Folk in fashion – our favourite stone circle strolls

Whether it’s the resurgence of British film’s interest in folk horror, the sprouting up of new zines dedicated to our pagan past or best-selling bands Morris dancing at the Brits, a not-so-new trend has emerged over the last few years. Folk is back in fashion.   

And whether you’re a first-time folklorist or weathered stone enthusiast, there’s a wealth of walks you can sink your teeth into all over the UK. 

Don’t miss out in National Walking Month: Routes marked with (NWM) are free to access during National Walking Month, thanks to our friends at Cotswold Outdoor. You can also gain access to all our Ramblers Routes by become a member for just £3.42 a month.


1. Salisbury & Stonehenge, Wiltshire 

Where else could we start?  

Its Stonehenge.  

Starting off in Salisbury, you’ll wind your way through the historic town before following the River Avon up to UNESCO-protected sarson stones. A quick stop off at the New King’s Barrows, which bisect the Stonehenge Avenue, and on to Amesbury.  

Extra points if you time your walk around a solstice. 


2. Avebury – A Stone Age Perambulation  

The Suede to Stonehenge’s Oasis, Avebury may be less well known than its Wiltshire neighbour but those who veer off the beaten track will be well rewarded. 

Not only is Avebury home to the world’s largest stone circle, a Neolithic long barrow you can climb into and a mysterious earthen mound the size of the Egyptian pyramids, intrepid explorers will also find The Red Lion – the only pub in the world to be found inside a stone circle.  

Our route takes you on a circular walk across this ancient, ritualistic landscape, from the very centre of Avebury’s stones to the foot of Silbury Hill.  

The Avebury route (NWM)


3. Castlerigg Stone Circle, Cumbria 

Castlerigg, perched just above Keswick in the Lake District, lays a heavy claim to be the most picturesque location for a stone circle anywhere in the UK.  

Nestled in between Helvellyn, Blencathra, Skiddaw and Grisedale, Castlerigg was a favourite of the Romantic poets. It’s not hard to see why.  

Our route starts off in the heart of Keswick before climbing up to Castlerigg’s magnificent viewpoint. And that’s not the only excitement – after leaving the circle behind, you’ll climb up to the 368m summit of Latrigg before descending back into town for a well-earned cuppa.  

Castlerigg stone circle route (NWM)

4. YHA Youlgreave: Into the land of the Druids 

From the Lakes to the Peaks, our next route takes us to Derbyshire and the Nine Ladies sitting high on Stanton Moor. Said to be the remains of nine ladies turned to stone for daring to dance on Sunday, it’s not the only place of legend around these parts.  

Our route, which starts off in Youlgreave, will take you past Robin Hood’s Stride, said to the be the site of one of our hero’s daring escapes, a late Bronze Age hill fort and The Hermit’s Cave, home to a carving of the crucifixion from the 14th century.  

Youlgreave route (NWM)


5. Bryn Cader Faner, Gwynedd  

Not one for the faint hearted, Bryn Cader Faner is without doubt the hardest to reach of any of the stone circles on our list. But its also one of the most spectacular. A hybrid of a cairn and stone circle, it sits high on remote moorland in central Snowdonia’s Rhinogydd mountain range. Our 10-mile route will take you from Trawsfynydd, overlooking the reservoir, out onto the marshy moor, skirting peaks and ruins before delivering you back to where you started. 

Bryn Cader Faner route


6. Three Peaks Walk, Brockley 

When is a stone circle not a stone circle? 

When it was built in 2000.   

But let’s not be pedantic. While lacking some of the ancient stature of its competitors, the Brockley Stone Circle in Hilly Fields Park, Lewisham, is not short of a story or two.  

Set in place on the spring equinox of 2000 to mark the millenium, the circle is made up of 12 granite boulders transported from Mount Struie in Scotland, with the stone circle itself acting as a functioning sun dial.  

Our route starts and ends at Ladywell station, taking you up through Hilly Fields to One Tree Hill before winding its way back along the River Ravensbourne.  

Is it the oldest? No. But if you’re a timestrapped London folklorist in need of a quick fix, this one’s for you.  

Three Peaks walk route (NWM)

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