Overview

CURIOUS?… Let’s Discover

CONNECT

with Hebridean life, history and culture

Our final stop is Museum nan Eilean located at Lews Castle in Stornoway where we connect with the rich heritage and culture of the Outer Hebrides.

Take a look around …

Here are the experiences you will have on this part of our tour …

Our Final Stop

Heritage & Culture

Our final stop is Museum nan Eilean located at Lews Castle in Stornoway where we CONNECT with the rich heritage and culture of the Outer Hebrides.

We begin with an immersive film which is a firm favourite with many of our tourists. The film lets you CONNECT with the starkly changing landscapes across the Outer Hebrides from moorland, to machair, to croft, to seascapes. It beautifully captures the changing seasons and mood of our islands.

This gallery focuses on the people of the islands. In their own words they tell you about the reality of life on the islands versus preconceptions and you’ll form a CONNECTION with how islanders feel about living here.

This is the main gallery and has four sections based on the Land, the Sea, Working Life and Community Life. Here you will discover a range of interesting exhibits ranging from archaeological finds, working tools, models, many items of personal significance to islanders and of course you’ll get up close and CONNECT with the original and world famous Lewis Chessmen.

Finally this gallery looks to the future and potential changes to island life.

After our Galleries tour we take a walk around the resplendent rooms of Lews Castle.

Play Video

Lewis Chessmen

The Lewis Chessmen (or Uig Chessmen if you are from the West Side of the island) are among the best loved archaeological treasures in Britain. Copies have long been popular among chess players, giant carvings dot the landscape throughout Lewis, but their global fame is in no small part due to being featured in a Harry Potter film!

Here we tell the intriguing local story of the chess pieces that were found in 1831 in the Ardroil sand dunes, of Uig Bay, on the west coast of Lewis. In total 93 separate pieces were found. They are elaborately carved walrus ivory and whales’ teeth. They were probably made in Scandinavia about AD1150-1200 and consist of kings, queens, bishops, knights, warders/berserkers and pawns.

Lewis Chessmen, Isle of Lewis
Lews Castle
Lews Castle
Lews Castle, Isle of Lewis

1680 - 2023

An Outstanding Designed Landscape and Community Asset

The Lews Castle Grounds are located in Stornoway, on the North East coast of the Isle of Lewis. The ‘Grounds’ as they are known locally, cover over 270ha which include woodland, parkland and gardens associated with Lews Castle.

The Grounds were originally laid out in the 1850’s by Sir James Matheson and have been in community ownership since 1923. The close proximity of the Grounds to the town means it has a long history as a public park and ‘playground’ of the town.

The Grounds are an outstanding example of a mid-to-late Victorian ornamental and estate landscape, with fine elevated views over Stornoway and beyond to the sea. Carriage drives and an extensive network of paths provide access through and around the Grounds, creating numerous circuits and providing a variety of vantage points.

The main vehicle entrance into the grounds and to Lews Castle is from Willowglen Road. This is near the Porter’s Lodge which was the original entrance and is now used as a pedestrian access. The main pedestrian access from the town is from Bayhead Street, beside the Bridge Centre. There are other pedestrian access points at the Marybank and Creed Lodges.

Lews Castle

1680 - 2023

An Outstanding Designed Landscape and Community Asset

The Lews Castle Grounds are located in Stornoway, on the North East coast of the Isle of Lewis. The ‘Grounds’ as they are known locally, cover over 270ha which include woodland, parkland and gardens associated with Lews Castle.

The Grounds were originally laid out in the 1850’s by Sir James Matheson and have been in community ownership since 1923. The close proximity of the Grounds to the town means it has a long history as a public park and ‘playground’ of the town.

The Grounds are an outstanding example of a mid-to-late Victorian ornamental and estate landscape, with fine elevated views over Stornoway and beyond to the sea. Carriage drives and an extensive network of paths provide access through and around the Grounds, creating numerous circuits and providing a variety of vantage points.

The main vehicle entrance into the grounds and to Lews Castle is from Willowglen Road. This is near the Porter’s Lodge which was the original entrance and is now used as a pedestrian access. The main pedestrian access from the town is from Bayhead Street, beside the Bridge Centre. There are other pedestrian access points at the Marybank and Creed Lodges.

Lews Castle, Isle of Lewis

Shop & Gifts

Shop in Café and items for sale in Museum Reception

Toilets

Public toilets are available to the right of reception. An accessible toilet is to the left of reception. Toilets are also available in the café next door.

Storehouse Café

Located amongst the opulent ground floor rooms of Lews Castle, the Storehouse Café is the ideal spot to soak in the history of your surroundings during your visit. Serving hot and cold drinks with a variety of locally-baked treats on offer (including gluten-free and vegan options!), enjoy a well-deserved coffee break to finish off our tour.

For a light lunch, the Storehouse offers a menu with mouth-watering homemade soup and selection of toasted sandwiches.

Galleries

Archaeology Collections

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