Orkney has a number of examples of standing stones and stone circles. Don't think "Stonehenge" here - not massive blocks, but still impressive "henges" in their own right. Last week I went for a wander around the Standing Stones of Stenness (dating from around 3,100 BC) and the Neolithic Ring of Brodgar (dating from around 2,500 to 2000 BC). I love visiting these in the winter as I get them to myself! In the summer I must share them with visitors. The Stones of Stenness, Ring of Brodgar and Maeshowe are all within about a mile of each other. Great monuments which blend in among the landscape and modern houses of today.
One of the Stones of Stenness, with the Hoy Hills in the background
In the background over the top of one of the smaller Stones of Stenness you can just make out the domed shape of Maeshowe a Neolithic chambered cairn.
Below are some of the stones from the Ring of Brodgar
Around the Ring of Brodgar are other mounds which have yet to be excavated - you can just make one out to the right of the standing stone below. Again the Hoy Hills in the background.
The stones are covered in moss and lichens which follow the strata of the stones
Symbols of the past and present - on the horizon you can see the wind turbines of Burgar Hill.
There is talk that the Ring of Bookan has some funding for an archeological dig to take place this year. Archaeologists will also be continuing last year's excavation on the Ness of Brodgar. So the land in this area still has some secrets to yield.