Standing Stones of Stenness & Ring of Brodgar
Two Henges (or sets of standing stones) in walking distance of each. Catch them at sunset or early evening when you will virtually have them to yourself. Amazing and so much more exciting than Stonehenge!
Northeast of Stromness on the road to Kirkwall is the tiny village of Stenness, near some of Orkney's most interesting prehistoric sites. The Standing Stones of Stenness comprise the four remaining stones from an original circle of 12 stones, dating from 3000 BC. The largest of the stones stands over 15 ft high. Info - Free.
A path leads from the stones to the nearby Barnhouse Settlement, a recently excavated Neolithic village. - see separate entry
About a mile northwest of Stenness is another stone circle, the Ring of Brodgar. This is a particularly impressive henge monument. It is over 100yds in diameter and 27 of the original 60 stones are still standing, some of them up to 15 ft high. Given the importance of these sites, it is particularly refreshing to realize when you get there that you can walk about amongst the stones in the still calm of a summer evening, with only a few oyster catchers for company, but both do get busy with coach parties during the day. Info - Free