21 October 2012

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.

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

To a little yard of part-ruined stone barns.

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

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...

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

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