Loupin' Stanes and Girdle Stanes – Langholm, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Loupin' Stanes and Girdle Stanes

Langholm, Scotland

A pair of stone circles positioned on the bank of the River Esk. 


Loupin’ Stanes is a stone circle sat on a low platform above the River Esk. The rough stone circle has two large stones marking the entrance at the southwest side. The rest of the stone circle is made up of 10 stones.

There are also stones scattered around the exterior of the stone circle, their role in the site is uncertain. Further along, the Esk are the remains of another stone circle, Girdle Stanes. Girdle Stanes was once made up of 40 or 45 stones, over time, the Esk has changed course and it swept away part of the stone circle. Around 21 stones remain in place, one precariously balanced beyond the fence on the edge of the river bank.

It’s thought that the entrance would have been located on the southeast side. The proximity of the two circles is unusual. Questions remain about why two such different style circles were built so close together. It’s uncertain which was built first, although one belief is that Loupin’ Stanes was built to replace Girdle Stanes after it was damaged.

There are also two recumbent stones between the two stone circles. Questions also remain about their purpose, were they some way of connecting the damaged stone circle with the smaller circle. 

Know Before You Go

There is a small layby for parking to visit the stones. Cross the road, go over the style, and head down the field to find Loupin' Stanes (this can be seen from the road). Follow the route of the river (with the river on your right hand side) to reach Girdle Stanes. You can then head up the field and walk back along the road or return by the same route.

Community Contributors
Added by

July 21, 2023

Make an Edit Add Photos
In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web