Long Meg & Her Daughters, Lacy’s Caves And A Pink Flour Mill.

A short drive from our caravan in the Eden Valley is an ancient stone circle called Long Meg & Her Daughters. It is in fact the second largest stone circle in the country. Legend has it that Meg and her daughter’s were turned to stone as they danced on the Sabbath. Meg is the tallest stone and stands tall and proud. A magic spell prevents you from counting the correct number of stones in the circle apparently. The morning we visited we had Megs family all to ourselves, apart from the herd of cows grazing amongst them.

Long Meg.

We parked up near the circle and walked into the nearby village of Little Salkeld. Here we enjoyed a morning brew outside the pink watermill, where we would return later for lunch. Next on our agenda though was a walk to Lacy’s Caves. We admired the red sandstone cottages ( most houses in the area are built using the local rosy coloured stone) which we passed en route.

We followed a farm track passing the buildings of Townend farm and past golden fields of barley on one side and the Settle Carlisle Railway on the other.

A mosaic map of the river Eden, we literally stumbled upon on the way.

Presently we saw a signpost for Ravendale Bridge and so followed the arrow into the woods, walking along the old Long Meg Mine tramline.

Lacy’s Caves were commissioned by Colonel Lacy of Salkeld Hall. They were built into the red sandstone cliffs by the river Eden in the 18th century. It was the fashion in those days to build follies and grottos to entertain guests in, Colonel Lacy even employed a villager to live in his caves as a hermit. A must have for gentry back then apparently! Apart from building the caves, Colonel Lacy was also famous for trying to blow up Long Meg and her daughters. The mystical circle was saved by a very convenient thunderstorm.

Lacy’s Caves.

The hermit would have had a picturesque riverside vista anyway.

Enchanters Nightshade in the woods.

We then retraced our steps back into Little Salkeld, counting numerous butterflies on the way. πŸ™‚ The menu at the mill had looked so tasty, we decided to stop there for lunch. Little Selkeld Watermill is an 18th Century working organic flour mill which has a shop and cafe serving good vegetarian food. I really enjoyed my Homitey Pie. πŸ™‚ There are mill tours , but we just settled on a bench outside to enjoy our dinner.

After lunch we headed back to the van and Wil assembled our hammock! It’s very relaxing , once you figure how to get in and out. πŸ™‚

Have you visited any of these places?

Or hung about in a hammock? πŸ˜ƒ

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36 thoughts on “Long Meg & Her Daughters, Lacy’s Caves And A Pink Flour Mill.”

  1. Another place to put on my β€œto see” list. When my kids were small I found a seat sale to England and my husband and I went for a quick visit. We stayed south around the Cotswolds but I think we found three or four stone circles to visit as well as a special visit to Stonehenge at dawn, just us and the security guard. I don’t know if they still do that. I’d had to arrange it all from Canada by FAX!! That tells you how long ago it was!!

    1. You were very privileged, I believe it is very touristy and busy now. Long Meg & her Daughter’s is the second biggest circle after Stonehenge. X

  2. Thanks for reminding me, on your lovely blog, about those caves in the sandstone. Years ago I followed the River Eden from source to Carlisle. I bivouacked in the caves one night on the way. Very dry and cosy.
    Further down the river at Lazonby and Armathwaite there are some impressive sandstone cliffs by the river where we used to climb if it was raining in the Lakes. Worth a look next time you are up there.
    Bought a cheap hammock from Aldi and slept very well in it for several nights last time I was in France.

  3. I love these kind of sites. I’ve never been to see Meg and her brood. I’ve been to Castlerigg many times, and my favourite place is Orkney which is littered with Neolithic sites.

  4. To be honest I’m not terribly interested in stone circles, just don’t see the point of them at all. I do like the red sandstone cottages though, and the pink buildings look lovely πŸ™‚

  5. Lovely, but we seem to be having weird weather & not getting out & about as much as we hoped. Still want to do some more walks before we go home. Have a great weekend & take care.

  6. Looks like a good walk wit plenty of interest.
    I’ve heard of the Long Meg stone circle but never visited. Looks like it would be “worth a detour” as they say in the Michelin guides!

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