Way of the Rings

A cycle guide or road journey of discovery tracing the route of the Neolithic from the Lake District to Stonehenge
  • Author:Kathie Knell
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Stunning scenery, ancient monuments, quiet backroads, ‘The Way of the Rings’ is a cycle or road journey of discovery and showcases some of our most spectacular history and landscapes.

It engages with our Neolithic ancestry and traces a 670km route from the Lake District to Stonehenge, following a possible route taken by Neolithic people traveling to Stonehenge for the Summer and Winter Solstices.

The route starts at Castlerigg Stone Circle, an iconic location surrounded by mountain peaks. From here, ‘The Way of the Rings’ links over 100 of the most intriguing ancient sites in England, all of which tend to fall in a north-south alignment from the Lakes to Stonehenge. Sites include large megaliths, rock art, Neolithic caves, stone circles, stone rows and alignments finishing at Avebury and Stonehenge. Some of our most famous sites of antiquity include the Shap Stone Row, Yordas Cave in the Dales, Arbor Lowe in the Peak District, rock art at Ilkley Moor, Wayland’s Smithy, the Whispering Knights in the Cotswolds to Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow, Avebury Stone Circle and Stonehenge and Durrington Walls.

Cycling or driving ‘The Way of the Rings’ enables a tour of some of our spectacular scenery, National Parks and historic towns including the Lake District, Howgills, Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Cotswolds, Marlborough Downs and Salisbury Plain. It provides opportunities to visit more recent evidence of our rich past including Warwick Castle, Blenheim Palace, Skipton Castle, Eyam Plague Village, Howarth and Chatsworth House.

The Way of the Rings is predominantly an adventurous and challenging Cycle Guide but can be equally enjoyed by motorists, seeking mystery and discovery. There are several options for tackling the route; The ‘Megalithic Mega’ is a two-week cycle and an alternative to the Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG/JOGLE) cycle ride. The ‘Neolithic Nipper’ provides a shorter seven-day option with more daily mileage suitable for elite cyclists and motorists while the ‘Stone Splitting’ options break the route into three weekend chunks.

The book provides a route description, links to the ‘Way of the Rings’ website and on-line GPX files, with a series of 14 detailed maps of the route at the back of the book. Photographs capture the exquisite beauty and intrigue of the scenery and ancient landscapes.

The book is an invitation to travel the path of our ancestors on ‘The Way of the Rings’.