The Calanais Standing Stones are located in the Scotland’s Outer Hebrides islands.
First a little back story. My husband and I are Americans and we love Scotland – the history, mythology, food, music, everything. So when our Leicester friends invited us along on their holiday, we jumped at the chance. We drove from Leicester to Uig in 2 days, stopping to stay at a castle hotel along the way. We arrived to find a delightful little cottage waiting for us that our friends booked through Scottish-Cottages.co.uk
Our friends had planned to visit the Callanish standing stones as part of this trip. After a week in the cottage, we booked the ferry out of Uig and plan to stay in a hotel in Stornoway.
To reach the Callanish standing stones, it is about 17 miles away and took us about 30 minutes driving time. We took A859 and A858 west across the Aisle of Lewis to reach the stones. We were told there is also a bus that will take you there; or local taxis can be hired from the port.
It is a very eerie, beautiful drive. We went on a very cloudy, misty day and it was magical. It really set the mood for seeing the stones. You cover long distances of open fields and bog marsh. Occasionally, you will see a house or a small building. But for the most part it is open and vast. By the time we arrived, the winds had set in and it was sunny and bright.
When we arrived, we were dismayed to see the visitor center was closed. We checked our time and information; it was supposed to be open. However, the actual stones were open. There were a few people walking around and it was very peaceful and quiet. Some people were taking pictures, others were drawing and painting.
We had a handicapped friend with us in a wheelchair and were happy to see that it was wheelchair accessible. Once you enter the gate, it was mostly accessible but of course, there was small ditches, rocks and abutments sticking up here and there- so it wasn’t perfectly flat. In other words, you had to watch your step but otherwise it was fine. If you have balance or walking problems, I would bring a cane to help you navigate them. Unlike Stonehenge, you are allowed to touch the rocks and have full access to them.
There are information boards explaining the stones near the entrance. They explain the geographical area, physical layout (and its meaning), mythologies, archeology, and folklore of the stones. Other than the signs, the stones are as they were thousands of years ago.
It is a spectacular and inspiring location, very unique and beautiful. I highly suggest if you get the chance to visit the Callanish Standing Stones, you take it. I am deeply grateful I had the chance to visit.