Carloway and Callanish

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Carloway and Callanish - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Calanais Standing Stones

    The west coast of Lewis is rich in prehistoric sites, and the most famous of these is the Calanais Standing Stones. Believed to have been positioned in several stages between 3000 BC and 1500 BC, this arrangement consists of an avenue of 19 monoliths extending northward from a circle of 13 stones, with other rows leading south, east, and west. Ruins of a cairn sit within the circle on the east side. Researchers believe they may have been used for astronomical observations, but you're free to cook up your own theories. The visitor center has an interesting exhibit on the stones, a very pleasant tearoom, and a gift shop.

    Callanish, Western Isles, HS2 9DY, Scotland
  • 2. The Blackhouse

    In the small community of Arnol, the Blackhouse is a well-preserved example of an increasingly rare type of traditional Hebridean home. Common throughout the islands as recently as the mid-20th century, these dwellings were built without mortar and thatched on a timber framework without eaves. Other characteristic features include an open central peat hearth and the absence of a chimney (hence "blackhouse," from all the soot). Inside, you'll find half the house designated for family life, complete with many original furnishings, and the other half a stable for animals. Opposite is the White House, built later when houses were no longer allowed to accommodate humans and animals together.

    Off A858, Arnol, Western Isles, HS2 9DB, Scotland

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: £6, Closed Sun. Also closed Wed. in Oct.–Mar.
  • 3. Dun Carloway Broch

    Discover one of the country's best-preserved Iron Age brochs (circular stone towers). These fortified residences are exclusive to Scotland, and Dun Carloway Broch dominates the scattered community of the same name. The mysterious tower was probably built around 2,000 years ago as protection against seaborne raiders. The nearby visitor center explains all about the broch, its history, and its setting.

    Off A858, Carloway, Western Isles, HS2 9AZ, Scotland
  • 4. Gearrannan Blackhouse Village

    Situated at the end of a side road north from Carloway, Gearrannan is an old coastal crofting village that has been brought back to life as a living museum with excellent guided tours evoking its past. You can stay in one of the restored blackhouses here if you want a unique (if no-frills) stay; it's £20 a night for a hostel bunk or £65 for a family room. There is also a small gift shop and café.

    5a Gearrannan, Carloway, Western Isles, HS2 9AL, Scotland
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