County: Isle of Lewis
NGR NB 213330 (Callanish I)

Grouped round the village of Callanish are some wonderful stone circles, single menhirs and of course the great circle and double avenue of stones at the village itself. The prosaic numbering used to mark the sites is the invention of Professor Thom, whose used them in his 1967 survey. The sites were not necessarily related, and may have been built at different times. The site to see if time is short is of course Callanish I, which has drawn so many visitors that a coffee shop and visitor centre has been placed nearby, with ample car parking but sensitively arranged so it does not interfere greatly with the appreciation of the site itself.

Callanish 1

Callanish 1

Getting there

Callanish is on the Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles of Scotland, about 15 miles from Stornoway. Getting there thus needs some organisation and it would be difficult to try and to travel from the mainland, see the major sites and travel back all in one day. Stornoway is the largest settlment and has an airport, and is served by ferries from the mainlaind. For car drivers the shortest sea crossing can be had from the Isle of Skye which is now joined to the mainland via a toll bridge. From Uig on the Isle of Skye you can take a ferry to Tarbert and drive to Callanish.

map of the area with the sites marked

Recommended tour (from )

Site Description interest
XI A bit of a climb, but good views over the area 2 menhir
XII A single stone, visible without leaving the highway! 2 menhir
XVI Single stone, by roadside 2 menhir
I The Standing Stones of Callanish! 5 Stone Circle
II Short walk along footpath 3 Stone Circle
III Near road, with stile 3 Stone Circle
X half-mile walk into the moors - all stones lying prone 1
XVII short moorland walk, single fallen stone 1
IV near road, barbed wire fence to climb though... 3 Stone Circle
V half mile walk 2
VI moorland walk, not recommended when wet! 1
VIII 10 miles from Callanish 3 Stone Circle
  1. The Stones Around Callanish, Gerald & Margaret Ponting, Rev 1993 Margaret Curtis & Ron Curtis ISBN 0 9505998 9 1 , page 7