Walk: Lews Castle grounds - Hebridean oasis

Lewis | Stornoway | Short walk | ★★★

[Lews Castle]

The grounds of Lews Castle cover 270 hectares, providing a lush oasis of coastal woodland on the outskirts of Stornoway which is unrivalled on Lewis. The grounds were originally laid out in 1850 by the merchant James Matheson (you can visit his memorial, commissioned by his wife), who built the castle at the park's centre; the grounds are now under community ownership. Exploring the landscape along with the castle and museum makes for an enjoyable, easygoing half day, with a cafe at the castle if you need refreshment. The views of Stornoway from the coastal stretch of the walk - and also from the summit of Cnoc na Croich - are exceptional on a clear day, but watch out for mountain bikers on the route up.

[Great views of Stornoway from the coastal part of the grounds]

📌 Walk: Lews Castle grounds - Hebridean oasis ★★★
Start / finish at car park at Àird nan Laogh, Lews Castle grounds, half a mile northwest of Stornoway town centre, Lewis, G.R.: NB 419328 ///free.goose.florists. Alternative parking at Lews Castle.

▶ 5 km / 3 mi | ▲ 190 m | ⌚ Short | Easy
Features: Lews Castle grounds & coastline; △ Cnoc na Croich (66 m); Matheson memorial; Lews Castle & Museum nan Eilean ★★★
Terrain: Clear tracks (tarmac and dirt) and paths. Ascent to Cnoc na Croich shares a mountain bike trail.

Route & map

Car park - Bàgh Beag - track junction near Eilean Grìoda - Cnoc na Croich - track junction to west - Matheson memorial - Lews Castle & Museum nan Eilean - descent to coast - start

Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track
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On our visit

Wildlife: Birdsong, rabbits.
Weather: Sunny with temperature in mid teens, gentle cooling breeze.

Chronological photo guide

[View from the car park]

[Coastal views]


[View back to Stornoway]


[Great views of Stornoway from the coastal part of the grounds]


[Looking south from near Eilean Grìoda]

[Flowering gorse on the inland section of the circuit]

[Cnoc na Croich]

[View over Lews Castle (left) and the Bayhead River mouth from Cnoc na Croich]

[Stornoway from Cnoc na Croich]

[Looking inland from Cnoc na Croich]

[Matheson memorial]

[Woodland path]

[Lews Castle from below]

[Return to the car park]


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