Stornoway is an important port and the major town and administrative centre of the Outer Hebrides. It is home to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (the Western Isles Council) and a variety of educational, sporting and media establishments.

Until relatively recently, observance of the Christian Sabbath (Sunday) has been associated with Hebridean culture. Recent changes mean that Sundays on Lewis now more closely resemble those on the other Western Isles or on mainland Scotland.