Time for a rest

Trip Start Oct 15, 2013
Trip End Dec 13, 2013

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Where I stayed
Royal Hotel Stornoway
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Stornoway, what a great place to slow down and rest up. It's on the Isle of Lewis in the outer Hebrides of Scotland and it's landscape is very dramatic and encompasses all of what you'd expect from Scotland. I'll admit that I haven't done a lot here, in fact there is not much to do in Stornoway itself, but, that was the point of coming here, to rest up.

The village has a population of around 6000 which is roughly 2/3's of the Isle itself, so it's a small place. The locals on a whole are friendly, the older generation though can be a little standoffish and reluctant to even say hiya. In Stornoway itself, there is the Lews Castle which was built in the 1840's by Sir James Matheson who worked tirelessly to transform the lot of the local crofters and fisherman. The grounds are extensive with miles of walking tracks which I've explored over the last two days. It's interesting that local authorities have recently started a campaign to promote natural fauna in the grounds which have been invaded by rhododendrons. We in Australia want to rid our landscape of spiny broom and hawthorn hedge and the scots want it back!

I had planned to hike the Coastal Walk along the north west coast but the weather has been pretty bad. The local tourist board advised against it too which at the time I thought was rubbish, however, after walking back out into the street and being blown sideways by the southwesterly in the sheltered street of the village, agreed that walking along the northern cliffs probably wouldn't be a great idea. There's is a lot to see on the Isle though and hiring a car would be the way to go as the bus service, whilst extensive is irregular leaving you at a spot for over an hour at a site where 15 minutes would suffice.

The hotel has been great and I've explored it's extensive list of whiskey, the food in the restaurant is delicious as well, with fresh produce from the Isle. Being off season has meant I've been quite lonely in the restaurant, however I've been lucky enough to get the big chair by the fire each night. Quite luxurious really!

Back to Edinburgh tomorrow, where I spent 2 days before heading North. I will fill you all in on my Edinburgh experience tomorrow, it's a great city with a rich history and great pubs!
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Sue on

What a beautiful place to rest up :)

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