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Flights to Stornoway
New flights from London Southend commence 28th May!
Stornoway is the capital of the Isle of Lewis and is one of the main towns of the Outer Hebrides – a chain of islands 40 miles off the west coast of Scotland, perched on the edge of the Atlantic. Stornoway is a busy harbour town and is the perfect gateway to discover the beauty and variety of these Western Isles.
Lewis and Harris form the northerly landmass of the islands. Whilst Lewis is mainly flat with hundreds of lochs and fertile croftland, Harris has outstanding mountain scenery, with a rugged rocky landscape.
There are scheduled air services to Stornoway from Manchester, Inverness, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, as well as Benbecula, another airport in the Outer Hebrides.
Beautiful beaches are synonymous with the Outer Hebrides and Lewis and Harris are no exception. Harris is home to Luskentyre, famed for its crystal turquoise waters and pristine sand, but Huisinish, also on the remote west coast, offers a breathtaking and quiet bay to escape from it all. Mangersta on Lewis not only has a beautiful beach, but also impressive cliffs and sea stacks, or head to the broad expanse of Uig beach and take in the rolling sand dunes.
Steeped in Celtic and Norse history, Lewis’ antiquities include the magnificent 4,000 year old Callanish Standing Stones, the 2,000 year old Carloway Broch, and the more modern Lews Castle built in the 1800s, located in Stornoway itself. You can also see early examples of human settlements at sites like Bosta. For history fanatics, Harris has the likes of Macleod’s standing stone and St Clement’s Church, but it’s probably more famous for more contemporary attractions such as the Isle of Harris Distillery, or products like Harris Tweed.
Culture is in abundance on these islands as it’s an area of Scotland where Gaelic is still spoken by more than half of the population. This can be seen on signage, but also heard among the welcoming locals. Traditional Celtic music also plays a big role in these communities so a trip to a local pub to listen in to a session is a must.
For those who are fonder of the outdoors, the Outer Hebrides is a paradise. The Hebridean Way is both a long distance walking and cycling route and is the perfect way to experience the full chain of islands. You could even take a boat trip to St Kilda, the most remote of all the islands and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Such a beautiful coastline offers the perfect opportunity for water sports and activities such as kayaking and coasteering, and it’s also the ideal home for wildlife – venture on the ferry to North Uist and observe rare birds at RSPB Balranald, or further to South Uist to spot wild Eriskay ponies.
Eat Drink Hebrides trail
With an abundance of fresh local produce, Eat Drink Hebrides is a self-guided journey through the islands. This Hebridean food trail will lead you to the best places to find food and drink within the Outer Hebrides. The range of different flavours throughout the islands will allow you to discover the landscapes, people and culture that make the Outer Hebrides so unique.
There are plenty of events throughout the year in the Outer Hebrides, including the famous Hebridean Celtic festival held in Stornoway annually. For a full list of events click here.