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Ring of Brogdar showing a monument and heritage elements as well as a small group of people

Delve into the mysteries of this prehistoric landmark, comprising a ring of standing stones set against the wild landscape of the Orkney Islands.

The Ring of Brodgar is both an enigmatic historical attraction and an area of spectacular natural beauty. Here, 27 standing stones form a perfect circle with a diameter of about 340 feet (104 meters). Examine the UNESCO-listed site, which sits amid the rolling hills and tranquil lochs of the Orkney Mainland.

Much of the history of this landmark remains a mystery, such as why and how it was constructed. Historians believe that the site probably dates from between 2500 and 2000 B.C. and would once have contained about 60 different stones. Try to guess the purpose of the monument; popular theories suggest it could be a prehistoric observatory or a place of pagan worship.

Rangers from Historic Scotland lead guided tours around the site throughout the summer. Put on a pair of sturdy boots and join them. Explore the Ring of Brodgar and venture across to the Stones of Stenness, diverting to enjoy the wildlife at the nature reserve. Otters, wildfowl, skylarks and hares populate the protected countryside around the circle.

Several burial mounds lie next to the Ring of Brodgar. Head toward Loch Stenness to find Fresh Knowe and Plumcake Knowe, two of the larger archaeological sites, which were excavated in the mid-19th century.

Take dramatic photos of the stones set against the surrounding countryside. The ring is located on a small strip of land that separates Lochs Harray and Stenness and is surrounded by heather-covered moorland. Locals recommend visiting at sunrise or sunset for the most breathtaking views of the ancient site.

The henge, along with the nearby Standing Stones of Stenness, the burial tomb at Maeshowe and the prehistoric village of Skara Brae, form the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a UNESCO site. Visit all of the attractions for a more complete picture of the island's ancient history.

The Ring of Brodgar is about 10 minutes away from Stromness by car and has on-site parking. Join a ranger tour taking place every day in June, July and August in the early afternoon.

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Top Trending Hotels Near Ring of Brogdar

Lindisfarne Bed & Breakfast
Lindisfarne Bed & Breakfast
3 out of 5
Lindisfarne, Stromness, Scotland
The price is £80 per night from 1 Nov to 1 Nov
Situated in a rural location, this bed & breakfast is steps away from Mainland and Standing Stones of Stenness. Stromness Ferry Terminal and Piers Art Centre ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (36 reviews)
"What a great property! The house is very homely, welcoming and comfortable. The Pepper family were great. Breakfast was very tasty with an excellent selection. I would absolutely recommend the Lindisfarne B&B."

Reviewed on 1 Oct 2021

Lindisfarne Bed & Breakfast
Standing Stones Hotel
Standing Stones Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Stenness, Stromness, Scotland
Situated in Stromness, this hotel is steps away from Mainland and Standing Stones of Stenness. Maes Howe and Ring of Brogdar are also within 2 miles (3 km).
4.4/5 Excellent! (8 reviews)
Dog friendly, clean & well kept.
"The team at Standing Stones could not do enough for us. They were attentive and friendly. The hotel was in nice condition, the room was stylishly decorated and clean. The hotel was accommodating to our dog. Highly recommend."

Reviewed on 2 Mar 2020

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Standing Stones Hotel
Ferry Inn Stromness
Ferry Inn Stromness
3 out of 5
10 John Street, Orkney, Stromness, Scotland
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £130 per night from 23 Oct to 23 Oct
Located in the heart of Stromness, this hotel is steps away from Standing Stones of Stenness and Piers Art Centre. Stromness Museum and Maes Howe are also within ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (91 reviews)
"Convenient location right next to ferry. There is public parking next door which is free from 5pm to 9am, but actually there is one hour free parking, so in effect it is free from 4pm to 9am or 5pm to 10am. Staff were nice and room was clean and comfortable. Breakfast was amazing (particularly the ..."

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2021

Ferry Inn Stromness
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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The Stromness Hotel by Paymán Club
The Stromness Hotel by Paymán Club
2 out of 5
The Pierhead, Stromness, Scotland
The price is £64 per night from 11 Nov to 11 Nov
The Stromness Hotel by Paymán Club
Standing Stones Hotel
Standing Stones Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Stenness, Stromness, Scotland
Standing Stones Hotel
Ferry Inn Stromness
Ferry Inn Stromness
3 out of 5
10 John Street, Orkney, Stromness, Scotland
The price is £130 per night from 23 Oct to 23 Oct
Ferry Inn Stromness
Lindisfarne Bed & Breakfast
Lindisfarne Bed & Breakfast
3 out of 5
Lindisfarne, Stromness, Scotland
The price is £80 per night from 1 Nov to 1 Nov
Lindisfarne Bed & Breakfast
Charming 3 bedroom family home close to Stromness
Charming 3 bedroom family home close to Stromness
Bu Road, Stromness, SCT
Charming 3 bedroom family home close to Stromness
Stromness Apartments
Stromness Apartments
3.5 out of 5
Milldam, Cauldhame Road, Orkney, Stromness, Scotland
Stromness Apartments
The Royal Hotel Stromness
The Royal Hotel Stromness
3 out of 5
55-57 Victoria St, Stromness, Scotland
The price is £110 per night from 28 Oct to 28 Oct
The Royal Hotel Stromness
Harbour Cottage
Harbour Cottage
3.5 out of 5
Ferry Road, Stromness, Scotland
Harbour Cottage
The Stromness Hotel
The Stromness Hotel
3 out of 5
The Pierhead, Stromness, Scotland
The Stromness Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.