Circles in stone part II: Gamelands Circle near Orton.

One of Cumbria’s largest stone circles and also one of the most accessible can be found just about a mile from Orton Village and is reached from a turn-off to the right on the road to Sunbiggin.

Gamelands Stone circle with the wild Howgills in the background.

Gamelands Stone circle with the wild Howgills in the background.

Though there isn’t much song and dance made of it, Gamelands is a whopper and well worth seeing. Over 100 ft in diameter and with 40 stones still remaining, most of the distinctive pink Shap granite, it is thought to be Neolithic in age, but mesolithic stone tools have been found in the area and Tom Clare’s observation that this site was associated with a nearby spring would make the site strongly appealing to the hunter-gatherers. See Megalithic Portal for more information and photos of Gamelands.

All the stones are fallen, but some are still 1 meter tall in repose.  The circle is overlooked by the Castle Folds settlement on the lovely limestone escarpment and though it is on the Coast-to-coast route this fine walking country attracts walkers for the many shorter walks too. The limestone pavement and sweeping views make walking in this area very rewarding.

Recently, local residents have gathered to express their view that the Orton Valley should remain free of wind turbines. Rory Stewart MP for Penrith and The Border, EDC Councillor and Tebay Parish Chair Adrian Todd and Orton  Parish Chair have supported the conservation efforts (Read More Here)

The Orton area has much to recommend it, whether you are interested in walking in the fine countryside or shopping for nice local produce including super cheese, poultry, pork and beef, vegetables, baked goods and Kennedys Fine Chocolates, I think you’ll agree it has a lot of charm.

The Orton Farmer’s Market is held monthly on the second Saturday.

Orton Farmers Market is popular with residents and visitors.

Orton Farmers Market is popular with residents and visitors.

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