Lewis is steeped in history and has a timeless island culture.
The Isle of Lewis is an outer Hebrides island off the west coast of Scotland. It’s rather an unusual island in that it is joined very solidly to the Isle of Harris, with the only border between them being a narrowing of land between two sea lochs. It is the landscape which distinguish Lewis and Harris most, Harris being mountainous and Lewis being flat and low lying, except for Ben More in the south east. Lewis is steeped in history and has a timeless island culture. There are ancient stone circles including the massive Callanish Stones and Gaelic is commonly spoken alongside English with a soft Scottish lilt. As you travel over the flat lands of Lewis you will see sea Otters in the many lochs that intersperse the heathy landscape. Empty white beaches with seals, sea lions are often in view. Locals can still be seen cutting the peats and will easily stop for a chat. The distrintive earthy smell of the peat fires drifts in the wind in winter. Come and visit the treasures of Lewis and stay at Laxdale Bunkhouse on Laxdale Holiday Park, just outside the islands main town and port at Stornoway.
Photo by Mike Baird, bairdphotos.com
… all kinds of enchanting corners…
The modern and attractive bunkhouses on Laxdale Holiday Park, Stornoway, are wonderfully self-contained and ideal for families. Coloured brick-red and with a veranda overhanging, they might be mistaken for a classic American mid-western barn. They’re split into 4 bedrooms of four bunks; shared toilets and showers; and a communal dining kitchen. So you’ve got all the charm of camp site, with the conveniences of self-catering and the communality of a bunkhouse.
Stornoway is the Lewis and Harris’s main town, but its still not a heaving metropolis. You’ll find all the facilities you need here as well as serving as a launch pad for exploring the amazing island.
Lewis has always had a distinctive personality and a history to match. As you explore the island you’ll find its blackhouses – robust low slung crofts; standing stones; Iron age buildings; Viking chessmen; will let you dream a landscape of tough challenges and tough people. It is a landscape worth enjoying in its own right too. From perfect sandy beaches to the peat bogs of the centre and the dramatic rocky coastline, there are all kinds of enchanting corners to discover.
…an ‘unreal landscape’…
Laxdale Bunkhouse is part of Laxdale Holiday Parkin peaceful tree-lined surroundings. Its is a purpose built bunkhouse, for backpackers and families – but especially having wheelchair accessible facilites. Some rather cool glamping ‘Wigwams’ were added in 2014, the same year that Lewis and Harris were named as the best island destination in the world by trip adviser. At the time of going to press, we cannot confirm that these facts are linked. A mile and a half from Stornoway, and even less to the sea, its a great place to explore the islands from.
Any picture, map or photograph of these islands pulls at me and urges me to visit. If you glance at a map of the area, you’ll see its a patchwork of about a million small lochs, pale sanded beaches and rugged hills. It has been described as an ‘unreal landscape’. It is certainly the stuff of legends and wonder. A visitor from mainland Britain feels the unfamiliarity of the islands as a magical strangeness.
I might book myself a room right now.