Random thoughts from Pencefn

…. an engineer, singer and photographer living in Scotland

Hebridean Hopscotch Day 2: Ullapool to Stornoway – 7 July 2011

Leave a comment

The Ferry Boat Inn at Ullapool

The Ferry Boat Inn at Ullapool


Day 2 of our Hebridean Hopscotch dawned sunny, and early. We had been staying at The Ferry Boat Inn. Our room looked south east down Loch Broom and the morning sun was glinting of the water.

Morning Summer Sun on Loch Broom

Morning Summer Sun on Loch Broom

After breakfast, we had around 45 minutes to pack the car and move it down to the check-in for the ferry. Whilst packing the car the Coastguard tug Anglian Sovereign came into the harbour. At around 09:50, MV Isle of Lewis approached the peir.

MV Isle of Lewis in Loch Broom

MV Isle of Lewis in Loch Broom

Our first ferry of our holiday. Compared to our experience of the loading of the Arran ferry MV Caledonian Isles, the loading took longer, to ensure the vehicles were loaded in the most appropriate manner. We were on the mezzanine deck

Loaded vehicle deck on MV Isle of Lewis

Loaded vehicle deck on MV Isle of Lewis

Although the vehicle deck was full, there was plenty of room in the passenger areas. We found some seats in the recliner area, just behind the observation lounge. A quick visit to the Coffee Cabin for tea/coffee set us up with hot drinks. Whilst still in Loch Broom, the voyage was calm. Outside, there were some nice views of the hills either side. However once we were in The Minch, the ship started to roll more, and I found that a motion sickness remedy was needed. The voyage across the Minch was mostly dry and sunny, however there were some nice cloud effects, and at one point thee was a brief shower of rain.

Eilean a' Chrotaich off the Eye Peninsula

Eilean a' Chrotaich off the Eye Peninsula

The approach to the Isle of Lewis was heralded by views of the Eye Peninsula, with some of the rocky outcrops, including Eilean a’ Chrotaich. On the approach into Stornoway Bay on the right side was the site of the wreck of HMS Iolaire and on the left the lighthouse at Rubha Airnis.

MV Muirneag at Stornoway

MV Muirneag at Stornoway

On the hill above the inner harbour is Lews Castle, which we had a closer look the following day. First thing we did upon leaving the ferry was find or hotel for the next two nights – The Cabarfeidh Hotel – located to the north of Stornoway where the roads north to the Butt of Lewis and south to Harris part company.

After checking in and sorting out our luggage, we headed out to the Eye Peninsula to the east of Stornoway. To get there it required heading back to the harbour and then onto the airport and the a narrow isthmus. The first location was the end of the road at Port nan Giuran on the north west side of the peninsula, and the first siting of a decorative boat display.

Decorative boat display at Port nan Giuran

Decorative boat display at Port nan Giuran

Retracing our steps we then headed to the north east point at Tiumpan. One of the Isle of Lewis lighthouses is located here.

Tiumpan Head Lighthouse

Tiumpan Head Lighthouse

Tiumpan Head Lighthouse has been in operation since 1900. Designed by David Stevenson the lighthouse was staffed by a Principal Lighthouse Keeper and two assistants, with their families, until 1985 when the lighthouse was automated.

Returning to Stornoway, the next stop was the location of the HMS Iolaire.

Memorial to the HMS Iolaire

Memorial to the HMS Iolaire

In the early hours of 1 January 1919 HM Yacht Iolaire floundered on the rock in the entrance of Stornoway Bay. Of the 284 on board, 205 perished. Many owed their lives to John F MacLeod who managed to get ashore with a line along which over 30 survivors managed to get ashore. As well as the memorial, a marker is on the rocks where the yacht ran aground.

Looking back towards Stornoway, the War Memorial for the town in seen on the hill to the north of the town.

In the evening we went to HS-1 Cafe Bar for an evening meal. Although busy, we were able for to get a table, and enjoyed the food so much, made a booking for the following evening.

  • The Cabarfeidh Hotel
  • HS-1 Cafe and Bar
  • Wikipedia article on the HMY Iolaire
  • More pictures from Day 2 of the Hebridean Hopscotch holiday
  • More pictures of MV Isle of Lewis
  • More pictures of MV Muirneag
  • Author: Stewart

    An instrumentation engineer who enjoys photography and singing. Working in the West of Scotland; a member of St Mary's Cathedral Glasgow and Southwark Cathedral; and a volunteer guard/signalman on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s