"Steornabhagh" Stornoway by kit_mc

Stornoway Travel Guide: 55 reviews and 83 photos

Hebridean Capital

Stornoway (Scottish Gaelic - Steornabhagh) is the largest town in the Western Isles with a population of around 8,000 and as such it's kind of difficult to avoid ending up here on at least one occasion. That in itself is no bad thing as there's plenty to keep you occupied here at least a day or so.

Stornoway is also your best bet for finding a petrol station or a restaurant open on Sundays, when virtually everything on Lewis closes. More than likely you'll at least end up here for supplies to keep you going, but be sure to take a good look around while you're here.

Stornoway isn't a big place, but as the largest town it's also the main focus for the social and cultural life of the island. Here you'll find the arts centre, An Lanntair (The Lantern) which houses a small artsy-fartsy shop, a nice cafe and a gallery space with various exhibitions. For more culture and history visit the excellent Museum nan Eilean on Francis Street. Here you'll find a mixture of archeaology and social history. And you'll hardly be able to miss Lews Castle, squatting like a series of beige Duplo bricks, decaying above the town.

As well as a bit of culture, you'll find some promising restaurants, but be aware that despite this being practically a metropolis by local standards, things close earlier around here. Make sure that you've got yoursel finto a restuarant fairly early as all of them are pretty much closed by 10pm. Basing yourself in Stornoway might not be a bad idea during a visit to Lewis and Harris as the island is small enough for the town to be close enough to thye major sights such as the callanish Standing Stones. Close by is St Columba's church at Aignish, an ancient church set beside a gorgeous beach.

  • Last visit to Stornoway: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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