Isle of Lewis – A long history on show

Having lived in Scotland for more than 10 years, I felt it was time to get organised a visit some of this Nation’s more remote communities. To date, my exploration of Scotland’s beautiful islands has only extended to one trip to Skye and a couple of short breaks on Arran. I knew there was much, much more to see!

At the end of August we set off in a motorhome for a week-long tour that took us from Ullapool to Stornoway, then on through Lewis and Harris to North Uist, before a return to the mainland via Skye. It really was a superb way to explore the islands which have so much to show over such a diverse landscape.

This first set of photos all happen to be from the Isle of Lewis. A lot of what we saw on our trip was nature at its finest. However, this selection focuses on the (very) long but visible history of the island. The rock formations at the northerly point of Lewis (the Butt of Lewis) showed the true force of nature which has shaped the island forever more. We spent quite a while here watching the seals and scrutinising the rock formations.

The three sets of standing stones at Callanish were a real highlight of the trip for me. We approached the first and largest set during a downpour. Luckily it soon dried up for us to take our time to appreciate our surroundings. On the same day we visited the Gearrannan Black House Village where you can imagine just what it was like to live in a traditional crofting community.

Right across the Outer Hebrides we saw homes and cottages abandoned and crumbling. Many families have left their homes on the islands – I presume most have headed off in search of new employment opportunities. The buildings were a great fascination for me during our trip. The last photo in this blog post was one of many I photographed. May be one day it will see human life within its walls again, but I sadly doubt it.
Rock Formation at the Butt of LewisCallanish Standing Stones (Lewis)Gearrannan Black House VillageAbandoned Cottage on Isle of Lewis


  1. Hi Peter, sorry for the delayed reply. The cottage in this blog post was near one of the smaller sets of Callanish (Calanais) Standing Stones. We went to the Visitors Centre and walked up to the main set of Standing Stones then took a walk to Callanish Stones II and III. I think the cottage was by Callanish II. Enjoy your trip!

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