The standing stones of Machrie Moor

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On the west side of Arran — the “Scotland in miniature” island of the Firth of Clyde — you might find a gateway, half hidden in high hedges, with a sign indicating the path to Machrie Moor.

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The track winds through the sheep fields and scrubland, and past a small and slightly mediocre fenced-off stone circle.

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To a little yard of part-ruined stone barns.

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And thence to the great array of neolithic structures, from clumps of squat granite boulder circles to triplets of tall sandstone megaliths.

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All set in the wide valley of the Machrie Water, around the point where a midsummer sun rises in the centre of the valley’s dip on the horizon…

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…against the backdrop of Ard Bheinn and the view to the distant Goatfell in the island’s mountainous north.

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