The Isle of Lewis is at the North west corner of the group of Islands known as the Hebrides, or Western Isles. The Hebrides are known as the “long islands” as they stretch for 100 miles. The other main islands in the Western Isles are the Isles of Harris North Uist Benbecula South Uist and Barra
Lewis is steeped in history and culture, ranging back thousands of years. Ancient stone circles stand on the same land as modern Stornoway. Gaelic is spoken alongside English, and Eagles live alongside Otters and people. The contrast of the ages and cultures is experienced all over the isles of Lewis and Harris (both joined) both in the towns and out in the hills and mountains. In the summer months local people can still be seen cutting the peats and in the winter, the distinctive dry smell of the peat fires drifts in the wind. The name of MacLeod (son of Leod) is seen regularly in the phone books and on the name boards of shops, and the ending of “bost” on the place names, giving witness to the Viking past of the Isles.
The Western Isles culture remains very strong, particularly in its religious beliefs. Sundays remain a very special day, and many people observe strict compliance to the “Free Church” traditional values. It should be noted that at the time of writing this article there are no Sunday Ferry sailings and help on understanding the Lewis and Harris Sunday can be obtained by clicking here. Failte, pronounced falche, is the Gaelic word for welcome and mo dhachaigh is Gaelic for my home.
The people of Lewis are by their nature very welcoming and would like to invite you to their ancient island home. We hope that this website will help you to understand the Isle of Lewis and get the most from your visit to the island.
For more information about the History of the Isle of Lewis, click here
The road equivalent tariff (RET) has now become a permanent feature on Western Isles, Coll and Tiree services, following a pilot scheme. The scheme has brought affordable travel for vitors and residents alike. It has also been given the go-ahead for the Sounds of Barra and Harris routes. The scheme has made a huge difference […]