Nine Ladies Stone Circle Circular Walk

aerial view of nine ladies stone circle near bakewell
by Anisa // 0 Comments

If you are looking for an easy circular walk in the Peak District that offers something a little bit special, this one might be for you.  It includes three ancient monuments and plenty of scenic views.

Let me tell you more about this Nine Ladies Stone Circle Circular Walk and why you need to add it to your itinerary when you visit the area.

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heathland area of stanton moor, with green and purple bush, a tree, and blue skies
This easy walk is set in a beautiful landscape that includes several ancient monuments.

Overview of the Nine Ladies Stone Circle Circular Walk

The Nine Ladies Stone Circle Circular Walk is just about 2 miles long.  Passing through heathland and woodland, you will also see the Cork Stone and the King Stone.  The path is relatively flat and easy to follow making it suitable for most ability levels (including kids).

view looking out over the moorland in Stanton Moor
You can enjoy the view as you do this easy circular walk.

There are no facilities along this walk. You will want to bring water and snacks and use the bathroom before you arrive.

About the Nine Ladies Stone Circle

The Nine Ladies Stone Circle is best known ancient monument in Stanton Moor and is thought to date back to the Bronze Age, about 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.  It was first recorded in 1782 by Major Hayman Rooke, who noted that there were also stones in the center that formed a small cairn.

nine ladies stone circle view from ground level
The Nine Ladies Stone Circle is the highlight of the walk through Stanton Moor.

The stone circle gets its name because it is said to depict nine women dancing on Sunday to a fiddler who were turned to stone.  The fiddler is the King Stone, which is a standing stone just 130 feet from the Nine Ladies Stone Circle.   Look carefully and you might be able to see graffiti on the King Stone that says “Bill Stumps” who was a character in Charles Dickens’ book The Pickwick Papers.

king stone in the middle of a path leading to the nine ladies stone circle
The King Stone stands on the path leading to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle.

Despite the name, there are actually 10 stones that make up the circle.  The tenth stone (which has fallen and now lies flat) wasn’t located until 1977. The stones form a ring which measures 38 x 34 feet. 

Just like Stonehenge and many other stone circles, the Nine Ladies Stone Circle is a bit of a mystery. There is little evidence to tell us why or when this stone circle was built and how it was used.

aerial view of nine ladies stone circle
It’s interesting to think about what this stone circle has been used for over the years.

Experts believe that it may have been a place for ceremony or burial, a territorial marker, or a meeting place for special events.  It is not unusual for the function or significance of these types of monuments to change over time.

Detailed Instructions for the Nine Ladies Stone Circle Circular Walk

You won’t have any issues finding your way through Stanton Moor on the Nine Ladies Stone Circle circular walk.  The path is well-marked (for the most part) and there aren’t very many turns.  Here are the step-by-step instructions.

1. Take the path by where the cars are parked along the road (use what3words:///gallons.dugouts.personal) into Stanton Moor.

2. Shortly you will reach a wooden kissing gate which you should go through and not much further you can’t miss the Cork Stone.  If you are daring enough, you can try to climb the Cork Stone.  Please be careful, it is not easy. 

russell about to attempt to climb the cork stone which is much taller than him
Be careful it’s not easier to climb the Cork Stone.

3. From the Cork Stone, take the path that goes to the left across Stanton Moor.  Walk about 500 feet and you can see a trig point on your right.  If you want you can make a slight detour and walk to the trig point, then return back to the main path.

trig point in the distance mixed in with pinkish-purple colored heather
Make a little detour to the trig point if you like.

4. Continue along the path across the moorland and into the woods.  Keep following the path through the woods keeping to the right and then you will see a small standing stone which is the King Stone.

path through the woods
Part of the Stanton Moor walk is through the woods.

5. Just past the King Stone there is the Nine Ladies Stone Circle.  You can walk inside the stone circle and touch the stones.  If you want to take a break, this is a great spot to picnic.  

people relaxing a picnicking at the nine ladies stone circle
The Nine Ladies Stone Circle is a popular spot for picnics.

6. After you have finished enjoying the stone circle, you will want to follow the path by the information board up to the right through the trees.  Before long, you will be out in open moorland again.

path through the moorland with heather in bloom
When we visited in late August, we could enjoy the heather in bloom as we walked through the moorland.

7. About a half mile from the Nine Ladies Circle, there is a fork in the path.  Take the path to the right which will lead you back to the Cork Stone. Then you can walk back to your car through the same kissing gate you came in.

Where to Park for the Nine Ladies Stone Circle Walk

There is room for a few cars right on the side of the road by the entrance to Stanton Moor (use what3words:///gallons.dugouts.personal).  Alternatively, there is a parking lot about a 5 minute walk away (use what3words:///protected.rectangular.spill). Be sure to take care walking on the road to the start of the trail.

It’s an easier (but not easy) drive to the start if you go through Birchover rather than Stanton in Peak.  Both routes are narrow, curvy, with cars parked on the road, but Stanton in Peak is a bit steeper.

Other Ancient Monuments in the Area

If you enjoyed the Nine Ladies Stone Circle, you should also visit Arbor Low and Gib Hill which are also in the area around Bakewell.   Arbor Low is a much larger stone circle with impressive earthworks and Gib Hill is a longbarrow just a short walk from Arbor Low.

aerial view of arbor low
Arbor Low is one of the biggest stone circles in the Peak District.

Nine Ladies Stone Circle Walk FAQs

How Long is the Nine Ladies Stone Circle Circular Walk?

The circular walk is about 2 miles long.

How Long Does it Take to Do the Nine Ladies Stone Circle Circular Walk?

The walk can be done in about 45 minutes, but you will want to allow more time to enjoy the stone circle and the Cork Stone.

cork stone
The Cork Stone is another ancient monument in Stanton Moor.

How much does it cost to do the Nine Ladies Stone Circle Walk?

It is free to access Stanton Moor and the parking is also free so it costs nothing.

Do you need hiking shoes for the Nine Ladies Stone Circle hike?

No.  While I did wear hiking shoes, it’s easy enough that you could do it in sneakers.  I would not recommend trying to do it in sandals, flip-flops, or other non-athletic footwear.

Can you camp by the Nine Ladies Stone Circle?

No. There is no camping allowed in Stanton Moor, but you can have a picnic.

view as you approach the nine ladies stone circle
You can take a break and relax when you reach the Nine Ladies Stone Circle.

Is the Nine Ladies Stone Circle Circular Walk good for kids?

Yes.  It’s not too long and the path is relatively flat.  Kids will enjoy running around the stone circle and trying to climb the Cork Stone.

Is the Nine Ladies Stone Circle Hike dog-friendly?

Yes, dogs on leads are welcome but must be kept under close control as there may be animals grazing.  We saw sheep during our visit.

sheep grazing at Stanton Moor
We saw sheep grazing while we were at Stanton Moor.

Is the Nine Ladies Stone Circle Walk Worth it?

Yes.  It doesn’t cost anything and it’s an easy walk where you get to see several ancient monuments.  There are also some pretty lovely views.

Have you done the Nine Ladies Stone Circle circular walk?


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cork stone in stanton moor with text overlay "nine ladies stone circle circular walk"

Expert Tips for the Nine Ladies Stone Circle Walk

  • The area by the Nine Ladies Stone Circle is a popular picnic spot.  If you want to picnic, you will need to bring your own food and gear, there aren’t any picnic tables.
  • While this is an easy walk, you will still need athletic or hiking shoes.  If you don’t wear proper footwear, it’s easy to get injured.


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Last Updated on October 25, 2022

About the Author

Anisa is an experienced international traveler with extra pages in her passport and stamps from 41 different countries across 5 continents (and counting). She was born and raised in Texas. After a 13 year stint in NYC, she moved to England to live with her husband.