The stunning Scottish countryside and our natural heritage inspires our ideas and designs, so where better to visit than the island of Lewis & Harris in the Outer Hebrides. We spent an amazing 4 days there taking in as much as we could of the islands, the culture and the cloth they produce that we love so much, Harris Tweed. We have tried to put our trip into words and pictures but only seeing it with your own eyes can really do it justice!
Friday 28th June 2013
Flight at 7am from Glasgow to Stornoway. A short smooth flight with a coffee and a Tunnock’s caramel wafer!
Arrived at Stornoway Airport, catching a fleeting glance of the beach as we landed, which has 2 doors – Arrivals and Departures – no long wait for your bags here! Picked up our 4×4 for the weekend, this is a very long story in itself, the moral of which is – Do not use Stornoway/MacKinnon Car hire. We then stopped in Stornoway town to grab a quick coffee and muffin for breakfast, and popped into the tourist information office to buy some maps (our favourite!)
Jenny at the Harris Tweed Authority had very kindly arranged for us to have a tour of the Harris Tweed Mill in Carloway at 1030am, so off we went across to the West side of the island. The first thing that hit us was the familiar smell of the tweed, and the buzz of the working mill. DK was our guide for the tour around the mill and what a thoroughly nice fella he was. He explained the whole process to us, from the 100% pure virgin wool arriving to the finished cloth being proudly stamped with the famous ‘Orb Mark’, and showed us all the machinery involved. It was a fantastic insight into the huge amount of work that goes into creating the big cloth.
Being on the West side of the island we took the opportunity to visit some sights on the way back to the B&B. First stop was the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, which is a restored traditional crofting township. This is an amazing place which has been very carefully kept just as it was left when the final residents left in the 1970’s.
Next was the famous Standing Stones of Callanish, there have been many theories explored as to the meaning of these 5000 year old stones and their positioning, however we think that the sheer might of the construction and beauty of the Lewisian Gneiss was inspiring enough without knowing what the reason is for them being there.
After an action packed morning we headed back over to Marbhig on the East of Lewis to get settled in to our home for the weekend, Planasker Old School. We had obviously looked at photos and reviews of the accommodation before booking, however on arrival our expectations were far exceeded. Driving along the winding single track road through an almost other worldly landscape, with some very colourfully tagged sheep dotted around, we eventually caught sight of the white building set into the hills just on the edge of Loch Mharabhig, awesome! We were warmly welcomed by our host Heather, who provided fresh coffee and cake by the fireplace while we got our luggage from the car. This accommodation is second to none, just perfect in every way.
We went to the ‘local’ Loch Erisort Inn for some dinner, freshly caught langoustines, yum! We then chased the sunset back to Marbhig and enjoyed a glass of port by the fire that was waiting for us when we got back. Euphoric!
to be continued…….