Loch Stiapabhat Nature Observatory - Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (The Galson Estate Trust)

Nature Centres & Reserves

UOG Business Centre, Tom na Ba, South Galson, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0SH

    Welcome to Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (The Galson Estate Trust)

    Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (Galson Estate Trust) is entrusted with the management of the 56,000 acre community owned Galson Estate covering North Lewis.

    North Lewis is a beautiful and important place for natural, built and social heritage with unique interactions between crofting lifestyles, beautiful landscapes and a diverse natural environment. The area boasts fantastic coastal scenery, Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas, Sites of Scientific Interest and an exceptional range of flora and fauna including Golden Eagles, Corncrakes, Fulmars,  Gannets, Otters, the Great Yellow Bumblebee and many others.

    Loch Stiapabhat is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and in 2005 it was declared a Local Nature Reserve. The reserve lies within the Ness and Barvas Special Protection Area making it a national and local treasure.  A fantastic new nature observatory has recently been constructed complete with boardwalk and innovative interpretation, built for the local community to utilise for recreation and educational purposes.

    The observatory is located just metres from the loch making it a great place to watch a wide range of wildlife without disturbance. The loch provides a vital feeding and resting spot for many migrating bird species such as; Whooper Swans, Barnacle and Pink Footed Geese, Wigeon, Teal and Tufted Duck. How many species can you spot before they continue on their 500 mile journey to breeding grounds in Iceland & Greenland? 


    Awaiting Grading
    Opening Times
    2015 Opening Times
    1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2015


    • Indoor Play Area Wildlife activity packs and nature related toys available
    • Outdoor Play Area Award winning Eoropie play park and Eoropie beach is in walking distance of the observatory providing first class outdoor play opportunities.

    Languages Spoken

    • Gaelic Speaking Gaelic bird names can be heard through the innovative talking post.


    • Village Location Located in the beautiful Ness, North Lewis.


    • On Public Transport Route
    • Parking Free parking


    • Toilets Toilet facilities available nearby (but not on the reserve)

    Leisure Facilities

    • Outdoor Recreational Facilities

    Special Requirements

    • Children Welcome
    • Coach Parties Welcome
    • Families
    • Groups Welcome
    • School Groups Welcome
    • Young People

    Public Transport Directions

    The Observatory is easy to reach by public transport from Stornoway, just get on the bus destined for Ness and ask to get off at Lionel School, the observatory is located opposite.

    Transport within Scotland

    For public transport information to visit here from within Scotland, enter your postcode and visit date below.

    Journey Planner


    • The route from the parking area to the nearest public entrance is :
      • flat, ie. without steps
    • Parking provided for visitors

    This information is self-assessed; therefore we accept no liability for its accuracy. Please contact the venue for further information.

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