Explore the Island
The Calanais Standing Stones
A must-see destination for visitors. Other places to visit between Bragar and Calanais are the restored Norse Mill and Kiln in Shawbost, beautiful sandy beaches at Dalbeg and Dalmore, the Gearrannan Blackhouse village and the Carloway broch. The Calanais Visitor Centre has a cafe and is open all year, the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village has a summer-only cafe. (Bragar-Calanais 15 miles/24km). For further information see visitouterhebrides.co.uk/.
The only town in Lewis and the main hub for transport, shops, restaurants, pubs, etc. The recently restored Lews Castle houses Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean, the island’s museum and archive, where six of the world-famous Lewis Chessmen are on display. Steòrnabhagh is also home to An Lanntair Arts Centre with a gallery, cinema and programme of live music, theatre, workshops and other events. There is a circular route round Steòrnabhagh and Calanais back to Bragar. (Bragar-Steòrnabhagh 16 miles/26km, circular route 48 miles/77km)
The most northerly point of the island is the Butt of Lewis lighthouse in Nis/Ness. There are several places to eat and drink in Ness. Comann Eachdraidh Nis has a museum, archive, shop and cafe and is well worth a visit. The Eoropie Dunes Playpark, an outdoor playpark set in 4 acres of machair and sand dunes, yards from the beautiful sandy beach of Traigh Shanndaigh, is highly recommended for visitors with children. Other suggested stops along this route are Clach an Truiseil, a magnificent lichen-covered monolith and Scotland’s tallest standing stone, the Steinacleit prehistoric site, the medieval chapel of Teampall Mholuaidh, which is still in use, and Dùn Èistein, a late medieval defended stronghold set on a dramatic rocky islet and accessed by a footpath and bridge. (Bragar-Butt of Lewis 21 miles/34km)
Other recommended day trips are to Uig (about 30 miles/50km) and Harris (50 miles/80km), which both have magnificent white sandy beaches, opportunities for hillwalking, and places to eat and drink.