Lews Castle


There's something to enjoy every day at Lews Castle. Explore the new Museum nan Eilean and see the famous Lewis Chessmen or our new exhibition commemorating the loss of HMY Iolaire, stop for a bite to eat at the Storehouse Café, enjoy a woodland adventure in the grounds, or find that perfect gift in the Outfitters Shop.


Museum nan Eilean & Tasglann nan Eilean

  • 1 April to 30 September: 10am until 5pm (Mon-Weds, Fri-Sat)
  • 1 October to 31 March: 1pm until 4pm (Mon-Weds, Fri-Sat)
  • The Archive Reading Room is available by appointment from 10:00 until 17:00 every weekday.

Lews Castle, Storehouse Café & Whisky Bar

  • 8.30am until 11pm (Sun-Thurs)
  • 8.30am until 1am (Fri-Sat)


An Iolaire – The Iolaire: Exhibition now open

The Iolaire was carrying hundreds of Royal Naval Reserve members who had been granted leave to visit their loved ones on Lewis, Harris and Berneray. The vessel foundered on rocks close to Stornoway harbour resulting in the deaths of 201 of the 280 men on board.

The new exhibition ‘An Iolaire – The Iolaire’ examines the circumstances of the disaster, its immediate impact and the long-term effects on the people of the Outer Hebrides.

Objects on show include a life preserver belonging to the youngest survivor, Donald Maciver of North Tolsta, medals awarded to John Finlay Macleod of Ness whose bravery in carrying a heaving line ashore saved dozens of lives, and a panel from the Great Tapestry of Scotland commemorating those lost.

Documents from Tasglann nan Eilean collections are also on display, showing the donations which came in from around the world, how they were disbursed to those in need, and the ongoing suffering of the local population.

All images ©Isobel Martin unless otherwise stated