Way back in April 2019 we found a holiday cottage on the Isle of Lewis that looked to be in a gorgeous location but it was fully booked for that year so we booked for March 2020. Little did we know a global pandemic would have us move the holiday so many times. Finally last week we were able to make it out there. Woo hoo!
There are a couple of ways to get to the Isle of Lewis by ferry, from the Isle of Skye or from Ullapool. We are only about an hours drive from Ullapool so went from there. The crossing is 2.5 hours to Stornoway and we were really lucky to have such a lovely day for our crossing. (I was wearing thermals and warm layers but didn’t need my coat on.)
(Gaelic is the first language on Lewis so when detailing places I’ll try to include the Gaelic and English names ).
After a walk around Steòrnabhagh / Stornoway we headed to our cottage called Liosbeag in the village of Bhaltos / Valtos.
Although on the west side of the island the coast is very wiggly…so we actually were looking east but out to the sea! It gave us gorgeous morning sunrises and even sunsets were nice reflecting on the land opposite us.
Sunday’s sunrise was gorgeous and I managed to knit a few rows before my husband woke up. Once we were up we headed to a nearby beach Traigh na Beirghe / Reef Beach. Gorgeous white sand and turquoise waters but very windy. We managed to set up our chairs sheltered by some sand dunes and have a drink and some cake.
We then headed to Àird Ùig / Aird Uig, and there was a gallery/craft shop with an honesty box, I bought a Harris Tweed snood, perfect protection from the wind. We stopped and ate our lunch in the car with a view across Uig Bay we then drove around the coast to access the same beach from the other side. It was very windy.
US friends expand the photo of the statue text, it may be of interest.
The beach at Uig is where they found a Viking chess set. 93 chess pieces carved from walrus tusks. There are some wood carvings and playable replicas available to buy or play at places like the Uig community centre.
Monday brought another beautiful sunrise. We headed out to Calanais / Callanish Standing Stones. These were first erected 5,000 years ago making them a couple of thousand years older than Stonehenge. The visitor centre was closed but access was still available and initially we had the place to ourselves. The stones are laid out in a cross formation.
We went in search of a local fibre mill but couldn’t find it so drove onwards to Gearrannan Blackhouse Village. These were occupied until the 1970s and if you saw an old Christmas edition of Call the Midwife you’ll recognise them. The double layered dry stone walls, single storey and thatched roof (held on with extra stones) made them cosy. Many of these can be found across the western isles and we stayed in a converted one on North Uist a few years ago. You can also stay in these ones as well.
We had a stop at Siabost /Shawbost beach for a drink (from our flask) and a breezy walk. Ylva let us know she was done walking for the day.
This post is photo heavy so I’ll publish now and do some separate posts during the week on where else we went.