Standing Stones

When the first settlers arrived in Scotland over 10,000 years ago, they began to erect incredible monuments, some of which can still be seen today. Stone circles can be found across Scotland and were likely to be places of ceremony, worship, burial grounds and social gathering places.

  1. Calanais Standing Stones Isle of Lewis

    Calanais Standing Stones

    Nicknamed the "Stonehenge of the North", these iconic standing stones on the Isle of Lewis are believed to be 3,000 - 5,000 years old. In the 17th century, the people of Lewis called the stones na fir bhrèige, or "the false men".

    The fictional Outlander standing stones are based on this stone circle, so you're sure to be swept away by the history and romance of this ancient site.

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  2. Machrie Moor Standing Stones Isle of Arran

    I menhir di Machrie Moor, Isola di Arran

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    These standing stones in Arran are part of a dramatic moorland rich in archeological history, including stone circles, burial cairns and more. These stones on the Isle of Arran may have once been used for observing astronomical activities, with the prehistoric standing stones dating to back to between 3,500 and 1,500 BC.

  3. Ring of Brodgar Orkney

    Il Ring of Brodgar, Orcadi

    Prehistoric stone circles in Scotland don't get much more impressive than the Ring of Brodgar. It comprises 27 stones and is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. It is one of several significant Orkney stone circle sites which also include the Stones of Stenness.

  4. Clava Cairns Inverness

    Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Bulnuaran of Clava or Clava Cairns

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Clava Cairns are a well-preserved Bronze Age cemetery complex of ring cairns, kerb cairns and standing stones in a beautiful setting.

  5. Kilmartin Glen Oban

    Kilmartin Glen

    The area spans 5,000 years with a multitude of cairns, standing stones, carved rock, stone circles, forts and castles. Kilmartin Glen is considered to have one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Scotland. The remains of the fortress of the Scots at Dunadd, a royal centre of Dal Riata, are located to the south of the glen, on the edge of the Moine Mhòr or Great Moss.

  6. Standing Stones of Stenness Orkney

    The Standing Stones of Stenness in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Travel back in time over 5,000 years and visit the four remaining stones in Stenness, thought to be the earliest henge monument in the British Isles. 

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