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Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean (Stornoway)

Museum nan Eilean (Lews Castle) is reopening on Tuesday 15 May , we can’t wait to welcome you back!

A timed booking system has been introduced to ensure that we can safely manage numbers and maintain physical distancing. Please book a timed entry ticket in advance of your visit.

Please be mindful of the restrictions in place for your local area and adhere to Scottish Government guidelines. To comply with these guidelines and to help us with NHS Scotland's Test and Protect, we are currently unable to accommodate groups that are from more than 4 household, so please book up to ten tickets for yourself, and other members of your household, and a maximum of 3 other households only. Please make sure you have booked a ticket for every member of your group, including children under five years of age.

Visiting safely

A range of new safety measures have been put in place in line with Scottish Government guidelines. This includes pre-booked timed entry, face coverings, enhanced cleaning, screens, hand sanitising stations and one-way routes in certain areas of the museum where physical distancing is not possible.

We want you to have a safe and enjoyable visit. During your visit, we ask you to please:

  • Keep your distance from others visitors and staff
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided
  • Wash your hands often
  • Follow the directional signage
  • Please use card payments if possible for donations
  • Face coverings must be worn by visitors over 5
  • Do not visit the museum if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Covid-19

We also need to collect your name, contact number and the date and time of your visit to support the NHS Scotland’s Test & Protect service and we may share this information with the service up to 21 days following your visit.


Museum nan Eilean is part of the Heritage Service for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Outer Hebrides local authority) .

Our collections and information are held in trust for the community now and in the future.

The heritage of the Outer Hebrides encompasses:

  • Collections of museum artefacts and archives
  • Intangible cultural heritage - stories, traditions and genealogy – intrinsically connected with the Gaelic language
  • The historic environment

We have two museum venues - one in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis**. The archive (Tasglann) is also within this museum complex beside Lews Castle.

Exciting galleries look at the stories of the Islands and Islanders. Visitors can:

  • discover how the distinctiveness of the Outer Hebrides is shaped by a unique combination of land, sea and people
  • hear details about different people’s lives; the diversity of experience, opinion and perception of living life on an Island
  • examine how people have lived and worked from the earliest times to the present day and how their culture is expressed through the Gaelic language, religion and community life

Significant loans from National Museums Scotland and the British Museum, including the world-famous Lewis Chessmen, sit alongside unique objects from the Comhairle’s collection which set the modern culture of the Islands in their historic context.

The ground floor of neighbouring Lews Castle has been restored to its Gothic Revival grandeur, and as well as the carefully renovated rooms, visitors can enjoy the Storehouse café and Outfitters shop run by Together Travel.

** Our other museum in Benbecula is still currently closed as it is located within a school building in Lionacleit.