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Stone Circles

I'm staying in Glasgow and would like to see some of the stone circles. I'd rather not rent a car...are there tours, busses, or trains that I can use for transportation?

Comments

  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hey @98406 (Tacoma? I'm former 98101), would you be ok with getting overnight accommodation to see a stone circle, that way you'll be able to visit some of the more famous ones.

    The closest one (and highly recommended) is the Machrie stone circle on the Isle of Arran. It might barely be possible to do this as a day trip from Glasgow but I would not recommend it, Arran is beautiful and a great place to stay overnight. From Glasgow Central, catch a ScotRail train to Ardrossan Harbour (45 mins) followed by the ferry to Brodick (50 mins). Finally, you'll need a bus from Brodick to Machrie (an hour) to get to the start of the trail. It is a beautiful area, checkout the pebble beach a short walk on the other side of the road.

    If you have 3-4 days either go to the Isle of Lewis to see the Callanish stone circle or to Orkney Islands to see the Ring of Brodgar. The latter is easier as you can take a train to Inverness, stay overnight, take the early morning Orkney day tour from Inverness (which covers the Ring of Brodgar & stones of Stennes) and be back to INV by evening.

    Reaching Lewis is also a challenge. Take the 6:50 AM bus from Glasgow to Uig in Skye. Then catch the ferry to Tarbert. This will take a day and you might be able to take the bus to Stornoway as well. From Stornoway, there runs a bus to Callanish (stop is half a mile from the circle). This is the most famous set of standing stones but also the most remote.

    Again the train website is ScotRail and the bus website is CityLink. Hope this helps.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
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  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @Samantha_Grant was it this stone on Jura that you went through the bog for? I did the same myself last year and there were some deer nearby who got startled. This one looks like a choco bar icecream to me :smile:


    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] ✭✭✭✭
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  • willmackenziewillmackenzie Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Hey @98406!

    A question that has always puzzled me is why so many of the impressive stone circles are to be found in remote parts of Scotland, often on islands, but I suppose those are just the ones we have left.. they've maybe always been remote and unspoiled. I need to do some research on this point!

    My favourite neolothic/stone circle site is Callanish/Calanais on the Isle of Lewis. Without doubt. In particular at the moment because the Ring of Brodgar (the other very famous set of standing stones) was having maintenance undertaken when I visited last summer. However, my post is about an easier-to-get-to alternative!

    Perhaps the easiest standing stones to get to are Clava Cairns, as mentioned by @Samantha_Grant above. Not only are they to be found on the mainland but they are 10mins from Inverness. If you took the train to this fabulous capital city of the Highlands, you could even get a taxi there for £15 I suspect. I know that Haggis Tours and other similar tour companies visit the site too, so maybe you'll want to consider joining a Tour bus there?

    Clava Cairns are right next to the very historic Culloden Battlefield, which means you can see both sites easily, as a little extra bonus! There are three stone circles, all with stones of varying heights. Some of the standing stones are very impressive, as are the cairns they encircle.

    Here are some snaps of mine from Clava Cairns (which are both cairns and standing stone circles):





    Hope this helps a little :smile:
    Edinburgh | Highlands of Scotland | Part-time explorer
    > My Instagram
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
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  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Image result for aquhorthies stone circleHere is the small but perfectly formed Easter Auqhuorthies stone circle in Aberdeenshire.  I believe the reason there are so many ancient stones in remote places and islands is that transport by water was the easiest way to travel in ancient times so what is remote to us now was like the M1 to our ancestors!  However that doesn't explain why they are in deepest Aberdeenshire!
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