Carloway is very attractive for tourism, with many historic sites to see, such as the Garenin Blackhouse Village or Doune Carloway Broch.
The Carloway Bridge is said to be one of Scotland's oldest flyovers, being built in the mid-19th century. The bridge crosses the Carloway River and the Pentland Road, which leads to the Carloway Pier and Harbour or to Stornoway the other way.
The district of Carloway (after the village of that name) which hitherto had fallen partly within the parishes of Lochs and Uig, became a separate civil registration district in 1859.
The district is divided into eight townships: Knock Carloway, Park Carloway, Doune Carloway, Upper Carloway, Garenin, Borrowston, Kirivick and Dalmore. The Estate starts at the cattle grid between Garynahine and Callanish and ends at the Bragar cattle grid, just leaving Shawbost towards Bragar.
Carloway has a few historical sites. An Iron Age Broch in Doune Carloway, a Blackhouse Village in Garenin and many others, including a standing stone called "Clach an Tursa" in Upper Carloway.
Public services include a primary school, a youth hostel, a police station, hotels, restaurants, a newly renovated Harris Tweed mill, a pier, a surgery and day centre, a museum, a community centre, two churches (The Free Church of Scotland and The Church of Scotland), a football pitch, a war memorial and a historical society. Plans for a petrol station and convenience store have been proposed.
The district is known throughout the Western Isles for its Agricultural Show and Highland Games, held annually on the first Wednesday of August at the Show Ground, behind Carloway School in the centre. In 2011, the 58th Agricultural Show took place with 2,500 people attending, more than the previous year's attendance. It is the longest running agricultural show and highland games on the island, first held in 1911 and officially the oldest since Beinn-na-Dròbh agricultural show stopped in Stornoway. It is locally known as the island's "Premiere Show".
There are three routes that connect Carloway with the main town of Stornoway. The first route is the main road heading north, which passes through Shawbost, Bragar and Barvas, where it splits one way going to Stornoway and another way going to Ness. The second route is the main road heading south which passes through Breasclete, Callanish and Leurbost, which again splits one way to Stornoway and another way to both Balallan and Tarbert, Harris. The third and most popular, faster route from Carloway to Stornoway is the single track Pentland road, which goes to Stornoway straight across the island's Pentland Moor.
The district has two churches, both of which are located near the Carloway Bridge in the Knock Carloway township. The Free Church of Scotland was built in 1884 and has a congregation of up to 100 people. Services are conducted in both English and Scottish Gaelic. The Church of Scotland is next door to the Free Church and was built in 1908. It has a congregation with just over 50 people, with services conducted in English.
Football is by far the most favoured sport in the area. Carloway F.C. was founded in 1933 and first constituted in 1946 after the Second World War, playing their games on turf at Altan Feirigro in Garenin, before relocating to land near Cnoc a' Choilich in Upper Carloway. The club's catchment area covers the Parish of Uig area between Dalmore and Breanish. The club won its first trophy in 1952 after beating league champions Point 5-1 to win the Stornoway Cup. Between 1955 and 1957, Carloway won several more trophies: a 5-1 victory against Back to win the D'Oyle Carte Cup and a 4-1 victory against Point to win the Tormod Mor Tankard, both in 1956. The following year they defeated Stornoway United to win the Stornoway Cup for the second time. During that period it was rare to see a final without the involvement of the club, with the Eilean Fhraoich Cup Final seeing Carloway three years in a row, despite the club failing to win. Since this successful period in the 1950s, it took the club until 2012 to win their next trophy, defeating Back 7-6 on penalties to lift the Co-operative Cup after a 1-1 draw. In the same week, the club secured the double by winning the Lewis Cup, again on penalties, after drawing 3-3 against rivals West Side. In 2013, Carloway recently won the Acres Boys Club Cup after defeating Back 6-0 in the final, as well as the Jock Stein Cup after defeating rivals West Side 3-0 in the final. Carloway also won their first League title in their eighty-year history. The club boasts the largest support in the Western Isles and indeed one of the best playing surfaces in the Highlands and Islands, which was opened in 1991 with a friendly against Rangers reserves. The match attracted around 1100 spectators to the newly built pitch, which had been renovated twice (1949–51 and 1991) since its construction in 1935. Two players who have played for Carloway went on to play football at professional level: Ronnie MacKinnon, who played for Rangers and Scotland, and his brother Donnie, who played for Partick Thistle.
The club has a website: http://www.carlowayfc.co.uk and can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.Angus MacInnes, actor, plays Sonny Munro in the Scottish soap River City (mother comes from Borrowston, Carloway)
Norrie MacIver, singer and musician (former lead singer of Mànran and Bodega)
John MacKay, main anchor on Central edition of STV News at Six (father and mother come from the Carloway townships of Kirivick and Garenin respectively)
Willie MacKay, football agent (father comes from Kirivick, Carloway)
Ronnie MacKinnon, former Carloway, Rangers and Scotland National Football Team (twin brother of Partick Thistle player, Donnie MacKinnon; their mother came from Upper Carloway)
Colin Sutherland, Lord Carloway, the most senior judge of the Supreme Courts of Scotland and head of the Scottish Judiciary