Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The traditional cottages at Gearrannan are a vestige of an earlier age, a reminder of Hebridean heritage that is almost lost. Nine cottages have been preserved, and turned into a combination of a heritage museum and traditional accommodation, using traditional building methods and tools.
The blackhouses were inhabited until 1974 when the last inhabitants moved into modern housing. For a time the cottages stood empty and began to fall into decay. But a local group stepped in to restore the blackhouses and preserve the heritage of a way of life that was in danger of disappearing forever.
You might be forgiven for thinking that the cottages at Gearrannan are medieval - indeed, they look as if they could be - but in fact, they date to the late 19th century. Within several cottages are examples of the sort of activities the inhabitants would have turned their hand to, including weaving looms.
As you might expect, the interiors are simply furnished, especially by modern standards, but they give a wonderful glimpse into a way of island life that must have changed very little over centuries of settlement here.
There is a useful museum on site, and a cafe and shop. There are frequent demonstrations of traditional skills, including weaving, butter making, spinning, baking, and other crofting skills.
From Gearrannan there are coastal walks in both directions, and leaflets detailing the routes are available in the onsite shop. As of this writing, Gearrannan is open 6 days a week from April through September. If you fancy a longer stay you can book self-catering or hostel-style accommodation.
The location is truly magnificent, with marvellous coastal views, and the blackhouse cottages are really intriguing. For a different look at traditional Hebridean life, visit the Arnol Black House, also on Lewis.
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About Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
Address: Gearrannan, Carloway, Garenin, Isle of Lewis, Western Isles, Scotland, HS2 9AL
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: Signposted north of Carloway village off the A858. Gearrannan is on bus route W2.
Website: Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village Photos
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Dun Carloway Broch - 1.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Shawbost Norse Mill and Kiln - 3.4 miles (Museum)
Bostadh Iron Age House - 4.3 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Bernera Bridge Stone Circle - 6.4 miles (Prehistoric Site)
The Whalebone Arch - 6.5 miles (Historic Building)
Great Bernera Bridge - 6.5 miles (Historic Building)
Callanish Standing Stones - 7.1 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Arnol Black House - 7.9 miles (Museum)
Nearest Accommodation to Gearrannan Blackhouse Village:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Gearrannan Blackhouse Village. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.