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.
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.
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.
The hermit would have had a picturesque riverside vista anyway.
We then retraced our steps back into Little Salkeld, counting numerous butterflies on the way. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂
Have you visited any of these places?
Or hung about in a hammock? 😃