Ring of Brodgar | what to see in Scotland



Located on the Orkney Islands, the Ring of Brodgar is a Neolithic stone henge (2500 BC). It is found on the mainland of Orkney, 6 miles north of Stromess - one of two cities on Orkney. The stone henge itself is really really large - the diameter of the circle is 340 ft, third largest diameter of a stone circle found in Britain. There are 27 remaining monoliths (standing stones) outlining the circle, it is predicted that there would have been 60 during its prime. 



Purple Scottish heather surrounds the area, it is in full bloom during the late summer months. The Orkney islands are extremely windy so there are no trees. Because of this, the dramatic landscape is exposed and all of its rugged features are visible. Compared to the flat land in Alberta, this aspect of the Orkneys is quite special. 


(Scottish Thistle)


The Orkney Islands have been inhabited for around 8,000 years now, and have been under many different regimes. Originally the Islands were under Viking rule, then Norwegian rule, and in the 15th Century they became Scottish. The history is incredibly rich, and I suggest giving it a 'google search,' as there are many interesting facts!





I first visited the Ring of Brodgar when I was 12 years old. It sparked my love for history, particularly archaeology. Even though I study Biological Anthropology, Archaeology will always have a place in my heart. Historic places like this are extremely special to me (especially if they are in Scotland 😊).




Anyone who studies archaeology will know that mounds in historic places are often incredibly interesting, important, and home to a midden or perhaps a burial! I was immediately drawn to this mound next to the Ring of Brodgar. Unfortunately I couldn't find any information on this particular mound, but I do know that not far from this location is another mound called Maeshowe. It is a chambered cairn used as a neolithic burial system. There are many chambered cairns around the islands, perhaps this is one of them??



Not far from the Ring of Brodgar are the 'Standing Stones of Stenness' with only a few erect stones left. There would have been more at one time, but only several remain. Lots of archaeological work has been done at both of these sites, among many others on the Orkney Islands. Anyone who is interested history will definitely appreciate these beautiful monoliths!

(Stones of Stenness)

The Ring of Brodgar is definitely one of the places I recommend to visit if you are in Northern Scotland or the Orkneys - it has inspired me so much and continues to do so! 

Thanks for reading,
Madison xx