The Isle of Lewis is the most northerly of the Outer Hebridean Islands and is accessible by ferry at Stornoway or via Tarbet on the Isle of Harris, which is rather strange as Harris and Lewis are actually connected. You can also get to the island by plane to Stornaway Airport, where you can hire a car! The area of Ness is less mountainous than the south of Lewis and Harris, it is mainly moorland with plenty of lochs, large skies and sea views. There are many spectacular sandy beaches with azure blue water, rugged coastlines, sand dunes, and an inner landscape that is well worth exploring! Visitors can enjoy great cycling, fishing, walking and watching out for local wildlife on land and in the sea! The history and archaeology of the area is fascinating and time spent at Communn Erachdraidh Nis at Cross, The Castle Museum in Stornoway, Arnol and Garenahine Blackhouses would be well worth it!
There are lots of activities to do on the island including the following:
Sporsnis - Based in Ness, in the Isle of Lewis, Sporsnis features a large multi-purpose hall, fitness suite, sauna, soft play area. It also has the only 10-pin bowling alley in the Western isles.
Butt of Lewis Lighthouse - The lighthouse was designed by Robert Stephenson in the 1860’s. It is constructed of red brick and was left unpainted! The Butt of Lewis features some of the oldest rocks in Europe and the magnificent folds in the rock can clearly be seen from the lighthouse. Nesting seabirds are also seen on the rocks adjacent to the lighthouse in spring. Following the coast south west is the natural arch, called the ‘Eye of the Butt’. This can be clearly seen from Habost Machair.
St Moulags - A 13th Century temple in the village of Europe. The origin of the temple is not clear but tradition tells that Saint Ronan founded the church before he retired to St Rona. The church is named after St Moulage and may have been built by the son of a Scandinavian king, who had converted to Christianity.
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village - This coastal crofting village is at Carloway on the west side of Lewis. The once derelict properties have been careful restored to create a fascinating and authentic settlement. You can watch a weaver at work, a video of how to cut, dry and stack peats. The museum also has a great little gift shop, a cafe selling delicious homemade food and toilets. From Gearrannan, you can take marked walks to the beautiful beaches of Dalbeg and Dalmore.
Arnol Blackhouse Museum - Learn about Island life at this beautifully restored village. There are buildings from different architectural periods so that you can see the development of architecture and life as a Crofting Islander. The museum is run by Historic Scotland as is well worth a stop on your Hebridean expedition.
Dun Eistein - An ancient stronghold of the Morrisons of Ness. The ‘Dun’ is a sea stack, which which is accessible by bridge. There is a footpath signposted from Knockaird.