It is important to highlight that, to all intents, every single shop, garage, visitor attraction and tea room on Lewis and Harris is closed on a Sunday. The exceptions to this are some of the hotels and restaurants in Stornoway and also Engebret's Garage in Stornoway which opens for a very limited time on a Sunday afternoon.
The people of Lewis take their day of rest very seriously indeed. In some cases this may be based on religious belief while for others it may simply be the case that it is great to have one day in the week when there is no excuse to do anything but to take it easy. Many will have a good lie in and take a walk on the beach after a hearty dinner and it doesn't take the visitor long on the island to discover that having one day a week to do absolutely nothing is a very good thing indeed and it provides a healthy and welcome contrast to the 24/7 activity of life in the more urban areas of the UK. With this in mind the visitor should plan to enjoy a quiet Lewis Sunday and to make the best of the day of rest.
It is entirely legal to go trout fishing on a Sunday in Scotland, though not to fish for salmon or sea trout, however it is not the done thing on Lewis and visitors are advised not to engage in any form of fishing on a Sunday just simply because it breaks with local customs that date back a very many generations. It is also considered very bad form to have washing hanging outside on the line on a Sunday and this is something that locals would never do so it is also suggested that visitors may like to avoid doing this if they can. As with travelling to any part of the world there are often local customs with which it is good practise, and good manners, to abide and one of the things that makes Lewis so different from almost all of the rest of the UK is that local customs, language and culture remain much as they were in the distant past. It is this very uniqueness that makes the island such an attractive holiday destination.
Should the visitor have any emergency requirements on a Sunday then Engebret's Garage in Stornoway normally opens for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and they sell fuel and the basic essentials.
The Welcome In, or "Jackie's" as it is still known even though Jackie sold it some years ago, is located at Barvas about 8 miles from the cottage and is currently the nearest shop to the cottage, though the local community is currently looking into opening a shop within the village. The shop at Jackie's can provide all the basic and essential items that a visitor might require while the garage sells fuel. For the weekly shop or for items beyond the basic essentials then the town of Stornoway has a thriving centre with shops selling everything from gifts to sports equipment. There are two supermarkets in the town in the form of a relatively new Tesco store nearly opposite the ferry terminal and a large Co Op store on the road into town from Barvas. The Co Op have a long association with the highlands and islands and the Stornoway Co Op store has now been open about 20 years. Car parking at the Co Op can be somewhat easier than at the Tesco store.
Despite what you might imagine for such a small town car parking in Stornoway town centre can be a nightmare as there are nowhere near enough spaces for the number of people wishing to park at peak times. It is sometimes much better to park out at Bayhead, only about 5 minutes walk from the town centre, and walk into town rather than to drive around in the centre of town looking for a parking space.