Britain 09 - Day 26
Our last day on Lewis, before we caught the afternoon ferry back to the mainland at Ullapool. We checked out of the hotel and headed back across to the west coast of Lewis then north to the far corner - the Butt of Lewis. Here we visited the lighthouse, the small church of St Molag and another large standing stone, before returning to Stornoway for lunch. Then we joined the queue for the ferry and travelled back to Ullapool, where I had booked a room at the same B&B that we had stayed at back in 2003.
The Butt of Lewis
The road north meanders past several small settlements and crofter's cottages, before reaching the settlement of Port Nis. Here there is a small harbour enclosed by high walls. The tidal range here is high and the harbour was empty of water on our visit. We then proceeded to visit the lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis proper, the northern-most point on Lewis. The surprising aspect of the lighthouse is not that the tower is built of bricks, but that is a dark red colour, whereas most lighthouses are painted white for visibility (but I suppose this one has a light for that....).
St Molag's Church
Close to the lighthouse, standing in the middle of crofter's fields, is the small church of St Molag. There is a narrow path across the field to reach the church. The building has several unusual features - a large Celtic Cross at the door and a double "squint" through two sets of walls so the unclean and very unclean can sit and watch the service without infecting each other.
The Standing Stone at Clach an Truiseil
A short drive off the main road is a small carpark and path leading to this solitary standing stone. It is reputed to be the tallest standing stone in Scotland. The purpose of the stone is unknown, but the accepted theory is a marker post for the adjacent sheltered bay. Set on a high point, the stone would be easily visible from several miles out to sea.
Lunch at Stornoway then onto the ferry to Ullapool
We returned to Stornoway as did the rain. With less than an hour for lunch, we headed for the Coffee Pot cafe in Kenneth Street, near the main shop adn close to a car park. It was an interesting experience, with locals coming and going. The young waitress was bored with the whole business, and answered "Yep!!" to all questions..... Then we drove around to the ferry terminal and joined the long queue of escapees waiting for the arrival of the ship, the Isle of Lewis. The journey from Stornoway to Ullapool was calm and uneventful, and we arrived just on dusk.
Ullapool and accommodation problems
We arrived in Ullapool in the early evening, just as the last of the sun was leaving the far hills. I had booked a room at the Ladysmith B&B, the place we had stayed at back in 2003. At that time we had found the owner very accommodating and the B&B warm and comfortable. I had no hesitation in booking it again. So I emailed, found the family room was available and received an email confirmation of my booking. So we were somewhat surprised and disappointed to arrive and be told that they had never heard of us, and that they could not possibly have confirmed the booking as they had been booked out for all of that week for the reunion of the family across the road. After a brief debate, the owner announced that the hotel around the corner "happened to have their family room vacant - the only room left in town". How convenient we thought - as if it had been booked some time previously. But there was no point arguing, so around to the Argyll Hotel we went. And we had an enjoyable night there too - possibly better than if we had stayed at the Ladysmith B&B - which of course we will not be doing ever again, or recommending them to anyone else either. Shame really, it was a nice B&B - once!
Last updated: 26/06/2017