The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Stone Circle


Castlerigg visit #1 (15.10.2011)

We arrived in the Lakes in glorious autumn weather, with clear blue skies and sunshine the order of the day. After a quick shopping trip into Keswick, we headed back to our base for week, just outside of town and wonderfully only a 10 minute walk from the stone circle. It was getting to late afternoon and I couldn't wait to get my first sight of the circle, especially on such a perfect evening.

As I climb the steep road up towards the circle, the sun's softly filtered light plays on the slopes of the unmistakable Blencathra. Pausing to look backwards, it's sinking low over the Western and Northwestern Fells, so I hurry on, keen to get there for sunset.

It's has been a beautiful day, so it's no surprise to find a number of cars parked near the entrance. Walking up the field, the tops of the stones are the first thing to appear, then a inconceivably dramatic backdrop of mountains and fells come into view. The circle is pretty thronged, something that would usually have me silently cursing, but the setting is so overpowering that instead I grin stupidly at the wonder of it all.

I circle the circle from a distance, round the boundary walls and fences, stopping to look at the small outlier. Eventually I head into the melee, for a closer look at the stones themselves. No time-knawed rocks these, they are, in the main, round-shouldered, smooth-faced beauties. The peculiar oblong setting inside the circle draws me particularly, although I don't have any idea why.

The sun sets over Causey Pike, a brilliant orange ball amidst scant fluffy cloud. What a sight.

Most of the people drift off, only a few lingering past the sunset. Eventually, as the dusk deepens, I have the circle to myself for a wonderful while.

The ease of access and ever-present crowds will prevent this ever being as close to my heart as the more remote moorland circles, but for sheer drama and setting, this one takes some beating. I will be back.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
23rd October 2011ce
Edited 23rd October 2011ce

Comments (4)

Loved reading about your visit tsc ... yes, it is a very popular place but there are times when you can get it all to yourself, the majesty of the surroundings does diminish the effect of having other people present. tjj Posted by tjj
23rd October 2011ce
Great notes. I'm glad that your trip to the lakes was a such a success. blossom Posted by blossom
28th October 2011ce
I love Castlerigg too. It's an essential (I guess largely due to it's accessibility) stop on the way to and from Scotland, as well as a fantastic destination. I find that it's a bit of a time-sink: you can be there for hours, admiring the changing scenery as the clouds cast their shadows over the surrounding fells throughout the day. If you stay there for a couple of hours - which is surprisingly ready to do - you find that you get the place to yourself fairly often, considering. Even in peak season! Of course there's dozens of other places to visit in the vicinity but it's worth giving up a couple of hours for. And you don't half get some colourful characters passing through! :D

G x
goffik Posted by goffik
29th October 2011ce
Cheers all. Thanks Goff, yes I think you're right. I did manage to get it to myself on each of the three visits, but each time there was someone there when I arrived and people arriving when I left - a great place though. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
30th October 2011ce
You must be logged in to add a comment