Lews Castle, Stornoway

4.1
#4 of 8 in Historic Sites in Isle of Lewis
Stretch your legs on the scenic grounds of Lews Castle. The Victorian-era structure was built as a country retreat for Sir James Matheson, who once owned the entire island, and it's easy to see why the entrepreneur would want to spend his holidays in this relaxing spot. Restoration of the interior is currently underway, so you cannot access the inside of the castle. The outdoor property, however, remains open, so you can stroll across the verdant grass, enjoy superb harbor views, and spot seals basking in the distance. An on-site cafe serves as an ideal rest spot for weary walkers, serving up hot drinks and fortifying home-cooked meals. A visit to Lews Castle represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Isle of Lewis driving holiday planning website to plot your vacation.
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Lews Castle Reviews
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4.5
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  • I've been coming to Lewis and Harris for nearly thirty years. I had always been a bit enchanted and intrigued by Lews Castle. Coming back after two years, and visiting, I am really impressed. The mode...  more »
  • really they do, you order drinks yo have to wait and take them to your own table, order food and it's waiter service and you stiil have to hunt around for sugar, it's not right connected  more »
  • We had gone to Lews Castle to visit, on the advice of a friendly clerk at the tourist office, but once you arrive through a small forest, parade in front of the scene of a wedding, complete with bridesmaids blondes all dressed in the same Turquoise dress and gentlemen in kilts. Due to this private event, the halls on the ground floor of the Castle, all beautifully redone in wood and with a beautiful ceiling with blue starry background (what you see in the picture opening this page), were not visible if not ... with a glance from a pair of stained glass. Fortunately, however, in another wing of the Castle has been recently set up an interesting museum dedicated to the life of the islands of Lewis and Harris, moreover. The multimedia is very nice and panoramic room offers in 3D, continuously updated and moved to various parts of the island. Nice too the sections on the cultures, traditions and local activities-with an audiovisual section on the use of the Gaelic language that sounds like, fortunately, here the historical and cultural roots have been cut off or drowned in a cauldron standardising as in many other parts of Europe. But the best is in the penultimate sala (the last is for a temporary exhibition about collecting a famous inhabitant and native of Stornoway, Colonel McKenzie, first British supervisor in India): six among the 94 found on the beach of Uig of wonderful collection of chess from the Viking age. A feast for the eyes and the intellect, as the video well packaged that comments on these unique pieces. I recommand landings around here to spend three quarters of an hour in here.
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  • Beautiful castle with the Starbucks cafe inside. There is a museum behind it (free admission) and definitely worth a look. I wish there was more to see in the castle as it's quite limited. It's more of a hotel.
  • Great place to visit. Cafe and bar are worth a look if they're open.
  • Modern aproach to an old building. Nice coffee inside.
  • Interesting castle with nice cafe and an informative exhibition of Hebridean life.
  • Extremely beautiful castle. A very interesting place to visit.

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Where to stay in Isle of Lewis

The island's largest town, Stornoway provides an abundance of inns and bed and breakfasts by its small harbor. Stornoway's proximity to the island's airport also makes it a good base for sightseeing. A selection of private vacation rentals lines the island's west coast, but you can also choose to stay on the scenic nearby island of Great Bernera.
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