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The Blackhouse

42, Arnol, Arnol HS2 9DB, Scotland
+44 1851 710395
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Occupied until 1964!

The blackhouses were the homes of rural people in the north of Lewis until as recently as 1964... read more

Reviewed yesterday
293gillianc
,
Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
Very atmospheric place.

My wife and I really enjoyed our visit here. The staff at the office were very helpful and the... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Robert K
,
St Andrews, United Kingdom
Read all 490 reviews
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Overview
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Gain a unique insight into island life at no. 42 Arnol. This traditional, fully furnished thatched house once sheltered a family and its animals under the same roof. The ruined blackhouse at no. 39 can also be seen, together with the 1920s ‘white house’ that replaced it. White houses – in which a wall separated byre and dwelling – replaced many blackhouses around this time. Gaelic-speaking members of staff are usually on hand to answer queries about the crofting life on Lewis. Smell the peat smoke – even today the fire at the heart of the blackhouse is never allowed to go out. Peek inside the cosy box-beds in the bedroom, still complete with their original fabrics and furnishings. See the byre just as it was left in 1966, only without the cows. Imagine how living in the white house would have compared to life in the Blackhouse.
  • Excellent65%
  • Very good29%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“peat fire” (74 reviews)
“black house” (40 reviews)
“across the road” (21 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
42, Arnol, Arnol HS2 9DB, Scotland
CONTACT
Website
+44 1851 710395
Write a ReviewReviews (490)
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All reviews
"peat fire"
in 74 reviews
"black house"
in 40 reviews
"across the road"
in 21 reviews
"historic scotland"
in 11 reviews
"step back in time"
in 10 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 28 reviews
"interesting visit"
in 7 reviews
"ticket office"
in 7 reviews
"eye opening"
in 6 reviews
"visitor center"
in 4 reviews
"guide book"
in 4 reviews
"answer questions"
in 4 reviews
"hard life"
in 4 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 5 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 6 reviews
"small museum"
in 8 reviews
"island life"
in 9 reviews
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1 - 10 of 444 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

The blackhouses were the homes of rural people in the north of Lewis until as recently as 1964. They are built of stone and peat, have no fireplace or chimney, no plumbing or water supply, very dark inside. An insight into a bygone age. Many...More

1  Thank 293gillianc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 days ago

My wife and I really enjoyed our visit here. The staff at the office were very helpful and the Blackhouse itself was a fascinating building. There was a peat fire in the middle of the floor and it just looked so authentic. It gave us...More

Thank Robert K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

Learnt about the Blackhouse and Whitehouse. Inside smelt a bit smoky but was extremely interesting and worth the money

Thank WiggyofIpswich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Really enjoyed our visit - very interesting. Would have liked to see a bit more information in the house itself but there was a chap demonstrating the loom who was happy to answer questions

Thank Jasmine101Surrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2018

Really enjoyed the insight provided by this Blackhouse (although not so much the smell which lingered on our clothes for days!).

Thank Fiona M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2018

Great care has been taken to give the visitor a real sense of life in a Blackhouse, without too much visible..." don't touch that" etc. The atmosphere was memorable.. and staff were informative and helpful.

2  Thank Andy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2018

The site is just fascinating, the staff friendly and helpful ,with the site well laid out. The road down to it must present queuing challenges later in the year, but in April it was straightforward and easy. It is in a lovely location and you...More

Thank gerrymac2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2018 via mobile

We preferred this site to the Blackhouses at Gearannan in many regards. The house is preserved authentically and we very much appreciated the peat fire. The ruin was also very interesting to see as was the more modern white house. As ever, the experience is...More

Thank Tista C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2018

A must see place. But I suggest to have waterproof boots on and a jacket what you don't mind to be a wee bit smoky, as the fire is on in the house. Public transport from Stornoway is fine and cheap.

Thank kapormag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2017 via mobile

The trip to the the Blackhouses was lovely. The scenery getting there os gorgeous and the little villages are picture perfect. The actual houses were very cool and it was interesting to compare to other similar housing forms. Worth a visit.

1  Thank nortonlauren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
chary193
21 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from jon0269 | Reviewed this property |
I think you would be hard pushed to see all the sites on Lewis and Harris with a day visit to Stornaway. I suggest that if you want to make the most of your visit including The Black House, Calanais and the other sites, one... More
0
Votes
Caroline S
16 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from nortonlauren | Reviewed this property |
We hired a small car when we arrived at the airport. It was the best decision that we made as it gave us the freedom to pop in and out of any of the attractions as well as just random places that caught our eye.
0
Votes
Monica H
24 April 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from OldBlueBird | Reviewed this property |
It is worth exploring this area as you will see the Blackhouses, not far away and open.....an iron age village and wonderful beach... The Standing stones Callanish are a must! If you have time and are driving start at the... More
-1
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