The Western Isles – A World Away from anywhere else !

I’m just back from a week in Stornaway.

If you don’t know, Stornaway is on the Isle of Lewis which is part of the Outer Hebrides which are also known as The Western Isles. This is only my second holiday break away this year.

 In April I had a short holiday in Norway and because my daughter is working in Stornaway for 2 months we decided it would be a good idea to spend a week there as it’s somewhere we have never been before.I didn’t know what to expect from this holiday apart from people  telling me that there would be nothing but midges to contend with !

The ferry to Stornaway goes from Ullapool which is in the far north west of Scotland. The drive to get to Ullapool is amazing although its a long way from Leeds. The map said it was just over 400 miles and an 8 hour drive so we set off at 07.30 and hoped to arrive at our Bed & Breakfast in Ullapool by 7pm. The drive north up the M6 is very good but it was nowhere near as spectacular as what was to come. Once past Perth the excellent A9 runs north to Inverness through the spectacular Cairngorms National Park.

This road is incredible and at its highest point reaches over 1,500 feet above sea level. All you can see is mountains, very few houses and just mile after mile of wilderness.We didn’t stop in Inverness but it looks like a place worth staying. Once over the spectacular bridge over the Moray Firth it’s about an hour or so to Ullapool. The town is isolated but very picturesque, but we were in for a bit of a shock as road signs were warning us that due to bad weather the ferry had been cancelled !

As we were not sailing until the next morning we hoped that the storm force winds would pass by.Our ferry was to be the MV Isle of Lewis and part of the Caledonian Macbrayne fleet. Taking 114 cars and 970 passengers it’s a big boat !The ferry sailing from Ullapool to Stornaway is spectacular. The crossing takes nearly 3 hours and it takes an hour before you reach the open sea as you sail past steep sided mountains and tiny islands.Our home for the week was to be a small, whitewashed, 2 bedroomed cottage standing about 10 feet from the beach. Ours was the only cottage in the bay and I think it is safe to describe the location as secluded ! There wasn’t even a mobile phone signal, no TV and certainly no internet !

The scenery on the Isle of Lewis is spectacular, especially so if you travel south onto Harris. Here you will find high mountains and deserted beaches better than you will find in the Caribbean !As far as things to do and places to see on Lewis I can recommend visiting the Callanish Standing Stones. These are similar to Stonehenge but smaller and older. They say that the Callanish Stones date back over 4,000 years. Also, you can explore the many sandy beaches such as Uist. The best thing to do is just drive on the deserted roads and see where you come to.

Although Lewis is the largest of the Western Isles there aren’t many roads so you won’t get lost.Taking a holiday in the UK has plenty to offer although I won’t be missing my cheap holidays abroad next year.

Here are some of my photos that I took whilst I was on holiday on the Isle of Lewis. I hope you like them.

Calmac Ferry ready for sailing from Ullapool to StornawayOur cottage on the Isle of LewisGorgeous Beach on the Isle of LewisThe Callanish Stones – Isle of Lewis – Over 4,000 years old ! There are more sheep that people on Lewis. Sheep need busses too !Related Articles about holidays in the UK

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