Stornoway is the largest and main town on the beautiful island of Lewis which is part of the Outer Hebrides. This was once an important settlement for the Vikings as it placed them within easy reach of the mainland yet gave them a strong defensive position. Stornoway is now the major transport centre for access to the rest of the islands. There are regular ferry arrivals and flights to the island from Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow. As it has always been, the harbour is still very much the main focus of the town and is always active. Many of the main attractions of the town are also located around the harbour such as the An Lanntair Art Gallery, the Museum Nan Eilean and the Lewis Loom Centre. Get a feel for the history of the island at Lews Castle which was built during the nineteenth century, you will also find an interesting Woodland Centre within the castle gardens.
Things to See and Do
You will find that this is a place where traditional crafts are kept very much alive and there are a number of outlets where you can buy locally made, traditionally crafted goods such as Harris Tweed and Hebrides jewellery. Despite being only a small town on a small island there are a surprising number of places to eat, many of which specialise in the very best locally landed seafood. While you are there you must also try the island speciality. The Stornoway Black Pudding has quite a reputation, though there are other options in the form of white pudding and fruit pudding available. The An Lanntair Gallery is the main arts and entertainment centre for the whole of the Outer Hebrides and offers music, cinema and art for you to enjoy. There are a number of different exhibitions on display across the year and the auditorium plays host to a number of concerts and events.
Places to Visit
Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the history and development of Scotland’s famous Harris Tweed at the Lewis Loon Centre. Take part in a guided tour and see spinning demonstrations and learn all about the processes involved in the making of this distinctive fabric. You will also find a craft gift shop at the centre too. Pay a visit to the Museum Nan Eilean and learn more about the natural history of the islands as well as the social history of the Outer Hebrides. You will find exhibitions and artefacts detailing the archaeology of the islands as well as the social and domestic side of living here. You will also be able to trace history back as far as the first humans who settled on this remote island. At the Doune Broch Centre you will be able to explore the Iron Age history of the islands at what is one of the best preserved brochs in the while of Scotland. You will be able to learn about the importance of the broch to the Iron Age communities who lived here.