Long Meg and Her Daughters (Featuring Little Meg)

Gazza with Long Meg and Her DaughtersStone circles come in all sizes, some are massive and some are tiny. Undoubtedly one of the best places you can visit to illustrate this fact lies north of Penrith in Cumbria. When traveling north from Little Salkeld towards Glassonby look out for a tiny road on the left, which leads straight to Long Meg and Her Daughters and be prepared to be dazzled.

As you round the corner this giant circle smacks you in the face, not least because the road, like Avebury passes right through the middle of the stones on its way to a small farm that is largely hidden by trees. This does of course mean that you can alight from your vehicle and you are already stood in the circle. Result! However, this does of course mean that there is a road running through the middle of the monument, which is not so good. Gazza is always reminding me that size and quality don't always equate to the same thing but in the case of Long Meg's Daughters they most certainly do. Many of the 70 stones that originally formed this circle remain and more remarkably many of these are still upright, giving these stones extra gravitas. Not only that but some of the stones are massive, just right for a circle this size. The stones are placed on a gentle slope, which lead up to Long Meg who stands proudly overlooking Her Daughters below her. Long Meg herself is a tall upright stone decorated with spiral carvings looking every bit the matriarch. Ok the little road does detract from the overall picture and there are some large trees that, although beautiful break-up the symmetry somewhat, but nevertheless this is one of the best proportioned circles you will find. An absolute cracker!

Burnsie with Little MegJust round the corner from Long Meg and Her Daughters on the edge of a farmer's field sits Little Meg so named because...er it's little. Indeed this circle is so tiny that if the grass was too long you could easily miss it. Fortunately for me Gazza was on the case and we were able to visit with the stones despite the onset of rain. Although few in number (about six) a couple of Little Meg's stones have a bit of girth and one has the faint outline of spiral patterning seen on Long Meg. Consequently Little Meg is well worth a quick visit. I'm not sure that the stones have remained where they are for the last 4,500 years or so without a little reshaping but hey they look right pretty!

So if you want to see one of the biggest and one of the smallest all in one handy portion this is your spot, and in the case of Long Meg and Her Daughters one of the finest, despite Gazza's reservations!