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Preparing for a Photographic Trip to a Stone Circle

Our location guides give you details on some stone circles, some well known and some being added over time are ones that fewer people visit. We have, over the years, visited several hundred at least, and we have been enjoying getting back to photograph some of them again with our digital cameras.  We also have a listing of a group that you might like to take a closer look at.

In most cases we donít go out just to look at a stone circle but make it one of three or four items we do in a day. You likewise may like to consider the challenge to photograph a circle as one of a number of opportunities available to you in a day.

There are just under a thousand remaining stone circles, that you can visit, and a number of websites devoted to locating and documenting what is at each location. Some are as few as four stones, and some have stones on the ground or only a foot or so high, some involve a lengthy trek, others you can park next to.

Having identified a stone circle that you would like to see, and potentially photograph, you have the opportunity to do some preparation, and to confirm that its both accessible and worth the trip.

If we have it detailed within our location guides this is the best place to start, if not then information is available from many other locations. See the list of websites featuring stone circles at the end of this article for some of these. There is also a book available, that we find helpful ďA Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and BrittanyĒ, by Aubrey Burl, 276 pages.  Sites owned by English Heritage and National Trust have details on their websites.

Once you have identified where they are, and you know the nearest village or town you will be able to get at a map or aerial photograph to see the area in more detail. Usually the best map of the area around the stone circle is the Ordnance Survey site, while aerial photographs showing the site well are on Google Maps, you can see the aerial view also from Multimap, but not anything like as close, so the detail does not show as well. Looking at the area around, you may spot other features that may be connected or that you want to explore while there.

Also from the information we have and the aerial view we can see the layout of the site and get to understand what we can expect to see when we arrive. At some sites like Avebury, Wiltshire and Stanton Drew, Somerset we have a variety of items on or near together and particularly from the air the layout and proximity of these is easier to understand.

Next we need to consider what we are to take, if itís a climb or distance to walk to the site then we will want to limit the amount we want to carry. We need to consider the camera or cameras to take, the lenses, filters and if we want to also take panoramas, the tripod and arrangement for this.  We may also want to take compass so we an check alignments, or know the direction we are looking and if we can see some distance, maps that allow us to work out what we are able to see.

Looking at the site and the weather/time of year we can decide what clothing and footwear is suitable, on high ridges it tends to always be colder than in the lower lands that we now mostly occupy.

We may also need to consider if it is a site that is sensible for us to go to, and who if anyone we want to take with us. If the distance or climb in particular is too great for us or our companions.

Finally we need to plan our journey and decide where we expect to be able to park.

On arrival, we need to make sure we are leaving the car where it is not a hazard, and then dress with boots or other items for the visit, taking with us all the equipment we expect to use. If there is a climb or distance to walk then  we will achieve this with less strain and faster if we take it at a pace that allows us to keep moving steadily without becoming exhausted. Some will race ahead, but you will nearly always catch up and pace these people, and arrive fit to enjoy the site, where they barely make it and are totally exhausted and unable to enjoy the experience and views. Most of us today donít get the amount of exercise we did when younger and far less than previous generations, and while some years ago I could take on any range of hills, and did on many occasions, I have to acknowledge today that I am no longer able to achieve this. Particularly after taking it easy over the winter months, taking on the first major hills in the spring presents difficulties. Carrying extra weight myself and a large and often heavy camera bag of course does not help.


Where you can find more information on stone circles:-

 Click here to return the the stone circle main page

Our locations pages.

Our listing of stone circles that you my like to see. Selection - Alpha Listing - Grid Ref Order

The following websites list some sites, and you will probably be surprised by how many sites they list, where circles existed but have now been destroyed and with some others they document decay and loss. You will also find details of circles more recently discovered and the excitement of those who have visited and found these sites.

http://www.stone-circles.org.uk/stone/index.htm

With both an alphabetic list and fully marked mapping system this is a useful site to start with.  Only some circles are shown on the map.

http://www.stonepages.com/home.html

A smaller number of sites shown.

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/ (world coverage)

This contains a vast amount of information, including some that is not available elsewhere, including mentioning where circles were said to be and odd stones that may have been a part of one. Pages include photos, maps (some map locations are wrong), relevant books, and other information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_circle  - links (some donít work)

http://www.megalithia.com/

Again some listed, but some you might expect to see are missed out.

http://www.mystical-www.co.uk/sbook.htm

Listing of some stone circles including details of some lost ones, covers only some counties.

http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/browse/site_types/stone_circles.html

Quite a few circles detailed including some discovered by various people and not thought to have been detailed elsewhere. Left to the end of the list as it is difficult to locate information. There is feedback from various people who have visited any of the sites. If you want a challenge finding some of these will appeal to you. Over 8,000 items are included in this site. You can sort of get at some information by using  http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/mapbrowser/ you click on classifications you DONíT want displayed and then zoom and move the map to locate points. Right click and open up details in a new tab to be able to read.


The following links were not working when we checked them during the update to this page in 2015.

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/celynog/full_index.htm (not working in 2015)

A selection of stone circles, including several pages showing a selection of some of the modern circles created in Wales.

http://www.megalith.ukf.net/   - map grid, and index of other listings, (not working in 2015).

http://www.sypeland.freeserve.co.uk/main_page.htm (not working in 2015)

Paul's stone circle database, around 100 stone circles, not necessarily major ones. Neither Stonehenge or Avebury are listed.


If you have any problems with the links on this page please let us know then we can make sure they are checked out and corrected if necessary.

Click here to return the the stone circle main page

 


By: Keith Park Section: Stones Circles Key:
Page Ref: stone_circle_prep Topic: Stone Circles Last Updated: 05/2015
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