You don’t need to travel far to feel like you’ve stepped back in time in Scotland. The rugged landscape stretches as far as the eye can see, and life at local villages goes at a different pace. But if you want to immerse yourself in the spirit of the past fully, I have something special for you: Gearrannan Blackhouse Village in the Hebrides.
The namesake blackhouse is a traditional type of house that used to be common in this area but has almost entirely disappeared by now. The village of Gearrannan on the Isle of Lewis consists entirely of these beautiful stone and thatch buildings sitting on the edge of the water. Unfortunately, the original inhabitants have all left the place by the 1970s, leaving the houses to fall into ruin slowly. Luckily, before that happened, Urras nan Gearrannan (the Garenin Trust) has painstakingly restored the entire village and turned it into a thriving holiday complex.
There’s a full range of accommodation types here: from hostel dorms to a 4-star private blackhouse. The private cottages are self-sustained with a fully-equipped kitchenette. Depending on the standard, they vary in size and extra features, but the interiors are relatively simple. Think more of a rustic homestay than an actual 4-star hotel.
Each house has its own carefully recorded history so you can find out who lived there and what their occupation was. If you’re eager to learn more about the area's history, there’s a village museum showcasing traditional local activities such as tweed weaving. And, of course, no visit to Scotland is complete without hiking the moorland and marveling at the scenic views!