17 May 2017

The Wonder that is Castlerigg Stone Circle - Visiting with kids

Have you been to Castlerigg Stone Circle? 

It is in the Lake District, located in-between Ullswater and Derwent Water, close to the town of Keswick. Less than a 2-hour drive from Newcastle-upon-Tyne - the drive is totally worth it.

The Wonder that is Castlerigg Stone Circle - with kids

Castlerigg is thousands of years old. It’s old, even for a stone circle. One of around 1,300 stone circles in the British Isles and Brittany, it was constructed as a part of a megalithic tradition that lasted from 3,300 to 900 BC, during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages.



I first visited as a child, then with a group of friends when we camped nearby, but on a recent trip to The Lakes, I thought the boys would love it too, so on the way to Keswick we stopped off. 



The ice-cream van at the entrance made them very happy, however, we actually spent longer at the site than I'd imagined with the boys loving the views but also playing hide and seek amongst the stones ...



Totally spoilt by the clear blue skies and snowcapped mountains we were in one of the most picturesque places to be at the start of British springtime. It is set in the most dramatic and beautiful landscape. 

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves ...

Castlerigg Stone Circle




Castlerigg Stone Circle is thought to have been constructed in 3000 BC making it older than Stonehenge (erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC) and one of the earliest in the UK. 

We also visited Stonehenge a couple of years ago and we and the boys really enjoyed it but here at Castlerigg although the stones are smaller you can get up close. Its also just a very short walk from the roadside where you can park.

Stonehenge

There are more than 300 stone circles in Britain, the great majority of them are Bronze Age burial monuments (dating from approximately 2000–800 BC) containing cremations in central pits or beneath small central cairns. Castlerigg though does not contain formal burials.

There are few stone circles in Britain in such a dramatic setting as that of Castlerigg, which overlooks the Thirlmere Valley with the mountains of High Seat and Helvellyn as a backdrop.



Castlerigg is about 30m in diameter. It originally had forty-two stones; there are now only thirty-eight stones, which vary in height from 1m to 2.3m. One of the more unusual features of Castlerigg is a rectangle of standing stones within the circle.



Every year, thousands of tourists in the Lake District travel to the site, making it the most visited stone circle in Cumbria - from about 65 in total. Since the 1700s, visitors have been both intrigued and inspired by this ancient monument and its impressive setting. 

It is a stunning location that makes the stone circle so beautiful; on a flat-topped hill, surrounded by serious mountains, valleys with picture-postcard patchwork fields and white-washed farmhouses. From within the circle, it is possible to see some of the highest peaks in Cumbria: Helvellyn, Skiddaw, Grasmoor and Blencathra.



The land is owned by the National Trust and it is maintained as an ancient monument by English Heritage. You can also walk there from Keswick - imagine this view as you arrive after climbing over the dry stone wall ...





Because of its position in the heart of the Lake District, right on the edge of Keswick, the circle attracts many visitors whatever the weather or season. Despite this it remains a truly magical place that draws one back time after time - and one that I'm sure we will be returning to again soon.

Have you been to Castlerigg?

Deb x

17 comments:

  1. I had totally forgotten about this place. i remember going up with my Mam when I was probably 11 or 12. We are camping on the bank holiday weekend not far so will make the trip with the family x

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  2. Ah I've never been here before but it looks so beautiful! I love places like this and used to visit similar locations as a child with my mum, I must start going with our kids! x

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    1. I was really pleased when the boys loved it too x

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  3. Beautiful photos. It looks like one near to me which is close to Stonehedge. Those views are stunning!

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    1. I just love stone circles - something about them ...

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  4. This is cool, I didn't know about it but would like to visit. Thanks.

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  5. Beautiful photos - always good to get away from it all and away from all the tv, iPads...technology etc. I am planning on doing these types of days out with my girl as she gets older. We live in such an unhealthy world with all the gadgets these days.

    http://www.onesliceoflemon.com/

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  6. I have never actually heard of this place I wish that it was closet to me because I think I would love to visit when life is getting on top of me because time without technology and breathing in fresh air is always something I could benefit from

    Charlotte x

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    1. Getting outdoors does make you feel loads better x

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  7. Gorgeous photos, looks like you all had a great day out xx

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    1. It was fab and it was Mothers Day :)

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  8. beautiful pictures

    yukti.

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  9. Fantastic photos! I visited Castle Rigg with my daughter a couple of years ago, we both loved it. Thanks for posting.

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