Loanhead of Daviot is a recumbent stone circle, dating back to approximately 2500BC. It has a diameter of roughly 20 metres, and contains 8 standing stones, a large recumbent stone and two flankers. The recumbent stone has been split into two by frost damage, and weighs somewhere in the region of 20 tonnes.
Later, the stone circle was transformed into a burial site. An interior cairn was constructed and used for interring the cremated remains of the dead. A further circle was uncovered in 1930AD, immediately to the south, bounded by a small ditch. This appears to have been used as a cremation cemetery sometime around 1500BC. It is now marked by a ring of small stones.
Loanhead of Daviot is approached via a pleasant walk through deciduous woodland (which is also in use by the scouts, who share the car park). Once through the woods, the path emerges onto the plateau of a small hill, with views stretching out across the landscape to the north and west.
Being one of the popular tourist sites of Aberdeenshire, and very accessible, this isn't the quietest stone circle that you're likely to encounter. Nevertheless, it has its own charm, and the location is beautiful when the sun is shining and a gentle wind is blowing.
This is a heavily reconstructed site, and while this damages the sense of authenticity, it does mean that it's well looked after. Although this isn't one of my favourite stone circles, it's certainly an enjoyable spot to visit, and worth the effort if you're in the area.