Older than Stonehenge, and situated in an impossibly beautiful location, the Callanish Standing Stones are a world-famous series of megaliths that have astonished and inspired visitors for thousands of years.
Erected by Neolithic settlers some 5,000 years ago, the stones are arranged in a cruciform, or cross, shape, with a central circle. While their exact purpose is still a case for speculation, it is likely they were part of ritual daily activity during the Bronze Age.
Intriguingly, the central monolith, an impressive 4.8m high, is perfectly aligned to north and south, and weighs approximately 7 tonnes!
Like many similar sites in Scotland, the Callanish Standing Stones make for a fascinating visit, as you try to capture the thinking of the prehistoric settlers who created the circle. The Calanais Visitor Centre is a great starting point for your visit, offering a fascinating insight into the origin and construction of the stones, as well as exploring the importance of the Callanish Standing Stones to people across the centuries. Featuring walk-through displays, graphics panels, models, and an audio-visual presentation, the exhibition will capture the imagination of young and old alike.
GETTING THERE AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The Callanish Stones are located on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis, close to the village of Callanish.
Arriving by car
After arriving on Lewis by ferry, take the A859 to the turning for Callanish. The standing stones are visible on the brow of a hill as you approach on the minor road through the village. Travel time from Stornoway is approximately 30 minutes.
Parking and toilets are available at the visitor centre.
Arriving by bus
Service W2 operates from Stornoway to Callanish, with a journey time of approximately 45 minutes.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY
PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK
The café in the Calanais Visitor Centre is the most convenient place to grab a light bite if you’re visiting the stone circle, with plenty of seating and lovely views over Loch Roag. The café offers an assortment of cakes, sandwiches, soups, and main meals throughout the day, with late opening in summer.
Uig Sands Restaurant boasts some of the finest views for dining, with huge windows overlooking the picturesque Uig Bay. The menu features locally sourced produce that oozes flavour, giving visitors a unique insight into the culinary traditions of the islands.
DID YOU KNOW…?
The Callanish Stones have played a prominent role in modern culture, including in several scenes in the Pixar film Brave, on the cover of Ultravox’s album Lament, and on Bank of Scotland debit cards. The stones even influenced the name of Dutch melodic death band, Callenish Circle.