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Dec 19 2014

The Ancient Callanish Standing Stones

I have found more large stones on my travels; this time on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.  Just as Ales Stenar is often referred to as the Stonehenge of Sweden, the Callanish (Calanais) Standing Stones are often called the Stonehenge of Scotland.

Since these stones are a major tourist attraction and because I have written previously about Ales Stenar stones, Callanish had to be a Foto Friday at some point.

Callanish Standing Stones

During the Neolithic period, a number of stone circles were erected throughout the Scottish Isles.  Apparently, there are at least twelve standing stone sites within 5 kilometres of the main stone circle, pictured above.  There are two others at Callanish (Callanish II and Callanish III) which are part of a walking trail you can follow, should you wish to do so.  I have read that these stone circles are thought to predate Stonehenge, although it seems they were erected around the same sort of time, from 3000 BC.

I chose the above photograph of the main stone circle because it’s a different angle to the one you normally see.  In addition, it shows the centre of the circle, where a small burial chamber was added at a later date.

No one really knows why all these stone circles were erected.  While some structures were built according to astronomical events, experts haven’t yet found the evidence for that at Callanish.  Whatever the reason for the construction of the stone circles, they are still a sight to behold, particularly the main stone circle.

If you’re thinking of seeing all the stone circles at Callanish, make sure you have the time, are ready for a two-mile walk, and have the correct outdoor attire.


You can get a local bus there from Stornoway, which is handy.

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Have your say

I’ve seen standing stones in England, Sweden, and now Scotland.  What others should I see?  Let me know in the comment section below.

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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