Saturday, April 19, 2008

Stone Circles and Cork Stones at Stanton Moor

It is a over a year since we last visited Stanton Moor on that occasion the quarry protestors were in residence in their ecovillage. This protest action having evaded eviction met with some success and its thanks to this group that we are able to visit this picuresque and intersting area of the Peak District.

We drove through the village of Birchover and parked at the roadside not far from a feature know as the Andle Stone. In the summer this is an excellent place for an evening stroll amongst the colourful purple heathers. Today it is bleak and blustery .

Our first stop on our short walk across the moor as the cork stone on this particular day with the wind whipping around it is not difficult to imagine how this stone acheived its curious shape. The corkstone is shown in the picture on the left, steps in the rock can be seen iron handles have been added to ease an ascent of the stone.

Passing the triangulation pillar on the moor we head north to the nine ladies stone circle or Stanton Moor 2. There are 4 stone circles on Stanton Moorand nine ladies is known as Stanton Moor 2. Near by is a single standing stone known as the King Stone.

Stanton Moor is excellent place to come for a short walk in the summer (or incorporated into a longer walk) As well as exploring and investigating its megalithic features, near to Birchover is the Robin Hoods stride providing an excellent place for bouldering or even weasling. Near to the druid in is the druids cave which is fun to explore. The druid inn is recommended for its good food.

The following links provide good information about Stanton Moor. The wikipedia
links also contain information about the quarrying protests at Stanton Moor.

The following link has useful plan of the site showing the location of the different circles.

The following web site provides details of a walk on Stanton Moor.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Family Holiday to The Isle of Skye

We have just returned from a week long holiday to The Isle of Skye. We stayed at Waterfall View at Milovaig on the North West Coast of Skye near the Waternish area and Dunvegan.
The cottage is described at the following web site.
At this time of year it is not surprising to get a fall of snow particularly when the weather is dominated by air that is moving in from the arctic. This was not a problem as the cottage was particularly comfortable.

Our first day out took us to Trotternish, the picture on the left shows rough weather at the
famous Kilt Rock cliffs. We had lunch at the Flodigarry Country House Hotel and sheltered from the flurries of snow with a most welcome fire and amazing views from the hotel bar.

After a couple of days and in more settled weather we walked up Macleod's Table North that is near to the cottage. We started from Osdale, this is not far from Dun Osdale.

The nearby toy museum at Glendale is well worth a visit providing an opportunity for youngsters to play and the young at heart to enjoy the added benefit of being able to reminisce.

Not far from the cottage is the Neist Point light house with excellent views and interesting rock formations. A run from the cottage is rather like a roller coaster.
The crags at Neist point also offer a number of climbs which are described at

We all visited Elgol on the southern part of the isle and we went on a boat trip to Loch Coruisk in the Cuillin mountains. This is an excellent way to view a variety of wild life including Golden Eagles, Sea Eagles, Seals (see photo left), Basking Sharks, porpoises, Minkie Whales and even Orca.

The boat we used in an excellent way into the Cuillin for general exploration and such things as the Dubh Traverse. This has even been used to rescue people from the infamous bad step on the coastal path from Elgol and Camasunary.

The picture below shows the south ridge of Bla Bheinn, in summer this provides a fairly straightforward walk this was the route I selected for a walk whilst Amanda and Keisha visited the Skye Serpentarium at Broadford . There was a lot of snow on the rdige and this slowed progress up the mountain. On this particulalr day a reached the south top which is 4m lower than the North top. Due to the conditions I made the decision to return down the mountain along the south ridge and not attempt my goal which was the north top. As it was Amanda and Keisha had been patiently waiting for me for just over an hour it would have been rude to keep them waiting any long. Climbing to the North top would have added at least an hour. The mountain will be there another day and I am fascinated by the Bla Bheinn Clach Glas traverse.

Below is a view down the south ridge of Bla Bheinn showing the bay at Camasunary below.

Below is a view up the south ridge to tops of Bla Bheinn

On our final day we visitedWaterstein and we can recommend a visit of the workshops of skye skins

This was an excellent holiday with good friends and their family and enjoyed by all.
The pictures above show us standing on the jetty at Waterstein, the larger macleods table is shown on the right and here posing as a volcano! There is a lot to do and this may even include dining at a 5 star restaurant such as the Three Chimneys at nearby Colbost.

Further photgraphs from our visit are at