Top 10 Places to visit on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides

Rosie Honeywell

Rosie Honeywell

Published on 05 Jul 2023
Mangersta Sea Stacks, Isle of Lewis

The Isle of Lewis is substantially bigger than Harris. We’ve created a list of the Top 10 Places to visit on the Isle of Lewis for you.

Harris sure packs a punch when it comes to beautiful scenery and gorgeous beaches, but you as you are on the same island as Lewis, it makes sense to explore Lewis by heading North.

Harris is the smaller area in the South of the Island and Lewis is the much larger area to the North. Whilst you are staying on the Isle of Harris, why not go a bit further afield and discover some of what Lewis has to offer.

It takes just over an hour to drive up to Stornoway, which is located on the East coast of Lewis. Stornoway has a population of around 7,000 and it has a larger selection of shops, pubs and restaurants, so it’s a great base to explore the Isle of Lewis.

Initially, Lewis can appear quite bleak, with flat, treeless landscapes, but there are lots of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
Here are some suggestions for exploring Lewis, the locations are grouped together in the same area.

Let’s explore the Top 10 Places to visit on the Isle of Lewis.

Top 10 Things to see on the Isle of Lewis

Garry Beach / Tolsta Beach

These two beaches are quite close to each other, just 15 miles to the North East of Stornoway. Both beaches look East over towards the Scottish mainland, the mountains of which can be seen on a clear day.

Tolsta beach is thin long beach, wheareas Garry beach is smaller, but with some interesting pinnacles on the south of the beach.

There is a car park at Tolsta beach and a car park at Garry beach.
From Garry beach car park, you can also walk up the hill to to the “Bridge to nowhere”, which is where the road ends.

Lilly pads can be seen in the pond near the car park at Garry Beach in the summer.

You can’t go any further than the “Road to nowhere”, so you have to drive back to the road junction a couple of miles North of Stornoway.

At the junction you can take a left to go back to Stornoway or you can take a right and head North towards the Butt of Lewis.

Garry Beach, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Garry Beach, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Tolsta Beach, Isle of Lewis
Tolsta Beach, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides

Butt of Lewis light house / Port Stoth / Port of Ness Beach / Eoropie Beach

Located at the Northern tip of Lewis, the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse sits on rocky landscape next to sea cliffs in one of the windiest locations in the UK. The red brick lighthouse tower is 37 metres high and was engineered by David Stephenson in 1862.

The lighthouse is now operated remotely from Edinburgh, the white light flashes every 5 seconds and has a range of 21 miles out to sea.

On the drive up to the lighthouse, there is a small beach / port at Port of Ness, as well as an even smaller beach at Port Stoth, which is not far from the lighthouse.

The biggest beach in the area is Traigh Shanndaigh (Eoropie Beach), which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean to the West.

The beach is popular with surfers and there is a playpark for kids.

Dalmore / Dalbeg

Nestled on the West coast of Lewis, these golden sand beaches overlook the wild Atlantic Ocean, which often provides lively sea swells and dramatic waves.

These beaches are good for sunsets as they face West.

Dalmore beach (Traigh Dhail Mhor) is a few miles to the south of Dalmore beach.
There is a cemetery next to Dalmore beach, along with a car park and a toilet block. There are some sea stacks which can be interesting to photograph and it’s also popular with experienced surfers.

Dalbeg beach (Traigh Dhail Beag) is situated next to a small loch which is sometimes covered in Water Lillies in the summer.

The smooth round rocks at this beach indicate that there are powerful waves at work the shape the rocks.

As both beaches are West facing, be careful as they have to endure the full force of the winds and Atlantic swells.

Dalbeg Beach Isle of Lewis Outer Hebrides

Dalbeg Beach, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides

Dun Carloway Broch / Gearrannan Blackhouse

If you like a wee bit of history, then these two sites may be of interest to you.

Dun Carloway Broch is a well preserved Broch near the village of Carloway, which is thought to have been built around 100 A.D.
It is managed by Historic Scotland and is free to visit.

The black houses are just to the West of Carloway, they are managed by a local trust.

The houses offer an insight into the past crofting life and traditional black houses

Callanais (Callanish) standing stones

Nestled into a ridge above the Loch Roag (a sea loch which dominates the area), an impressive array of standing stones which pre-date stonehenge, which were erected in the late neolotihc area.

The main circle of 13 stones surround a monoloth, with other smaller stones in a cruciform pattern around the main circle.
The stones are managed by Historic Scotland and are free to visit.

There is a car park and a cafe/restaurant just to the South of the standing stones.

The remaining three sections are all located in the Southwest of Lewis and can be visited individually or as one trip into the South West.

These can be visited on the way back from Callanish, taking a right down the road at South at Garrynahine, or by taking a left if coming from the East.

Callanish Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis

Callanish Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis

Great Bernera / Bostadh Beach

After a few miles heading Southwest from Garrynahine, take a right onto th B8059 at the Great Benera junction.

After a few miles you will cross over the Atlantic Ocean at a bridge just after Iarsiadar and will be now be on the island Great Bernera.

Continue heading North towards Bosta beach, along a single track road, there is a small car park just before the cemetery.

Head West past the public toilets and the cemetery and you will come across the Bosta (Bostadh) Iron Age House.

After a wander around the traditional house, walk North up to the beach at Bosta, look out for the “Time and Tide Bell” in the water.

Bosta Beach Isle of Lewis

Bosta Beach Isle of Lewis

Bosta Beach Isle of Lewis

Bosta Beach Isle of Lewis

Cliff beach (Camas na Clibhe) / Reef Beach (Traigh na Beirghe)

Cliff beach faces Northwest towards the Atlantic Ocean, so it can be rather lively waves wise, it’s not suited for swimming due to the shape and direction of the bay.
You drive up the hill towards the village of Valtos (Bhaltos), before heading East towards Reef Beach.

Reef Beach is an impressive beach of white sand, which sits along side the machair and rocky hills.

There are wild flowers around the machair in summer and it’s well worth a walk around the surrounding small hills.

The beach overlooks two islands to the North (Pabbay and Vacsay), which protect the beach from the wild winds from the West, so it’s safer to swim / paddle here due to the calmer water.

If you are lucky you might get to see an eagle flying over the rocky hills to the East of the beach.

Reef Beach, Isle of Lewis

Reef Beach, Isle of Lewis

Reef Beach, Isle of Lewis

Reef Beach, Isle of Lewis

Uig / Ardroil

Uigs Sands and Androil beach are located in the South West of Lewis, Uig sands and Androil combine into a gorgeous large area of clean, white sand and clear sea water, which is offered some protection of the winds and sea swell by the peninsula to the West.

There is a toilet block at Ardroil beach next to the car park.

Ardroil Beach, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides

Ardroil Beach, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides

Mangersta sea stacks

If you are down as far as Uig, you can also make a small diversion South towards the Mangersta sea stack.

There are not many places to park around Mangersta sea stacks, but please be very careful if walking out to the cliff edges and the sea stacks, as it can be very gusty in the wind there.

Mangersta Sea Stacks, Isle of Lewis
Mangersta Sea Stacks, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides