I visited the Blackhouse at Arnol last year while on a 14-day Island Hopping Adventure with Rabbies Tours (which I can also highly recommend). Our driver/guide said she was taking us to a real blackhouse, which, unlike others on Lewis, had been lived in until relatively recently, and was authentically set out and furnished. And so it was. Beautifully managed by Historic Scotland, the tour starts at a the visitor centre with its interesting, informative displays explaining the history of the site and blackhouse life. The staff are wonderfully knowledgeable and were happy to answer my barrage of questions. You are then free to explore the Blackhouse, the attached barn, byre and stackyard, and the whitehouse across the road. I was mesmerised by the site, and I will always remember what it looked like and how it felt. It was also the first time I had smelt a peat fire – I will never forget that either. If you go to Lewis, this is one attraction you really shouldn’t miss
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