Introducing Stornoway Vacations

Many people like to take vacations with a difference and more and more visitors are finding vacations at the seaside increasingly boring. The need to find is ever and travel guides are continually looking for new and exciting places to visit or which feature something of unique interest. Below I write about the small town of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and explain the factors which make this such an excellent destination for a vacation.

The Island Of Lewis

The Isle of Lewis, with Harris, is the largest land mass in the Western Isles.  The group of islands is found a fair distance from the west coast of Scotland a little further out from the Isle of Skye, needing a ferry journey or flight to travel there. Because of the remoteness it has only been during the last few decades that ordinary tourists are able to access to the islands for a vacation, prior to this it was only those with enormous funds who could afford to pay for the journey. The only other option to visit the  Outer Hebrides/Western Isles was to arrive to work.


Way back in the past Stornoway was a very important fishing port. The main quarry of the fishermen was herring and during the season the town’s population grew from approximately five or six thousand to well over 30,000. An amazing  quantity of Stornoway Hotels, bed and breakfasts and guesthouses developed to meet the needs for accommodation the the immense influx of temporary inhabitants created. Currently the population of the town stays at just more than six thousand (excluding visitors).

Sadly the herring industry declined heavily following World War One with the collapse of the Russian and German markets. Stornoway still retains a tiny fishing fleet but there are a few buildings remaining from that era and Stornoway suffered a great loss of character during the redevelopment of the 1970’s.

Recently the local council has enhanced, rather sympathetically, the town centre with several works of art on the herring industry theme as well as also adding areas of flower beds and even fountains. New buildings are also more sympathetic to the environment, for example the An Lanntair Arts centre.

Even though there are far fewer   Stornoway hotels existing today, just the Royal Hotel existed during the heyday of the Herring industry, there are still a huge number of bed and breakfasts in Stornoway, as well as hostels, guest houses and inns. There is even a camping and caravan site on the outskirts of town.

If you are currently planning a vacation in the Western Isles please take a look at our comprehensive list of hotels in Stornoway.

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