|Access slightly uncomfortable walk for a few yards north along the verge of the busy A169 before a right turn onto a metalled farm lane. A very short distance along this lane, the hill of Blakey Topping comes into view.
Continuing towards the hill and stone circle, the walk remains on metalled surface for the majority of the distance, with a couple of full width gates which I'm pretty sure were unlocked. Unfortunately, approaching the farm at the bottom of the hill the path leaves the metalled lane and makes a quick descent into pasture.
This descent would be very awkward for anyone with any walking difficulties, but it may well be worth asking at the farm.
Either way, the other side of the farm the walk continues on a small and reasonably steep grassy path up the side of a field next to forestry, to the 'foot' of the mound that is Blakey Topping itself.
From here you will probably be able to make out the stones of the circle, a short walk to the right along the top edge of this field.
Sunday 24 August 2003
Well, as I thought the first time I visited, I defy anyone who's seen Silbury Hill not to immediately think of it when they first glimpse Blakey Topping from this direction. Big difference, of course is that it's not man-made. But it's nearly as weird and pretty much as striking and impressive!
It's all the more impressive as you draw closer and descend into the valley at its foot, where a farm lies.
The sun was blazing and (it's off-topic, but I just have to mention it) there were some absolutely beautiful horses grazing in the field that the path crosses by the farm. (Including a reasonably young foal.) I'm not usually all that much of a horse-fan, but the proportions of these beasts and the level of grooming were just spectacular.
The stone circle
The little stone circle on the slight ridge just below Blakey Topping and above the farm has a lovely feel to it. Incredibly peaceful – being so far from any roads. With the sheep happily munching their lunch, we decided to do likewise, and I can't remember ever having a picnic in as pleasant a place.
We thought the circle might once have been bigger, but a couple of the remaining few stones didn't seem as if they were in their original positions, judging from angles of the stones and their positions in relation to each other.
Just speculation and guesswork, but it looked to me like there might have once been as many as 8 or 10 stones forming a circle about the size of the Twelve Apostles of Ilkley Moor. But I could be way off!
Bloody hell! I just checked and Burl says 51ft. The 12 Apostles is 52ft….
This post appears as part of the weblog entry Pottering around Pickering
Posted by Moth
14th September 2003ce
Edited 15th September 2003ce