First site of a proposed two week tour of the Scottish 'lowlands', following on from a long drive from South-East Essex.... stone circles with central stones are not exactly common place in Britain, so curiosity value alone makes this an essential visit.
Having previously seen the charismatic Cairnholy tombs on the way back from Arran some years ago, I decide to approach from Cambret farm to the approx north, a minor road from the tiny coastal village of Carsluith allowing vehicular access to a point where tarmac gives way to an unsurfaced farm track. Verge parking is possible here, hence boots must be donned for the short walk to the farm, followed by a rough trek to the south, crossing Carsluith Burn.
A large glacial erratic (I assume) is prominent upon the hillside, above to the left, this distracting me from my compass bearing and luring me to the high ground. Yeah, I can not resist the call. In actual fact the circle sits within a field at the northern head of a valley, bounded to the east by Cairnharrow and to the west by Cairnholy Hill.... so ignore the hillside and veer right alongside a fenceline.
Although the fallen centre stone is substantial, the stones upon the circumference are relatively small. But this is of no significance since the ring is in complete harmony with it surroundings. From within, the aforementioned glacial erratic appears an integral part of the monument, perhaps a natural gorsedd? My rough compass bearing is c75 degrees from the centre. Telecom antennae rise upon Cambret Hill to the north. Two further stone circles lie to its left (the fabulous Glenquickan) and right (Cauldside Burn). Hardy souls may visit all in a long day - as suggested by Burl. But I must have time to reflect, so will visit the latter tomorrow. He says.
The only sounds are that of bird song and the wind. It is a good start.
We parked in the carpark at Cairn Holy then crossed several fields skirting the sheep and over a couple of dykes keeping to the west side of the burn. We then followed the path along the side of Cairn Holy hill until the burn almost disappeared. Then crossed the last dyke and up to the circle. We then went on to Cauldside Burn cairn and ruined circle. It all took a full afternoon in fine weather. Would not have fancied it in anything less. On our return there was a warning note from the police on the car about not leaving vehicles unattended.
By far the easiest way of course would be to drive along the lane to Claughreid farm and ask to park then follow the track to the circle.
It's a bit of a boggy 'shortish' trek over the moorland near Cambret Farm to this circle.....but even after getting the shoes sucked off of my feet it in the mud it was well worth it....(nice one Fitz for digging it out).
Eight low stones surround an egg shaped central stone, the ruined little brother of Glenquickan, which stands over the otherside of Cambret Hill. Excellent views of the surrounding hills.