Nine Ladies Stone Circle Walk
This walk visits the fascinating Bronze Age stone circle of the Nine Ladies in the Derbyshire Peak District.
The walk starts from the village of Birchover on the edge of Stanton Moor. From here you can pick up country lanes to take you to the moor, passing the Barton Hill quarries and the noteworthy Cork Stone on the way. On the moor you can then follow nice footpaths up to the stone circle. Here you will find the 9 upright stones thought to depict nine ladies turned to stone as a penalty for dancing on Sunday. The site dates from the Bronze age about 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.
After exploring the site you can follow other trails south past the stone tower on the eastern side of the moor. The Reform or Earl Grey Tower, was built by William Pole Thornhill and dedicated to the Reform Act 1832. After passing the structure other trails then lead you back to the village where you can enjoy refreshments at one of the pubs or cafes.
For an alternative walk to the site you could park on the Lees Road just to the north of the stone circle. See the Stanton Moor Walk for more details.
To further continue your walking in the area you could visit Sheepwalk wood just north of the moor. Two long distance footpaths also run past the western and eastern side of the area. The Derwent Valley Heritage Way can be followed through Darley Dale to Matlock along the River Derwent. The Limestone Way can be followed towards nearby Youlgreave.
Nine Ladies Stone Circle Walk Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Nine Ladies Stone Circle Walk Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Nine Ladies Stone Circle Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Nine Ladies Stone Circle Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Back in Birchover there's two decent pubs for post walk refreshment. The Red Lion dates back to 1680 and includes oak beams, stone walls, log burners and a nice patio area. Just up the street there's also The Druid Inn to try. It too has an interesting history having once been the meeting place of the Druids who used the sites around the village for ceremonial worship in ancient times.
The moorland is a fine place for a dog walk. Birchover's local pubs are also both dog friendly.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Head south from Birchover and you will soon come to the neighbouring village of Winster. The village is well worth a visit with the 17th century Old Market Hall a highlight of the area. The building is owned by the National Trust and was the first to be acquired by the charity back in 1906 for the princly sum of £50. At the hall you'll find a series of interpretation panels detailing the history of the village and a scale model of Winster. The village also includes a noteworthy old pub which dates all the way back to 1472. The circular walk from the village will take you to Bonsall which is also worthy of some exploration.
You can visit Darley Dale on the longer Birchover Walk which also starts in the village.
Just to the west there's the popular Robin Hood's Stride. The splendid rock formation is one of the highlights of the area. There's also the Bronze Age Nine Stones Close Stone Circle just north of the rocks.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Peak District Walks page.