Welcome to Stornoway Airport
The main airlink to the Isle of Lewis, famous for original Stornoway black pudding, dramatic scenery, white sand beaches and rich history
Stornoway airport is located on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and is only four miles from Stornoway town on the east coast of the island. The airport provides a key access point to the Western Isles, with flights from Inverness, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow as well as inter-Island services. Roughly 130,000 passengers pass through the terminal each year.
Stornoway was originally a Viking Settlement and developed around its well sheltered natural harbour. Today the harbour hosts a fishing fleet, a small marina and three larger piers for commercial traffic.
One of the most famous products from Stornoway is the Stornoway Black Pudding which is regarded as one of the top gourmet black puddings within the United Kingdom. Hebridean Brewing Company produces cask ale and filtered beer in bottles and is the only legal alcohol producer in the Western Isles at present. However, a distillery has commenced whisky production in the district of Uig and this will be ready for consumption in 2011.
Within the centre of Stornoway some of the streets have been pedestrianised and provide good access to an interesting range of shops and restaurants. The local arts centre based at the waterfront offers interesting exhibitions, live music and events, with creative workshops and a shop. You can view the local and varied art exhibitions, stop for a coffee in the cafe or a meal in the restaurant which overlooks the harbour.
Other places to visit within easy reach of the airport are The Shawbost Folk Museum, Callanish Standing Stones and some of the Harris Tweed outlets. For the latest information on what to see and do within the area, please visit our Visitor Guide within the Stornoway airport pages.
Not everywhere is open on Sundays on the islands – please check with local information for what is available for planning your journey.
History of Stornoway Airport
In 1934, the first service to Stornoway by air was operated., However, the association with the RAF goes back to 1928, when a Southampton flying boat of 210 Squadron touched down in Stornoway harbour. This was followed by several other visits over the years by service flying boats as, at the time, there was no landing ground for wheeled aircraft on the island.
The first flight to land on the island was undertaken by the aviation pioneer Capt. E.E Fresson on the 8th March 1934, utilizing the golf links at Melbost, just outside Stornoway and near the present day site of Stornoway airport. Proper grass runways were only completed in August 1939, with the intention of opening regular commercial flights to Inverness. With the outbreak of war with Germany in September 1939, this did not come to fruition. However, Scottish Airways, formed by Fresson and others to operate to the islands, were used by the Air Ministry during the war to fly communication flights to Stornoway.
After opening officially in 1937, the airport was taken under military control in 1941. During the period 1986 – 1993 the airport was used as a NATO Forward Operating Base for Air Defence aircraft protecting the fleet, being taken over by the military for 6 weeks a year.
More Tourist Information
For the latest tourist information, what is on and places to visit and accommodation please visit our Visitors Section within Stornoway airport. Or contact the local tourist board on www.visithebrides.com or www.visitscotland.com.