Machrie Moor Stone Circles

standing-stonesLooking out over the landscape, I could not have ordered more perfect weather. A remote landscape. Wide open vista. The chance to visit a pre-historic site. It’s purpose lost in time.

It could only be windy and overcast, with the hint of rain. Perfect.

machrie-moor-isle-of-arranWe had crossed over to the Isle of Arran for the day. On our list was a tour of the island, a visit to the Machrie Moor standing stones, followed by a stop at the Isle of Arran distillery.

There are six stone circles. Access is along a farm track, making it an easy walk. It takes over an hour. There is a small car park, but I noticed walkers waiting at the bus stop, so this looks a good way to reach the stones.

We knew we had enough time to complete the walk, visit the distillery and catch our pre-booked ferry, back to the mainland.

standing-stones-on-machrie-moorThe children love this kind of walk. Turning the corner to find another circle or the ruins of a more modern farm. Imaginations sparked.

pup-at-the-standing-stonesI think we’ve reached the stage where they no longer moan at the mention of a walk. Maybe they realise there is no point. Maybe they have started to enjoy it. Whichever it might be, this time they raced ahead. Exploring. Taking turns to hold one of the dog leads.machrie-moor-isle-of-arran-and-standing-stones

The views were amazing. There is something so soothing about the sight of heather clad hills. Later we saw herds of red deer on the slopes. Herds of 50, munching happily. Fortunately, with the dogs in our group, we only encountered sheep on this walk. (Sheep avoid us, while deer have a strange attraction to the dogs. I think they are confused by their shape and think they are deer.)

standing-stones-on-machrie-moor-2The stones are amazing. They are thin and tall. We are used to Avebury and Stonehenge, with their mammoth stones. These ones seem to almost defy the laws of nature. Surely in such an exposed location, they should have been blown down. Instead they seem to almost stand on their tippy toes.

It was a good walk.


So did we make it to the distillery? Did we miss the ferry?

We managed it all. Next time we will leave more time to visit the distillery properly and do the tour. It would be great for the children to see the process. We did pick up a bottle of whisky. How could we possibly not?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

32 thoughts on “Machrie Moor Stone Circles

  • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Those stones are huge! Love the way they look like they are standing on their tippy toes.Beautiful views and I always love seeing deer #countrykids

    • Sunday 18 September, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      They are so tall. It must have been an amazing feat to position them.

  • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Those stones look amazing. I’ve never visited the isle of Arran, looks a fab place though, must go one day 🙂

    • Sunday 18 September, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      It’s been on my list for so long. I’m glad we finally made it.

    • Sunday 18 September, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Really liked Arran. Hoping we will go back again soon.

  • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 11:36 am

    What an amazing place. I love stone circles – I love the thought that they have been arranged by people like that so long ago, and yet remain in the places where they were left.
    Glad you made it to the distillery and got your bottle of whiskey!

    • Sunday 18 September, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      I think a few have gone for building materials, like most stone circles, but there is enough left to see.

  • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    This sounds like a wonderful day filled with lots of exploration, it’s great that your kids were keen to get out and enjoy it with you. It’s amazing how many stone circles there are on such a small island, I’m impressed by how many you managed to see in the time you had to explore Arran. It’s great that you got to pop by the distillery again too, you squeezed so much in between ferries.

    Thanks for sharing with me on #CountryKids.

    • Sunday 18 September, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      Kicking myself that we didn’t check the times of the distillery tours. Would have changed the order that we did everything. Never mind next time.

  • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Well done on managing it all. Sounds a great walk – especially seeing the red deer.

    • Sunday 18 September, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      It was a good walk. Arran is stunning.

  • Saturday 17 September, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    What a beautiful way to spend the day!

    • Sunday 18 September, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      Thanks Shirley.

  • Sunday 18 September, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    I’ve never seen stones like that before. The ones at Rollright near us are tiny in comparison. I find them really interesting to be near though. #countryfiles

  • Sunday 18 September, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    What a fabulous place to explore outside and the scenery looks stunning X #countrykids

    • Monday 19 September, 2016 at 11:09 am

      It was beautiful. A good afternoon.

  • Monday 19 September, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Wow, they look very impressive. I love looking at old bits of history, thinking of all who have visited and how they were used etc.
    With an hour walk there and back I’m pretty sure you deserved the whiskey from the distillery. 😉

    • Tuesday 20 September, 2016 at 11:33 am

      We certainly did. 😉

  • Monday 19 September, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    You have the most amazing photos. I love hoe clear and crisp every one is!

    The place looks lovely and its always an interesting walk when it involves stones like this. In my head something magical will happen like that in the film called Outlander!


    • Tuesday 20 September, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Kind of glad it didn’t, if I remember the film correctly. The location would have been perfect.

  • Monday 19 September, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    How odd that the deer want to come over and see your dogs, lucky it was just sheep you met. Mich x

    • Tuesday 20 September, 2016 at 11:37 am

      It is the height,the shape and the way they walk, we think. Once walked in a wood with a herd circling us about 100 metres away. Often lone deer will trail us from a distance, as they try and figure it out. It is bizzare.

  • Wednesday 21 September, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    What a beautiful place to explore on your walk – the stones look huge and your description of them standing on tippy toes is perfect – it really does look like they should just blow over in the wind. Glad to hear you managed to fit everything in and make it back to the ferry on time! 🙂 #countrykids

    • Friday 23 September, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      It was a beautiful walk.

  • Wednesday 21 September, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Wow this looks a lovely walk. I can’t wait fr the day that we have no moaning at the mention of a walk (unless there is something else involved)! What an amazing sight it must be to see a herd of red deer? #countrykids

    • Friday 23 September, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      There is no guarantee that my lot won’t revert to moaning, but I’m hoping we’re heading in the right direction (no pun intended).

  • Wednesday 21 September, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Those stones look amazing, fascinating. Beautiful scenery and a lovely walk sounds like a perfect day.

    • Friday 23 September, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Makes me want to see more stone circles in other areas.

  • Thursday 22 September, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    It’ll be rude not to pick up a bottle of Whiskey!
    What amazing views and the weather couldn’t have been better. That’s stunning and the stone circles look amazing
    We sometimes still have the moans and groans when we say we’re going for a walk, but when the children discover something like this then the moans soon disappear
    A packed day but looks amazing!

    • Friday 23 September, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      Absolutely. I’m glad you see my point about the bottle. Never one to cause offence, in that regard.
      It is amazing how soon the groans subside once the walk has started. Maybe I’m just getting more efficient at not hearing them!

  • Friday 23 September, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    I see Arran every day of the week as I drive into town, and have never been, keep saying I will get there and never do.
    Looks like you all had a lot of fun, love wide open spaces to walk with the dog.

    • Tuesday 27 September, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      Can definitely recommend a visit. There are places near us that I still have on my list to go to. One day…..

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