Blogs from Isle of Lewis, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe


I am in paradise. I am on the west side of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides staying in my 4th Gatliff Trust hostel (of the same collection as the rustic hostel I last wrote about). This hostel is actually in a national heritage site and museum -- the bunkhouse is one of 6 preserved 'blackhouses' -- a traditional Norse stone thatched-roof longhouse. Few people realize that you can stay here and when they learn you can, they assume you would have to have booked long in advance. But you don't. You don't book at all. And so far, each night has only had a total of 6 or 7 lodgers -- less than half full. But we are perfectly placed here. I can't imagine a better location, nor time to be here. The ... read more
Calendish stones
Garenin Village
Sea cliff

Tuesday was an easy day in Inverness. The first part of the day we traveled by boat out to the Castle Urquhart on Loch Ness and were dropped off for an hour. After our return we headed to the Loch Ness Exhibit Center which is dedicated to telling the story (scientifically) of the Nessie mystery. It was a pretty good exhibit for 6 pounds. After that we went off to the battle of Culloden interpretive center that open up just last year. The center was great and gave an excellent description of the battle, the atrocities that took place after and the significance to the shaping of the world today on how that battle turned out. That was pretty much it for Inverness, short but sweet. Yesterday was a travel day... Since our ferry didn't leave ... read more
Urquhart Castle
Views At Glen Affric
Departing Ullapool

well the Isle of Lewis, what a beautiful place, amazing scenery . the HEBRIDEAN CELTIC FESTIVAL is definitely recommended. although we probably drank way too much. we got the boat from belfast to troon then drove up to ulapool, (stopped in a travel lodge for one night on the way) great road trip, great fun. ... read more
A mobile bank!!
lovely day

bike stats: time cycling: 4 hours 13 minutes travelled 39.4 miles average speed 9.3mph max speed 30.7mph Today was still pretty wet and windy. We planned to do a circular trip west out of Stornoway to the Callanish Stone Circle and Carloway Broch on the west coast. We initially got a bit lost on the road out of Stornoway on the road back to Tarbert and struggled against very strong headwinds for a few miles before turning back. The actual turning we needed was cunningly disguised as an industrial type place! Once on the right road we were straight out into beautiful moorland and bogland scenery full of hills. Whoever said Lewis was flat was lying - ravens and eagles swooped around near the road. Unfortunately as I cycled I became aware of a twinge on ... read more
Callanais Stones
Callanais Stones
Andy, Lewis

Today was supposed to be a day off the bikes but we did actually cycle 9 miles northwards (doh!) to check out another spot which looked like a campsite on the OS map. However it just turned out to be a caravan park. Andy managed to fix his wheel at Alex Dan's bike shop. Alex Dan was not there himself but a dude working there was really helpful and let Andy find the bits he needed to fix the wheel AND let him use the workshop with no hassle. The friendly helpful trustingness of the Outer Hebrides peeps amazes me, it's great and so different to how things are in the SE of England. Alex Dan's bike shop in Stornoway rocks! While we were in the workshop I spotted a letter written to Alex Dan from ... read more

Cycle Stats: 1 hour 45 minutes cycling 12.1 miles travelled 6.9mph average speed (I keep having to remind myself when I despair at this speed that this is not too rubbish considering I was lugging my entire luggage, camping kit and a 5 litre mineral water bottle in my panniers!) 30.4mph max speed Woke up after a bad night's sleep due to the foul weather. However this morning we had the luxury of heinz beans with veggie sausages which I had picked up in the shop in Leverburgh the previous day - a delightful addition to our now habitual beans and tomatoes brekkies. We started the ride to Tarbert, the capital of Harris. Very mountainous and the ascents seemed to go on forever, occasionally we were pushed up the mountain by a tailwind. Sometimes it would ... read more
Lews Castle, Stornoway
Lews Castle

Tot: 2.6s; Tpl: 0.029s; cc: 8; qc: 65; dbt: 0.0617s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb