Calanais Visitor Centre: 25th Anniversary

It scarcely seems possible, but the Calanais Visitor Centre celebrates its 25th Anniversary today. 25 years of helping visitors make sense of an ancient monument that sits at the heart of our community. I can only speculate on how many gallons of coffee & acres of cake we’ve served to refresh excited visitors fresh from their first (or thirty first) visit to the Calanais stones. I wonder how many postcards we’ve sold to those sheltering from a shower – not that it ever rains in the Outer Hebrides of course.

The Visitor Centre has been an important employer within the islands since we opened back in 1995. We’ve provided jobs, work experience & training to lots of young people within the local area, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have worked so hard for us now, and in the past, helping to build something so unique and special.

Over the past 25 years, the Calanais Visitor Centre has gone from strength to strength. Visitors numbers to the Calanais have grown from the modest trickle I remember as a child growing up nearby, to 135,000 in 2019. And while this year’s lockdown has kept many of you away so far this summer, our whole team is really looking forward to welcoming you back when life returns to something like normal.

I look forward to seeing you then

Donald Macarthur

Chairman, Urras nan Tursachan

I too have lived in the area long enough to watch visitor numbers to the centre grow from small beginnings to where we are now, but as you can imagine, I’ve never seen a situation quite like the one we see today.

We had big plans to celebrate our 25th Anniversary this summer, sharing memories of the past & dreams for our future with our staff, visitors and local community, and we’re all really disappointed that we’ve had to postpone these because of the current pandemic.

However, until we can see you in person, we’d break with tradition, and share our birthday with you virtually. To that end, the team have put together a short video birthday card, with messages from across the world that many of you were kind enough to send into us, and this is below

Until we see you again, best wishes

Caroline Maclennan

Deputy Chair, Urras nan Tursachan