NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION The Ring o’Brodgar stands in the West Mainland parish Stenness, in the Orkney Islands, which lie off the northern tip of Scotland
Jan: 39°F (4°C); Apr: 43°F (6°C); Jul: 54°F (12°C); Oct: 47°F (8°C)
On summer evenings, the tall, thin standing stones of Brodgar cast long shadows, like fingers pointing towards some far-off mystery. This hauntingly beautiful place is on a narrow isthmus between two lochs, where the wind blows freely and light plays dramatic tricks throughout the day.
A perfect circle exactly the same size as Avebury’s two inner rings, this henge is much younger, erected around 2000 BC, on the eve of the Bronze Age. It is surrounded by a wide ditch cut into the bedrock, and crossed by two narrow causeways, one in the southeast and a wider one in the northwest.
As well as the Ring o’Brodgar, which was clearly an important ritual center for the Neolithic people, other sites here include burial mounds, earthworks, and the Stones o’ Stenness, an earlier henge less than a mile away
Getting There and Around Brodgar is located 12 miles (20 km) to the west of Kirkwall, which is Orkney’s main town and airport. You can also take a ferry from Scrabster on the mainland to Stromness, which is 4 miles (7 km) from Brodgar.
When to Go Mid-Jun–Oct, when it never gets dark, is ideal.