Begin your journey in Stornoway, the main town on the Isle of Lewis. The town has a bustling harbour, with plenty of attractions to keep the whole family entertained. Start off your day with a visit to Museum Nan Eilean. The museum holds collections of objects, photographs, prints and paintings and archives illustrating the archaeology, social, domestic and economic history of the islands. The Island Lives exhibition traces the story of the island’s communities from the first human settlers and is a fascinating place to begin your discovery of the Outer Hebrides.
Explore the creative side of Stornoway with a visit to the An Lanntair Arts Centre, the home of art, music, cinema and entertainment in the Outer Hebrides. With a wide variety of live events, exhibitions and displays, there is a fascinating selection of Hebridean talent to discover. The main gallery hosts up to six local and international exhibitions each year and the workshop area is open to all skill levels and ages.
Next, pay a visit to the heart of the Harris Tweed industry, the Lewis Loom Centre and discover the traditional techniques used to create this famous textile. The Lewis Loom Centre offers a guided tour and lecture on the making of Harris Tweed and visitors can enjoy demonstrations of spinning wheels, warding, dyeing, the hand loom and weaving the tweed.
Enjoy lunch in one of Stornoway’s many restaurants and cafes. Sample local products such as Stornoway kippers, peat smoked salmon, succulent Hebridean beef and lamb and of course, Stornoway black pudding. There are plenty of dining options in the town centre from artisan restaurants and tea rooms, to cafes and fish and chip shops.
A short walk away is the Blackhouse Museum at Arnol, a traditional Lewis thatched house, fully furnished and complete with an attached barn, byre and stackyard. Built in around 1880, the Blackhouse gives a special insight into island life. Once the residence of a Hebridean crofting family and their animals, today it is preserved almost as the family left it. Enjoy a visit to the visitor centre and exhibition area where you can learn more about the life of Hebridean crofters.
Finish your visit to Stornoway with a stroll around the gardens of Lews Castle. A splendid Victorian manor house, Lews Castle has a wealth of activities for the family to enjoy. With a waterwheel, woodland centre, monuments and lochs there are plenty of places to explore in the gardens. Visitors can enjoy cycle trails, wildlife walks or a round of golf at the Stornoway Golf Club located in the grounds.