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Daily Daydream: Callanish Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

SmarterTravel

A visit to the Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis, one of the Outer Hebrides Islands in northern Scotland, is like having Stonehenge all to yourself. You won’t find big crowds or trinket shops at this lesser-known “twin” of the more famous stone circle—it’s just you and a well-preserved megalithic site where you can walk amongst and touch the 5,000-year-old standing stones. All this, and it’s on lonely little a hill overlooking a loch, to boot.

Where is it? It may feel like the edge of the world, but the Outer Hebrides islands of Harris and Lewis are fairly accessible by ferry from northern Scotland. The most convenient gateway airports from the U.S. are Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Where to stay? It’s on the other side of the island, but we recommend the Harris House, a family-run hotel in the port town of Tarbert. If you come by ferry, this will be among the most convenient places to stay. The authentic charm is just an added bonus.

What else should I know? Lewis (from the Gaelic “Leog,” or “water lying on the surface”) derives its name from the vast peat bogs that blanket the island. Lewis shares a landmass with Harris, even though they are considered two separate islands.

Who’s it for? Walkers, explorers, archeologists, druids.

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