Summer 2022: Great Bernera and Butt of Lewis

Great Bernera

Two of the walks we did on Lewis were outside our local area of Uig. Great Bernera is an island just to the east of Uig, reached by a short bridge. The Butt of Lewis is its most northerly point.

Great Bernera (Beàrnaraigh)

Our walk began in Breacleit where there is a community café. We hoped to start with a morning coffee but, sadly, it was shut, so off we went in an undercaffeinated state.

We headed up the west coast of the island, a rocky landscape with several small lochs. Sites included a house with definite potential and a stone-built lobster pool.

As we approached the north of the island we walked down Bostadh Glen where there is a reconstructed Iron Age house. This was open, but as a large party on a guided walk had just arrived, and it is a small house, we decided to give it a miss.

Bostadh Iron Age House

We spent time exploring the beautiful beach you can see behind the house above. The bell is part of an art project, Time and Tide, one of 12 bells installed around Britain to be rung by high tides.

From Bostadh, we walked back to Breacleit by road. The monument commemorates the Bernera Riot of 1874, part of the campaign for security of tenure that eventually resulted in the Crofters’ Act. It was erected in 1992 using stones from every croft on the island. We made some new friends at a roadside “Honesty Box” stall. I can’t remember if we bought any eggs from them, but we often do when we see them at road ends like this.

On the drive back, we stopped at the bridge back onto mainland Lewis – or rather, the two bridges. The original single-track road bridge, known locally as The Bridge Over The Atlantic, was opened in 1953 following pressure from local communities who had threatened to blow up rocks and create their own causeway if they didn’t get their way. By 2020 this bridge was in danger of crumbling away and was no longer suitable for heavy vehicles. A replacement was opened in December 2021 and the old bridge is now set out with picnic tables. Climbing above it, we explored some standing stones and a lovely view before resuming our journey home.

Butt of Lewis

Eòropaidh Beach

This glorious walk started from Eòropaidh Beach and followed the Ness Coastal Path to the Butt of Lewis lighthouse before returning by road. As is often the case in coastal areas, there was a sad monument to those lost at sea, in this case two fishing boat crews from 1885. The memorial was placed here in Cunndal Bay in 2010.

The walk round the cliffs was stunning.

Then the lighthouse started to come into view. Like most in Scotland it was constructed by the Stevenson family, in this case in 1862.

The Butt of Lewis also marks the end of the Hebridean Way which John completed on his bike in 2021, so he had to have his picture taken there again. I just did a bit of posing.

We continued round the coast past the sandy cove of Port Stoth to a small bridge out onto the sea stack of Dun Eistean, site of a late medieval fort traditionally known as the stronghold of Clan Morrison.

The route now took us back down the road to Eòropaidh where we looked (from the outside – it wasn’t open) at the tiny 12th century church of St Moluag’s before returning to our car.

This is my last Lewis post – after our week here we took the ferry back to the mainland to spend another night in Ullapool before heading east for the final leg of our tour: The Black Isle.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walk.


  1. Beautiful walks, although your new friends don’t seem very chatty. I love those tide bells, passing the one on Anglesey just a few days ago. I should have the full set by the time I finish my walk! 😀


  2. What a great way to use an old bridge that’s no longer safe for vehicle traffic! And I love what you consider a “house with potential.” My husband and I have rehabbed all our houses, but that one would have been a bit much even for us!


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