About: The Sail Loft
The Sail Loft was originally built in the 1820s as a warehouse for the storage and repair of nets, it has an architectural quality that belies its origins, reflecting the importance and prosperity of the fishing industry in the Western Isles in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In 2006 it was converted and restored into 3 luxury townhouses with every effort made to retain original features and combine them with high spec modern home comforts.
The Sail Loft Project
Reflecting the significant role the Sail Loft played both locally and internationally in the maritime world, a community arts project was borne at the time of renovation to preserve and capture its history.
The multi-faceted commission, conceived by Lewis born poet and artist Ian Stephen, saw an artists' collaboration involving Moira Maclean (Lewis), Carina Finn (Sweden) and Mikka Paakkola (Finland).
This culminated in an exhibition at the local art centre of photography, projection and video; paintings on sailcloth; and an installation of the many layers of wallpaper rescued from the interiors.
Years later, the project remains ingrained in the building, where you will discover poetry and artwork on the paving, railings and walls.
I arrived on the shores of Lewis some ten years ago, with partner Pete, a Lewis-born sailor – looking for somewhere that said ‘home’ after years living and working aboard luxury yachts in various exotic corners of the world.
The Sail Loft was in the latter stages of its reincarnation from derelict warehouse into architectural gem – set against the watery backdrop of Stornoway harbour. The daily rhythm of the maritime community immediately resonated with us – the noises, the smells, the people. We fell in love with the house immediately and not long after were lucky enough to become the proud owners of No. 3.
After eight very happy years of harbour life, along came our son, Seamus, and the decision that home now required climbing frame space and a set of football goals.
Moving just out of town, though still close to the sea, we couldn’t bring ourselves to part with No. 3 Sail Loft. It felt right to open its doors to welcome others to the islands, to become a base from which to share our passion for this beautiful, remote, but vibrant part of the world.
Creating this small business has been a glorious new challenge for me: a chance to utilise the skills learnt working on yachts, offering a unique and bespoke experience for each of our guests, with attention to detail and a little bit of luxury. It has been a wonderful opportunity to call on the many talented folk living on our doorstep in honing this experience and continues to be a privilege to meet so many new faces arriving on our shores and welcome back many as friends!