what to see and do

There are many places of interest both historical, scenic and cultural.

Solas is a tremendous base from which to explore this beautiful island, where landscapes range from miles of moorland to sheer cliff faces. Lewis has mile after mile of empty golden beaches, perfect for romantic walks and paddling in the clear waters. The island is rich in wildlife, if you are lucky enough you will hear and maybe even see the Corncrake.
The number of activities that this beautiful island lends itself to are too numerous to list, however I will endeavour to paint a small picture of what is available:

  • canoeing
  • climbing
  • cycling
  • diving
  • fishing
  • golf
  • horse riding
  • karting
  • kayaking
  • kiting
  • sailing
  • wildlife
  • windsurfing.

Lews Castle in Stornoway (within walking distance from the house) is set amid extensive grounds and gardens, with fabulous displays of Rhododendrons when in bloom. The river Creed runs through the Castle Grounds, making it one of the finest walks. Call in at the Woodlands Centre for further information. You can also experience the hustle and bustle of fish landings at the local market at the harbour. There are a variety of places to eat out in Stornoway and around the island - including a unique cliff-top French restaurant!

The Gaelic language is very much alive on Lewis. The black houses at Arnol and Gearrannan will show you how life used to be lived in days gone by. There are also numerous historical and heritage exhibitions in villages around the island, not to mention a pottery, photography gallery, artist studios, craft shops and weavers of Harris Tweed. You may also be able to see replicas of the famous Lewis chessmen (Viking pieces discovered hidden on Lewis in 1831).

Learn about the history of the Isle of Lewis as well as all the islands of the Outer Hebrides when you visit the Museum Nan Eilean in Stornoway. This museum houses artefacts and exhibits that date back 9000 years. Here you will learn about the traditional way of life on the island and how progress and technology has brought about changes. Stornoway is just one of the places involved in the manufacture of the famous tweeds of the Hebrides. A visit to the Lewis Loom Centre will give you information about the Harris tweed. You can take a 40 minute guided tour of the facility and see the artisans at work spinning and weaving.

Stornoway is home to the An Lanntair Arts Centre, which is located in the centre of town.   Here you can see changing exhibits of artwork by local artists as well as those well known throughout the country.  Have a delicious meal, coffee or a glass of wine whilst watching the ferry come in as the sun sets in the evening.

Visit the ruins of St. Columba’s Church where you can also see the grave slabs of Robert Macleod, the 7th clan chief of Scotland and his daughter.This town is not too far away from all the other villages on the island, where there is a wealth of historic sites. In Arnol, you can visit the Arnol Blackhouse Museum, which is really a traditional Scottish Highland home, built in 1855. See the restored earth and thatched cottages at the Gearrannan Black House Village of Carloway and you do have to make a visit to the standing stones of Callanish.

Stornoway is a great place to choose and Solas is ideally located for touring the Isle of Lewis.  For some fictional reading on Lewis read the Blackhouse by Peter May www.petermay.co.uk