Sailing The British Isles with Ed Buchholz on Cunard’s Queen Victoria | All About Stornoway, Scotland

Hosted Cruise – Cunard Queen Victoria – 12 Nights
June 7 – 19, 2020
British Isles

Port of Call – Stornoway, Scotland – June 12

Located in the Western Isles of Scotland is a fascinating town called Stornoway. With a history dating back many centuries, a beautiful setting and much to please the eye, Stornoway of Lewis is well worth a visit.

Stornoway is said to have begun as a Viking settlement that progressively grew in a lovely natural harbor. The town’s name is believed to come from the word ‘Stjornavgr’, which means “Steering Bay” in Norse. Sometime in the 1100s a castle was built proudly overlooking the town by the MacNicol family. Stornoway Castle was annexed by Leod, predecessor to the MacLeods of Lewis. The Middle Ages saw much fighting amongst Scottish clans and the MacLeod family was much despised by the government in Edinburgh. King James VI attempted to remove their influence in 1597, but did not succeed. In the 1600s the castle of Stornoway was crushed by forces led by Oliver Cromwell. The town came under control of the MacKenzies.

As time progressed, Stornoway town saw the rising of buildings, a port and other developments. In 1844 the area of Lewis, including Stornoway was bought by Sir James Matheson. Matheson was responsible for the construction of Lewis Castle. Then in 1918, Lewis was sold to Lord Leverhume.

Today, Stornoway is a popular tourist destination. A busy little town with a bustling harbor, visitors to Stornoway will have a delightful adventure. The town is a doorway to the island of Lewis and its many attractions dating far back in history. Stornoway itself offers sightseers plenty to view including the Stornoway Town Hall, Lewis Castle, the arts center and Lewis Loom Center. Many streets have been made available only for use by pedestrians. Around the town center, visitors will discover pleasant stores including those which sell Harris Tweed.

Located on the castle grounds you will find Stornoway Golf Club. Interestingly, this is the only golf course in the Outer Hebrides with 18 holes.

Top Attractions:

The Narrows:  Start in the centre of town and stroll these pedestrian streets.  There are plenty of shops to browse here, as well as pubs, butchers, the local art gallery, and the Stornoway Town Hall.  On a sunny day you could be mistaken for thinking you were somewhere more tropical, thanks to the brightly painted facades of the buildings!

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Lews Castle:  The Castle started life in the 1680s as Seaforth Lodge; it wasn’t until Sir James Matheson bought the land in 1840 that construction began on the building that we image004know today, using the fortune Matheson had amassed through his role in the opium trade. (In short, the Castle was basically built with drug money from China – how’s that for a bit of scandalous local history?)

Lord Leverhulme bought the island in 1918, modernizing the Castle further, before the building and the land surrounding it came into public ownership in the Twenties. Since then it’s been a WW II naval hospital, student accommodation, and even lain derelict. After extensive renovations, the Castle reopened this year, providing a home for the local museum, a café, shop, and the latest addition to the luxury accommodation line-up of Natural Retreats: it’s now a must-see on any visit to Stornoway.

Castle Grounds:  Outside the castle, you’ll find sprawling grounds that are ideal for taking a stroll.  You’ll find many people taking their dogs on woodland walks around the vast 270 hectares of trails and pathways that follow the River Creed as it winds its way down towards the mouth of the harbour. Listen for the sound of herons and if lucky, you will also spot seals in the waters.

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Museum Nan Eilean:  A modern extension built to the back of Lews Castle holds the Islands museum which, is funded by Western Isles Council (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar) among others. The museum offers an interactive insight into the culture, history and diversity of life for those living on the Islands, from prehistory to present day. The museum also features artifacts from history, some of the infamous Lewis chessmen, to more the current Nike and Vivienne Westwood tweed collaborations.

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Ready to dive in and join this amazing sailing through the British Isles?  Reach out to the team at UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel Group in Saskatoon at 306-242-TRIP today!

Bonnie Scotland with Correna – Part 2

Wow what a whirl wind trip!  We just spent the night in Edinburgh and are packing up to jump on the train to London.  We have seen so much and traveled a lot of miles – yes, I said miles ☺.  Did you know that in Scotland they use the metric system for most measurements except for miles and weight?  I think I would fit right in as I pretty much do the same.

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Does this castle look familiar?  You probably know it as Winterfell Castle in Game of Thrones or from scenes of Monty Python And The Holy Grail!

Since I last posted we have been through most of the Highlands.  Internet is pretty limited up there so if you are looking to unplug this could be the country for you!  We visited castles, met the Duke of Argyll, walked on battlefields and had many stories told to us. I would highly recommend that you do have a guide when you decide to visit Scotland, unless you are a historian.  We were given multiple history lessons every day.  We found out that just about everything that we thought was Scottish is not. From kilts, bagpipes and shortbread they did not originate in Scotland, curling yes.  Did you know that the xray, ultrasound and penicillin did originate in Scotland though?

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Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

 

For more of Correna’s photos from her time in Scotland, and photos from our other agents’ trips too check out our Instagram  @UniglobeYXE!

https://www.instagram.com/uniglobeyxe/?hl=en

 

 

 

 

Bonnie Scotland with Correna – Part 1

March 7 2017

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My plane finally appeared through the blizzard at YXE

 

What a stormy winter day, I am guessing that Mother Nature didn’t know that I was supposed to be leaving this morning for Scotland.  My flight was scheduled for 11:20 but since they were concerned with planes landing because of the wind we were delayed about an hour.

The flight from Saskatoon to Toronto was pretty uneventful.  I have never flown out of Toronto before for an international flight so I did walk around a bit before heading to the Maple Leaf Lounge.  By the way the tomato red pepper soup was delish!

 

This was a huge trip for me as I have never been across the Atlantic.  With all my traveling it just hasn’t happened before.  My flight from Toronto to London Heathrow wasn’t too bad; we did have quite a bit of turbulence but just shut your eyes and hang on.  I did get a bit of sleep which made the flight much better.  Since I have never been to the UK before, I had to get myself around Heathrow Airport.  It was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I had to transfer from terminal 2 to 5 but there were signs everywhere and I have no problems asking for help if I need it.  The flight from Heathrow to Glasgow was another story.  There was a problem with the fuel gauge so it took them just about an hour to get the all clear.  Since the flight was sold out, I had the lovely middle seat and we just sat and waited for the hour to get going. Oh, I just about forgot that there was a footy team on our flight so it was like peddle to the metal to get them to Glasgow to get to their game.  Again turbulence and not a happy tummy, on the bright side my ear problems weren’t an issue at all!

Harry Potter LHR

Of course I had to stop at the Harry Potter Shop in London Heathrow Airport! 

Joanne’s Collette Tour of Britain Part 2

The last 2 days have been very busy and chilly. Once we arrived in York we had a walking tour around the city. What a cute little city with lots of boutiques and restaurants. The Christmas market was on so we wandered through it. We had the choice tonight to attend a traditional Yorkshire dinner at a local pub. It was delicious!!

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Edinburgh Castle

On Nov 22 we departed by bus for Edinburgh, Scotland. The bus ride is about 4 hours. We stopped a few times so the ride didn’t seem too long. Once we crossed the Scottish border we hit snow. We drove through a snow storm for about 1 hour.  The drive is very curvy and it is like a roller coaster.  Yuck! I turned a few shades of green on that ride. We arrived in Edinburgh around 4 pm.  Edinburgh is a beautiful city and the hotel we are staying at is right in the centre of the city. There are lots of shops and restaurants in the area. We toured the Holyrood Palace and the Edinburgh Castle. Both were amazing!!  The rest of the afternoon and evening was free so we wandered around the city and did a bit of shopping. We toured the old city and the new city across the bridge by foot. We also wandered through the Christmas market here and sampled some traditional mulled cider to keep warm.  Tomorrow we are off two Ruthin, Wales to spend the night in a castle!!

Follow @UniglobeCarefreeTravel on Instagram for some great photos of all of our consultants’ travel experiences!