Stanton Moor Walk [Cork Stone and Nine Ladies Stone Circle]
Stanton Moor is a fabulous place to visit, full of history and things to see for kids and adults alike. This Stanton Moor walk explores the moor, discovering the quarries, Cork Stone, Moor Plantations trig point, Nine Ladies Stone Circle, Earl Grey Tower and much more, before heading to explore the mystical Rowtor Rocks. At 4 miles this is a relatively steady walk, making it a great Peak District walk for kids.
Our walk starts from the pretty village of Birchover near the Druid’s Inn. We walked along the road for a short distance and then headed onto the moor at the Cork Stone entrance. The Cork Stone is a large sandstone boulder, which has some footholds and metal handles inserted into it so the adventurous can climb to the top of it to see the natural bowl on the top.
From the Cork Stone we headed off south over the stile to find the Fairy Chair aka Thomas’s Chair, a rock which is shaped like a cool little armchair. We then retraced our steps back past the Cork Stone through one of the Stanton Moor quarries, and off over the moor to the Moor Plantations trig point.
The trig point was surrounded by heather and Stanton Moor is one of the best places to see heather in the Peak District.
From the trig point we carried on north-east along a wooded trail to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. The Nine Ladies are a mystical stone circle which legend says is the remains of nine women who were turned to stone for dancing on a Sunday, as well as the nearby King Stone which is said to be the fiddler on that fateful day. It’s actually a Bronze Age stone circle. Sadly the circle is under threat – large amounts of tourists are eroding the site, lighting campfires and generally disrespecting the site. When we visited there were people leaning against the stones, using them as tables and tying dogs on leads to them, as well as dogs running around everywhere, so it’s no wonder this fragile site is suffering.
We didn’t stay long at the Nine Ladies stone circle and set off to find the Grade II listed Earl Grey Tower, a monument erected to commemorate the passing of the 1832 Reform Act. This tower is hidden in the woods a short distance from the Nine Ladies.
From the tower we walked through the woods to the Cat Stone, which is similar to the Cork Stone in that it’s a big old rock with some carved footholds. The word Cat comes from the word Cath which means battle, and this Cat Stone has a carving of EIN 1831.
After we’d climbed the Cat Stone we headed back along the trail to the entrance to Stanton Moor near Stanton Moor Quarries and then back into Birchover. We followed a track through the Stanton Moor car park and headed towards the Druids Inn.
Round the back of the Druids Inn is the mysterious Rowtor Rocks. This rocky outcrop is home to a series of chambers and rooms which are thought to have been created by a local mam Thomas Eyre. It’s a great place for the kids to explore although there are some very big drops, so I wouldn’t let them explore unsupervised.
From Rowtor Rocks we went to the Druids Inn for a drink before heading back to the car.
This is a great walk if you want to see heather in the Peak District, unusual caves and historical, mystical places. Who knew Stanton Moor had so much to see?!
Parking: We parked on the road in Birchover. There is a nearer car park at Birchover Stone, Matlock, Derbyshire, England, DE4 2BN W3W:///takeovers.rockets.swaps
Walk Time: 4-5 hours
Distance: 4 miles (6.8km)
Elevation: 370ft (112m)
Trig Points Bagged: Moor Plantations (Stanton Moor)
Peak District Peaks Bagged: Stanton Moor
Peak District Ethels Bagged: Stanton Moor
For more walks with caves you might like:
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