Find Scotland Tours that feature the Ring of Brodgar.
|Address:||Ring of Brodgar, West Mainland, Orkney|
|Operated by:||Historic Environment Scotland|
|Opening Hours:||Open all year|
|Parking:||Yes, ample car parking with ~200 metres of the stone circle|
|Languages:||A few information boards in English|
|Accessibility:||A surfaced path leads from the car park up to the stones, but the circular path around the stones is just a grass surface.|
|Toilets:||Nearest public toilets are at Tormiston Mill beside Maeshowe|
The Ring of Brodgar is noteworthy for being one of the largest Neolithic henges, with a diameter of 104 metres at the furthest point between stones, and a diameter of 130 metres when measured across the outer ditch. It is believed that the stone circle would have originally consisted of 60 standing stones, but only 36 can be positively accounted for today.
Brodgar's stones have stood for 4,000 to 4,500 years so a fair few of them will have succumbed to the elements and you can see one stone that bears the scars of a lightning strike. The massive heat generated by a lightning strike causes the stone to expand rapidly and thus open up fissures that split the stone apart. Look out for the information board which identifies this stone.
Around the Ring of Brodgar you can see several grassy mounds such as "Salt Knowe" and "Plumcake Mound". These are believed to be chambered tombs, but they haven't been fully excavated if even touched at all. There might be another Maeshowe Tomb waiting to be unearthed!
The Ring of Brodgar is a very popular stopping point for coach tours that visit Orkney. Consequently, it can be quite busy with tourists so try to visit early in the day or towards late afternoon when the coach parties are elsewhere.
Read our Travel Blog for more information on the best things to do in Orkney.