books/DVD's about Lewis?
- Lewis in History and Legend: The West Coast by Bill Lawson,
- The Outer Hebrides by Malcolm MacGregor,
- Lewis and Harris: History and Pre-history on the Western Edge of Europe by Francis Thompson,
- When I Heard the Bell (The Loss of the Iolaire) by John MacLeod,
- Poetic Tales from the Isle of Lewis (Poetic Tales From...) by Colin E. Demet.
- Walking on Harris and Lewis: 30 routes in the Outer Hebrides by Richard Barrett,
- The Soap Man: Lewis, Harris and Lord Leverhulme by Roger Hutchinson,
- The Fragile Islands by Bettina Selby
Any other information on Lewis? The Lewis Chessmen were found close to Uig on the Isle of Lewis in the early 19th century. The chess pieces consisted of elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales' teeth taking the forms of kings and queens, mitred bishops, knights on their mounts, standing warders and obelisk-shaped pawns.
Click pictures to enlarge
Lewis video courtesy of Wild Place Pictures