Lews Castle

Outer Hebrides

The Baronial mansion across the harbour from Stornoway town centre was built in the 1840s for the Matheson family, then owners of Lewis; it was gifted to the community by Lord Leverhulme in 1923. A major redevelopment completed in 2017 saw it converted to luxury self-catering accommodation, but the grand public rooms on the ground floor are free to visit when not in use. There's also an excellent cafe, one of the few local eateries to open on Sundays.

The beautiful wooded grounds, criss-crossed with walking trails, are open to the public and host the Hebridean Celtic Festival.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Outer Hebrides attractions

1. Museum nan Eilean

0.03 MILES

The 'Museum of the Isles' opened in 2017, occupying a modern extension built onto the side of Lews Castle. Artefacts, photos and videos celebrate the…

2. An Lanntair Arts Centre

0.36 MILES

The modern, purpose-built An Lanntair (Gaelic for 'lighthouse'), complete with art gallery, theatre, cinema and restaurant, is the centre of the town’s…

3. Arnol Blackhouse

12.06 MILES

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…

4. Calanais Visitor Centre

12.84 MILES

This visitor centre near the Callanish Standing Stones is a tour de force of discreet design. Inside is a small exhibition that speculates on the origins…

5. Callanish Standing Stones

12.86 MILES

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…

6. Doune Broch Centre

15.01 MILES

The tiny, turf-roofed Doune Broch Centre has interpretative displays and exhibitions about the history of the Dun Carloway broch and the life of the…

7. Dun Carloway

15.12 MILES

Dun Carloway is a 2000-year-old, dry-stone broch, perched defiantly above a beautiful loch with views to the mountains of North Harris. The site is…

8. Blackhouse Museum

15.66 MILES

A traditional 1955 blackhouse with displays on the village’s history.