The Callanish Standing Stones, 15 miles west of Stornoway on the A858 road, form one of the most complete stone circles in Britain. It is one of the most atmospheric prehistoric sites anywhere; its ageless mystery, impressive scale and undeniable beauty leave a lasting impression.
Garenin (Na Gearrannan)
The picturesque and fascinating Gearrannan Blackhouse Village is a cluster of nine restored thatch-roofed blackhouses perched above the exposed Atlantic coast. One of the cottages is home to the Blackhouse Museum, a traditional 1955 blackhouse with displays on the village’s history, while another houses the Taigh an Chocair Cafe.
One of Scotland’s most evocative historic buildings, the Arnol Blackhouse is not so much a museum as a perfectly preserved fragment of a lost world. Built in 1885, this traditional blackhouse – a combined byre, barn and home – was inhabited until 1964 and has not been changed since the last inhabitant moved out.
This rocky island is connected to Lewis by a bridge built by the local council in 1953 – the islanders had originally planned to blow up a small hill with explosives and use the material to build their own causeway. On a sunny day, it’s worth making the long detour to the island’s northern tip for a picnic at the perfect little sandy beach of Bosta (Bostadh).
Butt of Lewis (Rubha Robhanais)
The Butt of Lewis – the extreme northern tip of the Hebrides – is windswept and rugged, with a very imposing lighthouse, pounding surf and large colonies of nesting fulmars on the high cliffs. There’s a bleak sense of isolation here, with nothing but the grey Atlantic between you and Canada.