Outer Hebrides: Stornoway

Stornoway is the capital and largest town of the Outer Hebrides (and the third largest on the outlying Scottish islands after Kirkwall and Lerwick – both visited in this trip). Stornoway felt the most picturesque and classic – fishing harbor filled with fishing boats, old houses, ancient Lews Castle, and several churches, all jammed together tightly and sprinkled with hole-in-the-wall bars serving whiskey and gin to over-inebriated locals. Stornoway was originally founded by the vikings back in the 9th century around a sheltered natural harbor. In mid 1500s, fishing and trade wars took a serious toll on the town, but Stornoway survived and remained a hub for mainly traditional Hebridean businesses – fishing, Harris tweed, and farming products. The traditional spirit and culture is visible and can be felt in the town’s atmosphere today.