The Callanish Stones

At the time of writing a shadow is cast over Callanish, and indeed the Isle of Lewis generally. Any visitor to the island can hardlay fail to notice that the weather is changeable, and that the wind stretches from bracing to what feels like a mini-hurricane that is difficult to walk into.

The island is also lightly populated - at any rate with humans that is. Ideal therefore, to stick a massive wind farm on, with a fairly grand scale.

The problem with wind farms is that they are seriously ugly to a lot of people, and the ugliness draws attention to itself by the obvious moving parts. Electricity distribution has always vandalised the landscape, and it is possible that we get used to them in the same way as we are now used to the transmission pylons which were the subject of battles a couple of generations ago.

The scale is larger than most buildings and covers a lot of the field of view.

The problem with wind farms is that they are seriously ugly to a lot of people, and the ugliness draws attention to itself by the obvious moving parts. The scale is larger than most buildings and covers a lot of the field of view.

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 Ref 3)

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

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Text and photographs © Richard M 1992-2005 unless otherwise credited
Last updated 13 Mar 2005