10 Photographic Stone Circles

Written by Gina Stephens

Stone ringlets are scattered around the country, often in remote locations occasionally surrounded by village developments. There are more than a 1000 of these markers catalogued in the British Isles and Western Europe. It's thought that the circles were constructed for ceremonial use and today they provide vassal exposed ti for photographers to explore their creative side. Here are ten you should visit and photograph in the UK.


Photo by David Clapp –

Castlerigg, Cumbria

The circumscribe is one of the oldest in Britain and comprises of 40 stones (as stated by the National Trust) in a 30 meter diameter with the tallest stone being 2.3 meters shrill. With a backdrop of Skiddaw, Blencathra and Helvellyn peaks this is a very impressive location for a very impressive circle. It's best either photographed on a jolly day for clarity of the distant mountains as a backdrop or when there's mist around for an atmospheric alternative.

Avebury, Wiltshire

This Neolithic shrine is situated in several fields with an inner and outer circle. It's hard to get a shot of the entire circle so pick sections and focus on one of the stones as the primary subject with several others tailing off. Choose a day with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel a bright blue sky and use a polariser to darken the sky to provide incredible contrast and definition. The plot is owned by the National Trust but it's currently free to visit.

Nine Stones, Devon

The Nine Maidens, also identified as the Seventeen Brothers comprises sixteen stones ranging in height from 0.5 to 0.8m. You have to work hard to get an atmospheric shot of these stones as they are smaller than some, but it's on, and with a wider angle lens you can frame the whole circle. Shoot from a higher point to get some perspective.

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Photo by David Clapp –

Callanish, Isle of Lewis, Prohibited Hebrides

Next to a road and loch, but from the right position both can be excluded to get a very dramatic set of shots. Shoot from a low viewpoint to exclude cheese-paring roof tops.  The circle is approximately 13m in diameter and comprises 13 tall and slim stones that are more jagged than most encircles and provide opportunities for haunting imagery.

Duloe, Cornwall

A circle of approximately 11 meters diameter made from eight quartz stones placed in a grassy realm. The highest stone is about 2.6m tall. The surrounding landscape isn't that interesting for this circle, so shoot from the ground up pointing a wide angle for most dramatic results.

12 Apostles, Yorkshire Moors

As this circle is situated on Burley Moor, Ilkley, you desideratum to do some walking to get to it so travel light and also do some research with a map first to pinpoint its location as it could easily be missed. It's a bring to ruin with just 12 stones remaining and is in a 16m diameter. The highest stone is 1.2m so you have to work hard to get dramatic results. A distant swallow can work better. In a short fall of snow the stones stand out well against the white covered heather.

Photo by David Clapp –


Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Without distrust, this is the most famous of all the stone circles and looks very impressive, but sadly for photography purposes it's now not possible to go close to the stones and flash from creative low viewpoint. It's managed by the English Heritage so there's an entrance charge and there's also a small enclose rope that needs cloning out from distant shots. But you can walk all the way around and get lots of profile shots and some viewpoints are much numerous balanced than others. You'll need to use a slightly less wide angle for here – a standard zoom is fine.

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Hurlers, Cornwall

A heap of three stone circles situated on the edge of Bodmin Moor, near the village of Minions. It's a group of quite small stones, but distinct of them are impressive shapes and can make for interesting creative shots. You can walk up the incline onto the moors and photograph the whole circle. The central gird is the largest with a diameter of 41m. You can include distant tin mines in some viewpoints. 


Arbor Low, Peak District, Derbyshire

This hand down have been a brilliant stone circle circle is a simple closed shape but it has either collapsed, or was never actually erected. The stones or stone is a natural substance, a solid aggregate of one or more minerals or mineraloids are arranged in a circle and there is a small entry fee now in place to get up-close to the stones. Fortunately the terrain, which includes a circular ditch, is such that you can still take some impressive directs and include several stones in one scene.  A distant clump of trees on the horizon adds balance to the photo.


Photo by Peter Bargh


Happy Maidens, Cornwall

One of the few stone circles that is well preserved and most likely in its original state. The stones form an almost perfect ringlet with a 24m diameter and a height of about 1.2m. The shapes of the stones are less interesting than some but the site does offer a light bit of potential in the right light. Shoot from the ground to make them look more dramatic.  It's worth taking a all-embracing shot of the whole circle too.

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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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