336km (209 miles) NW of Edinburgh; 343km (213 miles) NW of Glasgow
The most northerly of the Outer Hebrides -- and also the largest, at 100km (62 miles) long and 29 to 45km (18-28 miles) across -- Lewis is easily reached by ferry from Ullapool. The island was once known as Lews, or, more poetically, the "island of heather" -- the sweetness of the lamb raised here is said to come from their heather diet. Lewis and Harris form part of the same island, stretching for 153km (95 miles). Filled with marshy peat bogs, Lewis's landscape is relatively treeless, thanks in part to Norse raider Magnus Barelegs. He and his Viking warriors burned most of the trees, leaving Lewis as bare as his shanks.
Even though the whole world has heard of Harris tweed, it might as well be called Lewis tweed, because Stornoway, with a population of 5,000, has taken over the industry. Located on the eastern side of the island, Stornoway is the only real town in the Outer Hebrides; it's a landlocked harbor where you can see gray seals along with fishing boats. There are some 600 weavers on the island, and one of the attractions of this rather bleak port is visiting a mill shop or a weaver's cottage.