Natural Retreats launches ground floor at Lews Castle on Isle of Lewis

Storehouse cafe

Natural Retreats has launched the ground floor of Lews Castle on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides as a visitor attraction and luxury wedding and conference venue.

Founded in 2006, travel and leisure company Natural Retreats operates over 30 luxury destinations across the United States and Europe, including the multi-award winning restoration of The Inn at John O’Groats.

The refurbished and restored Lews Castle is expected to attract upwards of 50,000 people to the Hebrides each year, and Natural Retreats will create at least 25 new jobs, many of which will be undertaken by islanders.

Lews Castle was built in the mid-1800s by Sir James Matheson and overlooks Stornoway Harbour on the Isle of Lewis, which has previously been voted the number one European island to visit on Trip Advisor.

As well as being home to the newly-opened Museum nan Eilean (operated by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar), where six of the world famous 12th century ivory Lewis Chessmen are now on permanent display, the Castle has four restored ground floor rooms – the Ballroom, Dining Room, Library and Morning Room – which are now open to the public. The Castle’s Storehouse Café and Outfitters Store are also now open seven days a week.

The ground floor public rooms can be hired for fully catered weddings, conferences and events. From early 2017, the Castle’s upper floor will also offer luxury self-catering accommodation with a personal concierge service, made up of 23 en-suite bedrooms, and configured as 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.

Matt Spence, founder of Natural Retreats said:
“Lews Castle offers something for everyone, whether you are seeking an event venue with a difference, or a Scottish castle wedding in a beautiful location, or just looking for lunch made from local produce. We are proud to attract even more people to this spectacular corner of the British Isles, and showcase all that Lewis and the other islands of the Outer Hebrides have to offer.

“With direct flights from Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh airports to Stornoway that take around an hour or less, Lews Castle is more accessible than you might think.”