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Loch Roag Guest House, 22a Breasclete, Isle of Lewis,
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Attractions

Explore The Outer Hebrides

The historical story of the Hebrides is a compelling tale of struggles and triumphs spanning the 8000 years since the last ice age. This story is not just told in books, but can be seen first hand at some of the best preserved historical sites in the country. Some of these you will know about, like the Calanais Stones and the Broch at Doune Carloway, but there are sites which have only recently been developed which are essential visits like the Iron Age Village at Bostadh and The Gearrannan Blackhouse Village. These sites provide a physical link with the past from the first people who started to farm the land some 5000 years ago, up to those who worked the land in the last few hundred years.

Of course the most impressive and famous of the sites are the Calanais Stones. Set on top of a hill the stones overlook the villages of Calanais and Breasclete and the moorland beyond. Within sight of the main site are many other stone circles, some of which would be famous in their own right if it weren’t for their close proximity to the Calanais site.

The stones were built at a time of warmer climate and lower sea-level. Woodland and scrub grew in sheltered valleys and there was no sign of the peat which would eventually cover everything. The surrounding seas were abundant with fish and shellfish and the land would have been ideal for cultivation. Out of these ideal conditions a strong and advanced community developed.

Today a visit can be combined with lunch at the nearby Calanais centre. The centre includes an interpretation area, café and shop. If however your staying at Loch Roag Guest House, only 2 miles from the stones, we would recommend visiting the stones at dawn or dusk. Not only are the stones best viewed in these conditions but your not going to get a bus load of tourists interrupting the peace and quiet.

Jumping forward a couple of thousand years brings you to the recently excavated Iron Age village and Reconstructed Iron Age House at the lovely beach at Bostadh. This complex of houses was revealed after a particularly powerful storm eroded away the sand which had covered the site for hundreds of years. The ground plan of the excavated structures has been preserved and a full scale replica make this site well worth a visit.

Doune Carloway BrochAround the same time brochs started to appear around Scotland. These served as defensive forts for the surrounding community to shelter from attack by aggressive neighbours. They started to have a much more important role once the Vikings started invade the islands about 1000 years ago.

One of the best preserved in the country can be found at Doune Carloway just 5 miles down the road from Loch Roag Guest House. Parts of the outer walls rise to nine metres and inside you’ll find chambers and stairways to explore. A recently added interpretative centre adds greatly to visiting the site.

Travel a few further miles down the road and you’ll reach the recently restored Gearrannan Blackhouse Village. The blackhouse was how people in the Highlands and Islands lived up until the first half of twentieth century. Settlement in the village has been traced back well over 300 years, during which the sights, sounds and people of Gearrannan encapsulated traditional island lifestyle. The houses were constructed of walls of double thickness which were built of stone and turf and topped with thatched roofs.

Visitors to the village can wander around the streets and view how the houses blend into the landscape around them. There is a café in one of the house in which you can relax during your visit. The restored village also includes a working house and croft.

 

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Loch RoagTestimonials

Three of us stayed in this guest house, staying in a double and a single room. The owner greeted us at the front door and showed us to our rooms. The rooms were very roomy and bright with lovely views across the Loch, and the comfiest beds of our (4 day) trip. Breakfast in the morning was particularly good, with all of us (including two vegetarians) going away happy with full stomachs.

We're already making plans to return...

tluamiani , Trip Advisor

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