Valasay Cottage, 24b Valasay, Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis, HS2 9NB
Offering a truly unique Idyllic Self Catering Holiday on the Isle of Lewis. Valasay Cottage sits close to the water on the Isle of Great Bernera – close to the famous Callannish Standing Stones, on the popular West Coast. The Cottage enjoys all modern self catering Luxury, including Log Fire and Central heating.
Set in mature gardens with a variety of herbs and fruit, Valasay Cottage is a traditional style self-catering cottage that operated as a croft for generations. The cottage is located in the small hamlet of Valasay on the island of Great Bernera (Beàrnaraigh Mòr) also known as “Bernera” in the Western Isles, Hebrides, Scotland. Valasay Cottage enjoys an elevated picturesque setting with spectacular Atlantic sea views. The cottage is reached by crossing a footbridge over Tob Bhalasaigh (Valasay Bay / Cove) with free Car Parking. Tob Bhalasaigh is designated as a priority site of special scientific interest as a sheltered lagoon with a rare mixture of seaweeds only found in this unusual mix of salt and fresh water. Otters are frequently seen, both in the Tob and along the seashore.
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Great Bernera and the Isle of Lewis
Great Bernera lies in Loch Roag on the north-west coast of Lewis and is connected to Lewis by a single-lane road bridge built in 1953. The bridge was, at the time, the first pre-stressed concrete bridge in Europe. The island’s name is Norse in origin as are many other names in the district, due to the extensive Norse settlement. The island was once owned by Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees, a former United Kingdom Queen’s Herald, and who is said to have been the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s character “James Bond”. The title deeds for Valasay Cottage contain Robin’s signature!
To the west, the views of Riof sands and the intervening islands are unforgettable. Valasay Cottage is ideally located for access to the Great Bernera Walk which is an easy going 7.5 mile circular route situated in the north west of the island and boasts fantastic scenery, sea lochs, moorland, boats, wildflowers and birds bringing peace and tranquility. Sea Kayaking is recommended and is accessable from the end of the garden.
Local Area Information
The nearest village is Breaclete with a well-stocked store and there are timetabled mobile services such as butchers van, grocery van and fish van. There is also a bus service daily to Stornoway (with the exception of Sundays). Breaclete (Scottish Gaelic: Breacleit) is also home to a small museum. Since 1962, the island has been owned by Prince Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees, a former Queen’s Herald, who is recognised as Laird of Bernera. Bernera is also known for its Iron Age (or possibly Pictish) settlement at Bostadh, discovered in 1992 and now covered by sand to preserve it. A replica Iron Age house matching those now buried is sited nearby. The island was the location of the Bernera Riot, where crofters resisted the Highland clearances. The main industry on Bernera today is lobster-fishing, with a fish processing plant at Kirkibost. There are still some weavers but it is no longer one of the main industries. The island now boasts a museum, a shop, post office and also petrol pumps. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling owns a converted blackhouse on the island, and has ancestral connections with the area through his mother.
The nearest large town is the capital Stornoway (20 miles), which has shops, supermarkets, restaurants, swimming pool, Leisure Centre, cinema, doctor / vet and golf course. The Callanish standing stones (5 miles) Seaside, beachside and hillside walks…on your door step or just round the corner.
A further sample of the Isle of Harris beaches
Harris and Lewis are now easily reached via the “toll free” Isle of Skye road bridge and the Caledonian MacBrayne car ferry from Uig (Skye) to Tarbert (Harris). Throughout the year there is a 3 days a week return crossing and in the summer months there is a 6 days a week return crossing, including two very pleasurable Saturday crossings in each direction taking less than 2 hours.
The good news is this return journey now costs less than £50 each way for a car or 4 x 4 due to a new subsidy
“Advance booking recommended” Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries & Fares Please note there are no sunday ferries.
Welcome to Harris, Lewis and the Western Isles
The Outer Hebridean Islands of Lewis & Harris lie on the western edge of the British Isles, off the north west coast of Scotland. A holiday here gives a glimpse of a unique culture with its own language and traditions, influenced by Celtic and Viking settlers. A kaleidoscope of wild and wonderful windswept landscapes, The Callanish Stones, Harris Tweed and lilting Gaelic melodies evoke the freedom and timelessness of a bygone age. Harris and Lewis are a world apart from the Scottish mainland. Life goes on at an easy pace, city life urgency disappears and there is a wonderful feeling of freedom and peace. Harris and Lewis are beautiful islands of contrast with spectacular scenery and a unique unspoilt atmosphere. In the west are vast expanses of white sand whilst the north and east are rugged, rocky places The landscape is indented with hundreds of little lochs and on a clear day you can see over to the Isle of Skye.
Culture, Wildlife and Nature
The landscape and history of Harris, together with the hospitality of its people provide a wonderful escape from the pressures of modern life. With luck you may even see otters, seals, eagles or dolphins. Deer tend to keep to the high ground during the summer, there are many colourful wild flowers to be seen on the machair. The main town of Lewis is Stornoway, a busy ferry and fishing port with good shopping and restaurant facilities. Lewis and Harris have many places to visit of historic and archaeological interest, particularly the famous, spectacular 5,000 year old Standing Stones at Callanish and also the Rodel Church in South Harris.
Whether you see Harris on foot or from a bus or car “Always take a camera with you”
Activities on your Doorstep
There is so much to offer whether you enjoy walking, fishing, golf or just lying on a sandy beach. The scenery is magnificent and varied ranging from rugged rocky hills to gentle orchid strewn meadows, from mountainous sand dunes and unsurpassed beaches bordering blue green seas to Atlantic breakers on rocky coast lines.
The famous Harris tweed is made all over both Harris and Lewis. It can be bought in many of the islands’ shops and also direct from the weavers at Luskentyre or Plocrapool. For those without a car, one can hire bikes (01859 520319) or there is a very good bus service covering most of the island which is available Monday to Saturdays.
Golf courses are situated at Scarista and there is also an eighteen hole course in Stornoway.
For those interested in fishing, permits are easily available locally to fish for Salmon and Sea Trout, or better still try their luck for free in many freshwater lochs where wild Brown Trout abound and of course there is always the sea.
Fantastic Days out to the Isle of Lewis
The Callanish Standing stones
Very close by are the Callanish Stones situated near the village of Callanish. Dating from around 2000 BC, the 13 primary stones form a circle about 13 m in diameter, with a long approach avenue of stones to the north, and shorter stone rows to the east, south, and west (possibly incomplete avenues). The overall layout of the monument recalls a distorted Celtic cross. The individual stones vary from around 1 m to 5 m in height, with an average of 4 m, and are of the local Lewisian gneiss. The first written reference to the stones was by Lewis native John Morisone, who in c. 1680 wrote that “great stones standing up in ranks […] were set up in place for devotione”. The tallest of the stones marks the entrance to a burial cairn where human remains have been discovered. Pottery finds suggested a date of 2200 BC for the erection of the circle. It has been speculated, among other theories, that the stones form a calendar system based on the position of the moon.
The Gearrannan Black House village
This amazing gem is also closeby, the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village situated on the west coast of Lewis, next to an Atlantic Bay and surrounded by traditional crofting landscape. The restored village with some 21st century residents! has an authentic working museum within one of the restored cottages. The houses are built by drystone masonry with thatched roofs and are the last group of traditional dwellings to survive in Lewis, there is also a Museum cafe and shop on site.
Panorama of the black house village and interior images of a real black house
Port Ness and the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse
To the North of Lewis and well worth the day trip, is Port Ness and the Butt of Lewis after taking in the many amazing beaches and sandy coves on the journey there, you will reach in easy stages Port Ness and it’s lovely harbour and beautiful sandy beaches. 2 miles to the west of here you can also reach by safe tarmac track the “Butt of Lewis” point and lighthouse offering spectacular views out to the North Sea similar to those of Cape Wrath and Dunnet Head
Port Ness Harbour and views of the beaches, the Butt of Lewis and it’s lighthouse
Tarbert and Stornoway
There is also plenty to see and do in the small town and ferry port Tarbert, well stocked facilities ranging from Hairdressers, greengrocer, general store, post office, crafts stores and tourist information to fish and chip takeaway, tea rooms, restaurants and hotels.
Further afield is the principal town of the outer Hebrides Stornoway where you will find supermarkets, high street stores, restaurants, craft shops, banks, leisure centres and just about every other facility you would expect to find in a large town. Stornoway is a very busy fishing port with fresh fish landed by the hour, the town also has it’s own airport, 18 hole golf course, castle and gardens where you can often see seals and porpoises swimming in the harbour.
Tarbert Ferry port (Harris) and views of Stornoway, it’s castle and Harbour Stornoway Harbour
An evening in or out
Choose from wonderful evening views and sunsets from the comfort of your living room, to beachside strolls, this most Northern location guarantees very long summer evenings and very early sunrises. Eat in and take advantage of a well equipped kitchen, or eat out in the local Inn or Restaurant.
Isle of Lewis Cottage – Accommodation
Valasay Cottage, is accessed either from Stornoway via the Ullapool Ferry, or from Tarbert (where the Skye ferry arrives) and offers comfortable accommodation. The cottage is double glazed with total control electric heating throughout, its thick stone walls keeping the cold winters and oppressive summer heat waves away.
Living spaces all rooms are decorated and furnished with wood flooring throughout.
The traditional Crofting Kitchen with Dishwasher, Electric Cooker, Pod Coffee Machine, AGA Oven, Kettle / Toaster, Freezer, Fridge, Microwave, Dining Table, Fully-Equipped For Cooking and Dining. Other essentials such as glasses, crockery, cutlery and a corkscrew are also provided for your convenience.
The Living Room enjoys Solid Wood Flooring, Multi-Fuel Stove, Two Single Seats, One Double Couch, Coffee Table, Television, DVD player
CD Player, Bluetooth Portable Speaker, A Selection of Local Interest Books and Games
The Master Bedroom is newly furnished and carpeted with Double Divan Bed, Chest of Drawers, Bedside tables, Hairdryer and there is Generous Storage.
The Twin Bedroom is newly furnished and carpeted with 2 Full size Single Divan beds, Wardrobe, Chest of Drawers, Bedside Table.
The Family Bathroom has Bath, Shower, Wash Basin and W/C
Outdoor Living – Large Front Garden, Outdoor Seating, BBQ (Charcoal – Portable) Picnic Equipment Available (Flask, Picnic Rug, Local Interest Material) Portable Solar Powered Water Shower (Great For Taking to The Beach) Boogie Boards Available, Fishing Equipment Available
Laundry Room with Washing Machine / Dryer and Ironing Facilities
The best time to see the Northern Lights
One of the advantages of the cottages Northerly location and the absence of street lamps presents regular sightings of the Northern lights “Aurora Borealis”. With good timing you have a good chance of experiencing one of the world’s most magnificent natural phenomena: the Northern Lights. The Northern night sky dancing with red, yellow, green, blue and violet streamers, arcs and rays. The best time to see the Northern lights is in the months of October, November, December and January between 10 pm and 3 am. If you don’t see the Northern Lights, then at least you’ll see the stars – many, many more than you’ll see from anywhere less remote. The longer you look up, the more stars will appear!
Owners Direct Website for – Valasay Cottage, Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis – Listed since 2016
Lowest Season Weeks £330, Highest Season Weeks £560
Hire charges only include all Heating, Electricity, Towels and Bedding.
Pet Friendly – Yes this cottage is pet friendly by prior arrangement only, 1 clean well-behaved Pet is welcome. A supplement of just £10 per booking is required, please ask for further details.
Telephone Enquiries 09:00am to 22:30pm – 0345 319 1045 / 07885 211787