Macleod's Stone – Outer Hebrides, Scotland - Atlas Obscura
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Macleod's Stone

This standing stone has a unique backdrop thanks to some of the United Kingdom's best-rated beaches. 

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Clach Mhic Leoid, as this standing stone is known in Gaelic, is one of many such stones in Scotland. Just in the Outer Hebrides archipelago, visitors can find what is likely the country’s tallest stone, alongside one of the most famous groups of standing stones. Macleod’s Stone is different from these, however, as it is located in plain view of some of the characteristically powder-fine sands and turquoise waters of many Hebridean beaches.

The stone is closest to Traigh Iar beach, with Traigh Nisabost not far away. These two are often grouped with Luskentyre Beach as probably the most famous landscapes of the Isle of Harris. It is this backdrop that makes Clach Mhic Leoid stand out from practically any other standing stone in Scotland. In addition to the backdrop, Macleod’s Stone also happens to overlook a golf course, making it a pinnacle of Scottish-ness.

While the actual MacLeod clan traces its origins to the legendary 13th-century ancestor known as Leod, the stone itself predates his existence. It has been dated to the prehistoric Neolithic period and is believed to have been part of rituals, including funerary rites. A ring of ground-level stones around the main stone is thought to show the remnants of a cairn.

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