Castlerigg Stone Circle and a Weekend to Myself

Castlerigg Stone circle // Keswick

Castlerigg Stone Circle

This ring of stones has stood in their spectacular location for the past 5000 years. A monument remaining from the Neolithic people that inhabited our islands: one of around a thousand that are scattered throughout Britain and Ireland. 

Castlerigg is particularly special, not only is it one of the oldest, it is also has one of the most magnificent backdrops: the stones stand on an elevated plateau encircled by the beautiful Lakeland mountains.

The sun was low as we approached Keswick, turning a bend on one of the narrow country lanes we were suddenly blinded momentarily by it directly ahead before another bend whisked it out of eye line.

We were going to get pitched up at the campsite but the golden light was just too tempting to pass up and we continued along the lanes to Castlerigg.

Castlerigg Stone circle // KeswickA few cars were parked up along the lane, we clearly weren’t the only ones making use of the glorious evening.

I’ve visited Castlerigg a few times, it never fails to impress me. The late afternoon sun revealed the wonderfully undulating field the circle stands in. A few people were milling around the stones, a young couple was lounging against one and a few photographers with tripods stalked the outside of the circle – waiting for the day trippers to leave no doubt, to clear the frame!

The guy of the couple that were lounging decided he would leap the stones, he sprung from stone to stone until he found himself with a rather high drop to the next one.

He was a little on the mouthy-side and there was some sort of banter about Chorley cakes with the photographers that now had their lenses focussed on him. The sedate view of the ancient circle had become animated and, of course, there was always the chance he may ‘come a cropper’ as they say!

This attention fired him up, he loved it! He failed to reach the low stone, but that didn’t mean he stopped. He clambered back up the tall stone and went for it again – after much posturing.

This repeated a few times, I wandered off, unimpressed.

As the shadows lengthened the day-trippers drifted away leaving just a couple of tripod-tographers and us.

The sun gilded the stones and the surrounding hills took on that dreamy, ethereal quality as they became bathed in shadows.



Castlerigg circle is less than 2 miles from Keswick, our destination for the weekend. Chris was here for a yearly boys meet-up, they were renting a house in the town, while I was out on a campsite not too far from the stones.

For me it was a blissful weekend of reading, baking and delving into Finnish grammar. I had three days of my own company, a good book, a fully stocked fridge of food, and a quiet corner of the campsite.

Sometimes it’s good to switch-off from technology, and people, for a few days.

Demountable Camper, truck camperI had every intention of walking back to Castlerigg, but to be honest, nothing was going to beat that gorgeous evening light so instead I sat and read in the warm October sunshine reading my book (Hokkaido Highway Blues, for our Twitter Travelbookclub).

I baked cinnamon rolls in my new stove-top oven using my dough and filling from my Korvapuusti recipe – which was rather good because today is Cinnamon Roll Day (Happy Cinnamon Roll Day!) and I now have a little stash of them in my Thundertruck freezer!

I also made a cake – because the boys popped round to have a nosy of the Thundertruck and I had to have something to serve with a cuppa! After the success of the Banana Choc Chip Ring Cake from last week I upped the ante and used this recipe for Banana Peanut Butter Chunky Chocolate Muffins and made that into a ring cake, topping it before baking with banana chips.

So here’s to weekend escapes – even nomadic van dwellers need time off from the world sometimes!

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Castlerigg // Stone circle // Lake District

Stick around!

Banana Peanut Butter and Chunky Chocolate Muffins also makes a delicious cake!

Banana Choc Chip Ring Cake baked in my stove-top Omnia oven

Girdle Scones and a stone circle on the Isle of Skye

Korvapuusti Finnish Cinnamon Rolls

What did you get up to over this sun-drenched October weekend?

8 Responses

  1. Cynthia says:

    Love your blog. I loved reading about you picking up Finn. Very unusual! My family is Finn but I grew up in the US. I’ve tried to study Finn but it takes some dedication for sure.

  2. Jackie says:

    The rolling hills behind the stone circle are really gorgeous. Your photos do a great job of capturing the beauty. I can’t help but ponder and reflect in places like this. Thoughts about the meaning of such sights stir up all sorts of ideas. It’s a great way to relax.

    • Rachel Davis says:

      Thanks Jackie! I know exactly what you mean, I have a favourite circle down in Oxfordshire and I’ve made some life changing decisions there, it’s almost like the ancestors are whispering! Maybe that’s a bit far fetched, but there is something about the atmosphere of these places that sets you thinking.

  3. I love the photos of the peoples’ shadows on the stones. Glad to hear you had a nice weekend and that #travelbookclub played a part in it! Sometimes I love quiet weekends to myself like this 🙂

    • Rachel Davis says:

      I loved snapping the shadow man photo, it was a magical thoughtful moment! Man at one with an ancient monument.
      It was a #travelbookclub blissful weekend!

  4. Kasha says:

    Wow, Castlerigg Stone Circle looks so beautiful! Your campervan adventures make me want to have my own car again – I love the freedom of roadtrips like this one.

    So glad you had such an incredible time 🙂