Lews Castle Grounds


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Sir James and Lady Matheson created the Lews Castle and its grounds over a period of seven years starting in 1847. The extensive grounds encompass 687 acres (278 hectares) of woodland and included the widest range of exotic flowers in Scotland at the time. The subsequent owner, Lord Leverhulme, gifted the property to the people of Stornoway in 1923.

Although the castle is temporarily closed to visitors due to the pandemic, the grounds remain open and are full of wonderful walking paths. On another sunny Stornoway day, we made a loop walk along the waterfront and up to Gallows Hill, the highest point in Stornoway, for great views to the area. The old roads through the grounds, mostly closed to vehicles, reminded us very much of the carriage roads in Acadia National Park in Maine.

Below are highlights from March 24th, 2021. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Low Tide
Low tide where the Bayhead River reaches the Stornoway inner harbour next to the Lews Castle grounds at left. The tidal range in Stornoway is quite large and can reach 18ft (5.5m) at maximum. Our neighbour the Tom Sanderson RNLI lifeboat, who normally rescues sailors at sea, recently had to navigate up here to rescue a person in the water near the bridge.
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Lews Castle
Passing 19th-century Lews Castle as we go for a walk on the grounds.
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Dirona
View to Dirona moored at the Stornoway inner harbour beside the RNLI lifeboat Tom Sandreson.
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Castle Harbour
Looking towards Lews Castle across a small harbour and launch ramp from the road leading along the shoreside of the castle grounds.
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Commercial Harbour
The Stornoway Commercial harbour viewed from the Lews Castle grounds. The fuel dock is at far left and the ferry dock is slightly right of center. The inner harbour where we are moored is around the corner to the left, out of the picture.
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Castle and Beyond
View north to Lews Castle and the isle of Lewis from Gallows Hill, the highest point in Stornoway. We walked along the road visible near the waterfront castle wall.
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War Memorial
The Lewis War Memorial, viewed from Gallows Hill. We walked out to this memorial two days ago.
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Gallows Hill
View to Stornoway from Gallows Hill. The hill is so-named because executions used to take place here.
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Isle of Lewis
Looking south across the Isle of Lewis from Gallows Hill.
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Castle Grounds
The Lews Castle grounds are full of roads, most closed to vehicles, reminding us very much of the carriage roads in Acadia National Park in Maine.
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Matheson Monument
Memorial to Sir James Matheson, who bought Lewis Island in the early 1800s and built Lews Castle and grounds. The memorial was erected by his widow in 1880, two years after his death.
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Matheson Bridge
The graceful Matheson Bridge over the Shoeburn creek also reminded us of the many bridges along the carriage roads in Acadia National Park in Maine.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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