This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Isle of Lewis. To help you make friends with Isle of Lewis before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Isle of Lewis, Scotland, is located in the far northwest of Scotland and it is the biggest and most northerly island of the Outer Hebrides. It is accessible by ferry boat from Ullapool on the mainland or from the other islands of the Hebrides. On the ferries, you can transport your vehicle as well, but you don't necessarily have to as you can manage to get around the island by public transportation as well.
When you get off your boat and set your foot on this island, you will understand right away that you have arrived in quite a different world. The mostly barren island, where it rains most days of the year is characterised by extremely strong winds and extreme weather conditions, which is illustrated by the fact that within Europe, it is here that the biggest number of rainbows present on the sky at the same time were documented.
But it is not only the weather that makes the Isle of Lewis different from the rest of Scotland. Here, the Gaelic culture is still very much alive and the Protestant religion is of an extremely high importance. Sabbath is observed all over the isle, which means that on Sunday, you will probably not find anything open, however, you are always welcome by the locals to participate in the local mass and if you are lucky, you can hear some Gaelic singing, which can be a truly unique experience.
On the Isle of Lewis, you will find plenty of things to do to familiarise yourself with the Hebridese culture. In Stornoway, which is the capital of the island, you should definitely visit the Lew Castle, along with its giant wood-carved chess pieces. The Callanish Standing Stones will help you understand more about megalithic culture that was very much present in this side of the country and the Arnol Blackhouse will let you take a glimpse into what life was like on the islands a few centuries ago.
Moreover, it might come as a surprise for many, but the Isle of Lewis is full of ideal surfing spots; Dalmore is one of the most popular beaches for the sport. However, make sure to have your neoprene clothes with you, as the water might be a bit too cold for your liking! If you are planning to stay longer on the island, your options for hostels in Isle of Lewis, Scotland, are extremely limited; your best bet is to stay at a hostel in Stornoway and explore the rest of the island from there.
Written by local enthusiast for Isle of Lewis hostelsJudyM