Callanish (Calanais) Standing Stones, Outer Hebrides...
On the edge of the western coastline of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, stands one of the most dramatic Neolithic monuments in Scotland. With their origins around 4500 to 5000 years old, these ancient standing stones have witnessed countless changes in the people and the landscape around them.
They are only a 30 minute drive from the main town of Stornoway, in the village of Carloway (known in Gaelic as Calanais). The surrounding area has a number of smaller stone circles nearby, but the most impressive complex is just a few minutes walk from the visitors centre.
The main stone complex contains around 50 stones in a cross-shaped setting. The central inner circle comprises of 13 stones, the tallest of which is 4m high, and a small chambered cairn and, like most of the sites in the Hebrides, you are able to freely walk around up to the individual stones (as you can see from the video took below).
Callanish Standing Stones
What their purpose and use was is lost to us but many adhere to the belief that they were used in rituals relating to the moon, stars and the position of the distant hills. Whatever their role, that they are still standing and enduring after nearly five millennia is testament to the skills and ingenuity of their makers.
The Callanish Stones visitors centre nearby provides a welcome stop for those visiting the stones, with a small cafe, local gallery and gift shop and, as there is no charge to visit and explore the stones, it's always nice to support the local area in other ways.
For a private tour from Inverness to the Callanish Standing Stones - 3 Day Outer Hebrides Tour