Welcome to the 27Garenin Blog

A very warm welcome to our Blog / News section.
This is where we will be posting general news and events that are happening around our holiday let 27 Garenin. Places to go, things to see and perhaps the occasional general gossip:) Drop us a line if you think there is anything we might wish to add.

If you are staying at 27 Garenin or just visiting our wonderful Isle of Lewis, we hope have a lovely stay.

Trip to St Kiilda 2


St Kilda houses

Cliffs of St Kilda

A few photographs of our day and the return journey was calmer. We had a cup of tea when back on board but a tip  - take a picnic and enjoy sitting in the old village reflecting on the bravery of the people who lived here and climbed these cliffs for sea birds. Eventually, The build up of toxicity with the sea birds used to fertilise the crofts, the outside world bringing illnesses and a declining population meant that the inhabitants asked to be re-settled on the mainland and on other islands.

It is a dual heritage site both archeologically and culturally. Quite a special place.

We finished our day with a fabulous meal at the Anchorage in the harbour at Leverburgh. Highly recommended 

Trip to St Kilda no 1


I have hoped to visit St Kilda for many years but never found the time to go. friends visiting were extremely keen so we managed it despite the weather not being very favourable. It is a 55 mile trip from the house to Leverburgh and then a 55 mile mile boat trip to St Kilda. Two companies organise trips - Sea Harris and St Kilda tours. We went with sea Harris but both are to be recommended

From the outset we were in luck and  saw a basking shark in the harbour at Leverburgh. The 3 hour trip was rough but we saw sea birds and views and the crew were attentive at pointing things out.

You have to go into a small dinghy to get into the harbour and this was not as difficult as it sounds  - no wet feet!

We had a short talk from the SNH warden explaining the island and what we could see and do and this was helpful. We visited the church and schoolroom first - very basic and typical of Scottish schoolrooms everywhere when the desire to have a school in every parish became a mission. I found out later that one of the schoolteachers had come from Garenin and his two aunts,came to look after him. He died in the small pox epidemic. My neighbour, who gave me this inof was related to the aunts and said she remembered her mother talking about Na Hirtochain and later they returned to live in Garenin on Lewis. So although for most people the island seems remote and travel must have been dangerous and lengthy, there was contact with the other islands in the Hebrides.

The museum is also worth a visit and the house are very well kept and some used for volunteers to stay  - there seems quite few of them on the island.

The only scar is the work and buildings of the Ministry of Defence but this is being remedied and eco friendly buildings established.

We chose to walk up the spine of the island and it is extremely steep but gives a great view of  the sheltered bay, all the sea cliffs and the amazing birds. they dive bombed us when we got to near their nests and we learned to walk with care or hit the ground if they got too close.  Waving walking sticks is very effective!

St Kilda has a small shop and we all sent postcards home. They took a week to arrive.


Changes for 2019


Winter is always a busy time with many maintenance tasks and changes. This year as promised we renovated the bathroom completely. It was finished on schedule the week before the season started in March. I am very please with it having dispensed with the bath and fitted a spacious shower complete with grab rail for safety. Everything looks more modern and there is much more storage space in the bathroom. We also changed the bathroom door and our plan is to replace all the doors in the house as our next major venture. Have a look at the pictures. 

i also bought a new cuddle chair,which I though would be larger but it's still a smart but of furniture and in the process met a very friendly and helpful supplier.  I have masses of books in the house and reluctantly dispensed with some to make room for a super new stowaway table giving more options for eating. We moved one bedroom around, bought new lamps,cushions,dishes,towels to ensure all is smartened up for the year ahead. The garden seat was brought up from the garage and we were ready to go.

i am also  planning to run a bespoke week at the end of September as a retreat week, which I will host. As my background is in social work and counselling and as Lewis is such a special and naturally healing environment it would be good to use the house for people looking to escape the pressures of a busy life. It has been my bolt hole for many years and proved a very therapeutic and restoring environment. More of this will follow on the website but I am open for business of anyone wishes to contact me to have a chat about my plans. They are flexible at the moment as i have a number of ideas of whet would work best but need to do some more research and this may involve trying different options. Delighted if people help me shape these weeks in this special place.

 I have a Facebook page and am trying to be proactive on this to let visitors know everything happening locally so check it out . i will also give Instagram a go this year so it would be great to receive all your photographs.



New bathroom planned


 Despite arriving in bad weather we found the house warm and comfortable and easy to heat up. We have not been busy in November  due to an unavoidable cancellation by one of our regulars so it is good to know that the house is very habitable in winter. We particularly enjoyed relaxing in the evenings in front of the open fire. 

 Our big project for next season is a completely new bathroom. Lots of trips to Stornoway to choose all the items  and arrange for the installation in February.We will take lots of photographs then but we were too busy with repairs and upgrading to take any this time.

The last morning was very still and calm leading to us arriving at the ferry and realising we had forgotten to turn off the water. Aaah.…. mad dash back to Garenin to turn it off just making the ferry. 

Our old garage, which we spend hours maintaining needed re-felting. This is a labour of love as we do now have the new shed.

So back up after Christmas to finish our bathroom project. 

Cycling in Lewis and Harris



There have been some great TV programmes and videos of cycling in the Outer Hebrides but this one is interesting as it shows the new cycling Hub in Stornoway, road biking, mountain biking and the delights of the new trails in the castle grounds. there is something for everyone. The Hebridean Way is proving the most popular but you can miss out on many small coastal places if you just wizz down the island.

I would recommend the new cycling hub in Stornoway. I popped in and was impressed with the equipment in the shop. Good cafe as well. I spoke to the guy there on a previous visit and he is willing to come across to the house to repair bikes for cyclists. Cyclists are welcome at our house and we have storage facilities for bikes.  As there are so many historical place near to our house, not to mention beaches and art galleries,it could make a nice cycling trip and the longer routes are also righ on your doorstep. i am quite happy to help with info on cycle hire.I cycle myself and still have a lot of exploring to do in the islands. I have done the Hebridean Way long before it was classified as such. 3 weeks of sunshine absolutely brilliant  - but that was on our second attempt.

Maintenance and renovating week


By this stage in the season there are always issues to resolve and renovations required at the house. This year I discovered my  very new washing machine had broken down as people have been washing single items and putting stress on the motor. So brand new machine being installed today and let's hope it lasts.

This spurred me on to look around the property and make a few changes. I bought new lamps and a new carpet for the living room. I also dismantled the bookcase and I should have taken photographs of me struggling to remove the old bookcase and put in a smaller one. I also sorted all the books and have another smaller bookcase in a bedroom. There is still lots of reading material but I also took 100 books to the charity shop. Sometimes when you rent a house a fresh eye is required to keep things interesting and relevant.

I also do like to listen and act on visitors comments and there have been a few about the bathroom recently - mainly because there had been a leak from the bath to one of the bedrooms. Two plumbers and a few discussions later I realised there is a fault in the plumbing. Rather than patching it up we are moving plans ahead a year and intend having a completely new modernised bathroom. Plans are ready to be approved so all very exciting. I often wonder what my family would make of this renovated house but for me its been an interesting project and great to see it still going strong. I should have photo record of all these changes but am usually too busy to take photographs.

The summer is stilll with us and I was still able to enjoy sitting outside in the early evening for a short time. I also had to schedule in dog walking so some lovely times on Dalbeag and Dalmore beaches with the dog. For the first time I noticed signs asking people to keep there dogs on a leash near livestock and I think there has been a problem with unsupervised dogs. I welcome dogs to the house but would ask all visitors to ensure they are properly under control in this fragile crofting area. The ground around the house is enclosed and I spend some time checking areas where dogs could get under the fence. I'll keep improving this.

My other project is starting to develop a garden. I have tried this unsuccessfully previously but I am defeated by the fact that I am not there enough in winter, However, I have now planted some sturdy and resilient bushes so will continue with this next year and look forward to developing some  sheltered areas.  

Superb week with endless sunshine and long nights Part 1


picnic basketGarenin




The picnic basket proved a real bonus as we used it on the beach at Garenin in the evenings. Check out the sunsets on Garenin beach. The sun dropped at about 9.30pm each night and was a really magical time. One night the mist rolled in very quickly as and quickly disappeared next day and we were back to glorious sunshine. The picnic basket is in the shed for guests to use.

The permanent daylight made the days seem very long and it was hard to work out the time. One morning I found myself out with the dog at 4.50am thinking it was morning. We both went back to bed briefly. I had put blackout blinds on two bedroom windows but not on the third so i will recifiy that on my next visit.     

The wonderful beaches of Dalmore and Dalbeag just a few miles from the house. There is a new gallery at Dalbeag and the owners have put seats around the headland for people to sit and enjoy the sounds of the sea and the seabirds. It's a very calming place. The waterlilies on the loch at Dalbeag are magical and Dalmore is so expansive you could walk on it all day.

Preparing for the season


Another trip to Lewis to spring clean the house and organise the new parking and the new shed . it is a great improvement to have the shed to accommodate the barbecue and beach items and to allow storage for walking boots, cycles, surf boards and dog equipment. We even bought a new dog crate. We are very keen on outdoor visitors as the area is perfect for activities and we are very much outdoor people ourselves.

We had great weather for the first few days of our visit, which was a bonus - very still with little wind. The end of the week was less favourable but still let us work outside to sow grass to improve the ground after the digger being in and to build up the ground around the new fence to ensure that dogs can not escape! Our regular visitors will appreciate the new parking as it makes access to the house much easier and better for those with disability issues. We have also moved the bins to the new parking area to assist visitors and to help with re-cycling, which is taken seriously on the island.

We also arranged for Tighean Innse Gall to visit to undertake the energy Performance certificate. Obviously a house built in 1951 has a big programme of suggested improvement to meet modern standards but we will keep developing our projects and making improvements to meet standards.

Great to find that the shop and café at Shawbost have re-opened and the Carloway Association is making great strides in developing the new school complex. We try to keep up to speed with all developments so that our folders of information are up to date for guests - another early season task.

Here are the photographs to show our progress.

Great new blog on eating in Lewis and harris



Lovely eye catching blog on eating in Lewis and Harris. People don't always expect the island to offer such good culinary experiences but I have noticed over the years that standards are rising. There are lots of other places not mentioned in this blog ,which I might review to tell you about. Hard work but someone has to do it. We spend so much time working on improvements for the house that we sometimes don't have time to sample everything the island has to offer.

My next trip is coming up shortly as we organise the house for the coming season. All the new towels and bedding are ready to go and a new picnic basket for trips to the beach. The car is always loaded up for these trips although we use local suppliers as much as possible.  

New parking at last -ready for next season


We had a very wintry trip to Lewis

in January. We had hoped to travel on the 11th but the ferry did not run. The next day we arrived about 2pm and we found that AMK Tipper Hire from Callanish had already knocked down the old oil structure and had the re-enforced concrete ready to lay as foundations for the parking.

This was despite very severe weather, which worsened throughout the afternoon. The enormous digger certainly flattened the ground  but the driver was very skilled and dug new drainage as well. By 4.30pm in the afternoon the foundations were dug out.

The weather worsened the next day and the digger could work for only one and a half hours. Unfortunately we had to leave for a family event but much to my delight I received these pictures of work in progress and by the beginning of the next week " job done"

Even with stormy weather Lewis is a magic place and we managed to walk into the shore and see the crashing waves and  hardy sea birds.

On our next visit we will lay paving stones, mend the washing line and generally tidy up ready for our visitors.

The work is a big improvement on the parking and the new shed will be great for picnic ,barbecue and sports equipment. I'm sure our regular visitors will see a difference.

wE are very excited and look forward to welcoming you all this year.

New parking planned


after many discussions with numerous people we are planning to develop new on site parking this winter ready for bookings next year. Garenin has become quite a busy place in the summer with an increase in tourists visiting the Blackhouses. So we decided that parking nearer to the door would be helpful for visitors.As part of this package we are taking down an old building structure and putting up anew shed,which will be great for sports equipment,clothes drying etc i am quite excited about it as i have wanted to erect anew shed for the last few years but thos has to be a carefully thought out project in Lewis when we are near to the sea and coping with strong winds in the winter.. We will photograph the whole process if possible as we are just about to go to Lewis to start on initial work.We will keep you posted!

An interesting trip to Harris


it is well worth trip to the new Harris Gin distillery in Harris and the video will give you a flavour of the product.You can bring some back to Garenin and enjoy it by the fire in the evening.

I have just been up for another visit and to organise a few changes as ever and make sure everything is in its place. Quite a few returning guests this year and especially in the autumn weeks so we must be doing something right.

It always strikes me how bright the skye is in Lewis even with the weather becoming more autumnal. We managed out for walks every day and saw dolphins from the boat on the way back, so a relaxing trip although too short.


E Mail & Phone


07748 183 438
(+44) 01259 762115

Postal Address

27 Garenin
Isle of Lewis

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