Things to do in Stornoway
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.
Get to know Stornoway
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.