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Things to do in Isle of Lewis

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Historic Site
“Located in the west coast of Lewis, the 5,000 year old Callanish Stones are famous all over the world”
  • 23 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“Excellent restaurant in Stornoway featuring local produce and a good wine list. ”
  • 16 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Arts centre, cafe, restaurant, cinema, workshops, concerts. A lively centre in the middle of Stornoway We love An Lanntair. ”
  • 21 locals recommend
Castle
“Nice coffee shop and interesting museum. walks around castle grounds for all abilities.”
  • 13 locals recommend
History Museum
“Visit the Gearrannan blackhouse village to see what villages looked like on Lewis until not all that long ago. The original village blackhouses have been renovated and re-thatched. Get a feel for what island life used to be like. There is a shop and sometimes weaving demonstrations.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Historic Site
“A traditional thatched house which provides a unique insight into island life. Beside the blackhouse, a furnished 1920s whitehouse and a ruined blackhouse can be seen. (Best to check opening times if planning a visit). ”
  • 6 locals recommend
Museum
“Located within Lews Castle (the Victorian-era castle which overlooks Stornoway), the recently opened Museum nan Eilean provides a good overview of the history of the Outer Hebrides, which also includes interactive exhibits for children. Perfect for rainy days, there is also a cafe (which is open on Sundays), and the grounds of Lews Castle offer some lovely walks.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Another prehistoric site worth visiting. Dun Carloway is one of the best-preserved Iron Age Brochs in the whole of Scotland.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Nature
“large park suitable for kids of all ages, sectioned off area for younger children”
  • 6 locals recommend
Entertainment
“Interesting to see how people live din the past. More iron age house preserved under the sand. Not openon Sunday”
  • 3 locals recommend
Gourmet Shop
“Great coffee and cake. Can't beat it if you are in the town centre. Tiny though, only 2 tables .”
  • 4 locals recommend
Bus Station
  • 1 local recommends
Nature
“Fantastic local trips plus longer trips to St. Kilda. Whales,dolphins, basking shark and seals all possible.”
  • 8 locals recommend
Café
“Beautiful home cooked food, roads through amazing sceneray to get there, check opening times beforehand”
  • 5 locals recommend
Lodging
“Great place for a picnic or walk the Bernera trail and take a look at the iron age house”
  • 7 locals recommend
Point of Interest
  • 3 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Restaurant
“Excellent restaurant in Stornoway featuring local produce and a good wine list. ”
  • 16 locals recommend
Café
“Beautiful home cooked food, roads through amazing sceneray to get there, check opening times beforehand”
  • 5 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Absolutely stunning views of Uig Bay from this highly rated restaurant offering delicious lunches and dinners. A must go as a treat at least once during your holiday. Booking ahead recommended - online or by phone.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Café
“Great carvery. Children over 5 pay half price and under 5's go free. Good value for good food.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Restaurant is in the town centre with views overlooking the Lews Castle. (I'd recommend booking in advance and asking for a window or open fire table). ”
  • 3 locals recommend
Restaurant
“A pleasant place for a drink in Stornoway with bar food and an attached restaurant. ”
  • 5 locals recommend
Bar
“A smaller and more local bar than the Crown, the Star can be quite nice when hosing live music”
  • 3 locals recommend

Get to know Isle of Lewis

Guidebooks from local hosts

Emma's Guidebook The cottage is ideally situated for local amenities, walking distance from Tarbert and the ferry terminal. Leisure centre is in the school just across the way, and Tarbert's amenities include a garage, range of bars and hotels (Hotel Hebrides' Mote Bar and Harris Hotel often have live music events), day to day grocery, tweed shop, Essence of Harris candle, soap and gift outlet, ferry terminal, tea room, post office, bus station, soft play, playpark, leisure centre and distillery are only a short walk away. Lewis and Harris occupy the same landmass, so it is possible to drive to Stornoway (37 miles) where a wide range of facilities, including two supermarkets for the 'big shop' are to be found. There is also an arts centre with cinema, larger soft play centre, garden centre, and a considerable variety of places to eat. Stornoway provides another ferry option too, via Ullapool. Things to visit on both Islands include Rodel Church, the beaches ( obviously!), Callanish Stones and Dun Carloway (undergoing conservation 2019). There are distilleries in Tarbert itself (offering excellent gin, as well as producing whisky for future sale) which does regular tours, and another at Abhainn Dearg, near Uig, Lewis. Phone ahead for appointment to visit. Tweed is a major local industry, and we have an excellent shop in Tarbert. There are other producers throughout the islands and it is often possible to see weaving taking place by arrangement. We have regular craft fayres in the village throughout the season, and Tarbert and the immediate area has a number of art, photography, craft, and glass producers that are well worth a visit. I’m more than happy to help you make arrangements to visit studios etc if this is of interest. Eating and drinking opportunities are ever increasing, and the standard is very high. As well as the excellent offer in Tarbert itself, there are some wonderful cafes and restaurants throughout the isles. We love the North Harbour Bistro (Scalpay) for special occasions, though advance booking is recommended. There is also a cafe there, as well as the excellent Temple Cafe (open Sundays) at Northton. Other favourite stops for us are Talla na Mara, which is home to the Machair kitchen restaurant (stunning views), and a number of local producers, including ‘Flavour’ chocolatier who sells ice creams that my own child begs for from the minute we get off the ferry! Even our snack vans are a cut above the usual. There’s a great van in the village beside AD’s shop run by our friends Tinnie and Russell, Taste and Sea on the road to Stornoway, and Blas bhon Iar at Horgabost beach, as well as a seafood shack at Rodel and a chippie in Tarbert on Main Street. Some of these take orders in advance, and Hotel Hebrides also offers takeaway. If you can stretch to it, consider pushing the boat out (geddit?) taking a sea trip to St Kilda. Kilda cruises have an office in Tarbert and Sea Harris is online and run by a friend of ours who sometimes offers good last minute discounts. Booking in advance advised and bookings are weather dependent. Shorter trips to the Shiants etc are also available. Various companies run scenic tours and adventure type activities, again I am very happy to help arrange this.
Emma

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