Recumbent Stone Circles are a distinctive type of stone circle found in North East Scotland. Two stones, often the tallest ones, flank a large recumbent stone lying on its side, weighing many tons. Mostly facing South West but with regional variations, its purpose is uncertain, but it is thought to be a level "frame" over which to observe the movements of the moon. The following examples are only a fraction of the hundred or so surviving Recumbent Stone Circles in North East Scotland

Some stone circles are under the protection of Historic Scotland. Some are on Forestry land, but most are on private land and many are in agricultural fields. When visiting a site, ask permission from the landowner where appropriate. Park carefully at farms and on the narrow country roads.

It is possible to reach most of the stone circles from bus routes planning a walk of a few miles along farm tracks and back roads. All the sites in this guide were seen in this way, but you have to be a keen walker, as some walks involve a 10 or 12 mile walk. If walking, take sturdy boots, waterproofs, maps and compass, food and drink.
Text: © Anna Edelsten
Design: Bruce Edelsten