Ring of Brodgar


A mile northwest of Stenness is this wide circle of standing stones, some over 5m tall. The last of the three Stenness monuments to be built (2500–2000 BC), it remains a most atmospheric location. Twenty-one of the original 60 stones still stand among the heather. On a grey day with dark clouds thudding low across the sky, the stones are a spine-tingling sight.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Orkney attractions

1. Ness of Brodgar

0.56 MILES

The spectacular finds from ongoing excavations at this archaeological site between the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar have…

2. Barnhouse Neolithic Village


Alongside the Standing Stones of Stenness are the excavated remains of a village thought to have been inhabited by the builders of Maeshowe. Don’t skip…

3. Standing Stones of Stenness

0.92 MILES

Part of this Mainland area's concentration of neolithic monuments, four mighty stones remain of what was once a circle of 12. Recent research suggests…

4. Unstan Chambered Cairn

1.24 MILES

This atmospheric neolithic tomb, on a smaller scale than nearby Maeshowe, is a site that you may well get to yourself. It's a very tight squeeze down the…

5. Maeshowe

1.52 MILES

Constructed about 5000 years ago, Maeshowe is an extraordinary place, a Stone Age tomb built from enormous sandstone blocks, some of which weighed many…

6. Pier Arts Centre

3.61 MILES

This gallery has really rejuvenated the Orkney modern-art scene with its sleek lines and upbeat attitude. It’s worth a look as much for the architecture…

7. Stromness Museum

3.96 MILES

This superb museum, run with great passion, is full of knick-knacks from maritime and natural-history exhibitions covering whaling, the Hudson's Bay…

8. Skaill House

4.98 MILES

Next to Skara Brae, and entered on a joint ticket, Skaill House is an imposing step-gabled Orcadian mansion built for the bishop in 1620. It may feel a…