The trip from Glasgow to the Isle of Lewis would be our longest bit of travelling so far on our Scottish holiday – we had to get to Inverness first, the ‘Capital of the Highlands’ (and home of the Loch Ness monster, Nessie, of course, one of the kids of whom we actually managed to ‘abduct’!), and then get a bus to the little ferry port of Ullapool.
Then, from there we took the ferry boat across the Minch to Stornoway, the capital of the Outer Hebrides! (We could have done it from Glasgow to Stornaway by plane, too, but we thought the old-fashioned way was more interesting and stylish; and then I just LOVE ships – heck, I used to work on one!)
It was after 8pm when we arrived, so we didn’t see much of the town the first night; we went straight to our domicile, the Macaulay Farm Lodge, about two miles out of town, in the middle of nowhere… And what a PERFECT place for a quiet, relaxing holiday!! Our hosts greeted us in the most friendly way, we were shown to our room – and what a view! Fields with sheep, donkeys and a horse, a forest on one side, and in the distance the sea. As far away from the city stress as possible, just like we’d hoped!
The next morning, we had a walk around the farm with all its friendly animals, and simply enjoyed the peace and quiet and the fresh air.
Then we went into town to have a first look at it – what a pretty place, important in its way as the capital of the Isle of Lewis and main town on the Outer Hebrides, and yet not too big with a population of about 8,000. The centre with its narrow shopping streets adorned with pennants is really picturesque!
Then, we picked up our hired car, with which we’d explore the whole island of Lewis and Harris during the next days – more about that in my next post, friends!
For the moment, we stayed in Stornoway, though; we had dinner at a wonderful place called the Crown Inn – great food at a very good price, and with a lovely harbour view! And of course, being so close to the sea, I had seafood on our first night: mussels in wine sauce, yummy…
As I said, for the next few days we’d be exploring the countryside, with all its natural beauty and its stunning historical monuments – standing stones, Celtic brochs, and old Viking houses. But a few times, we’d stay around Stornoway; first of all, to visit the famous Victorian Lews Castle quite close to the town. It’s in very good shape, and part of it is being used nowadays as a hotel and for various local events. The big rooms do look a bit strange, though, since they’re almost completely empty!
Back in town, we bought some kippers at the Stornoway smokehouse, which we’d do on Sunday for breakfast, when all the shops would be closed!
Which we did – that is, my darling husband did all the cooking! And they really were absolutely delicious…
For the rest of the day, we just enjoyed the view from our room and the wonderful peace and quiet – I’d started feeling completely relaxed!
The next day – a lovely sunny day – we did a little photo session outside our lodge, me wearing my new Scottish gear I’d acquired during our holidays; the shawl and tights from Edinburgh, the skirt from Glasgow, the earrings from Stornoway, the ring from Callanish…
Then we went into town to take a few shots of Stornoway harbour in the sunshine, too; it doesn’t happen too often here on the Outer Hebrides, but when the sun does come out everything looks simply gorgeous!
More next time about our historical sightseeing tours around the Isle of Lewis, dear friends!