Upon arriving, the first noticeable change was the structured lay-by with a now dedicated wheel-chair friendly footpath leading to the entrance of the stones. Neither did it appear necessary to scramble over a rickety stile to get to the King Stone
– there seems to be proper access via a small gate. I was keen to see what the circle would be like now its exterior was expanded by the purchase of land to the south.
No disappointments on this score. Moving away from the visitor's hut, the circle opened up before me, more able to breathe within its landscape than for many years previously. It looks fantastic. What made it look even more fantastic was the sunshine spilling over the weathered, twisted, pitted stones, singing out the colours of honey-coloured oolitic limestone, egg-yolk yellow lichens, and olivaceous-green mosses. To the south, a wide, rustling field of sun-baked golden wheat rippled and shimmered in the warm breeze. Fluffy white cumulus clouds sailed in stately fashion across a sky of rich, uplifting blueness. Wild flowers poked up through the grass, and clumps of coltsfoot sat the base of some of the stone, their dark glossy leaves contrasting with the rock. Perfection in Oxfordshire.