Lews Castle Grounds, Stornoway HS2 0XP, UK
| +44 1625 416430
Photo courtesy of Natural Retreats
Lews CastleIf you’ve ever wanted to stay in a castle, this may be the place for you. Perched on a hill overlooking Stornoway’s inner harbor, this Gothic Revival palace is the former home of Sir James Matheson, who owned the entire Isle of Lewis in the 19th century. Over the years, Lews Castle has housed everyone from nobility and World War II hospital patients to college students and schoolchildren. Today, the upper floors are a warren of palatial, self-catering apartments where guests can sleep like royalty amid the turrets and towers. In addition to sweeping water views, rooms feature modern decor, spacious bathrooms, and authentic details like Harris tweed and Hebridean prints.
On the ground floor, guests will find all manner of Victorian details, including a central hallway with star-filled ceilings. There’s also a gracefully restored ballroom, a tranquil family room, a café with handcrafted island dishes, and a whisky bar featuring single malts and occasional live music by local songstress Miss Irenie Rose. For those hoping to explore the Outer Hebrides, Lews Castle is perfectly positioned near everything from Luskentyre Sands to the Callanish Standing Stones.