3 November 2020

Druid's Temple and Masham

The Druid’s Temple is a small replica of Stonehenge in the village of Ilton near Masham in North Yorkshire. Although it looks like its ancient equivalent, it was only built 200 years ago in 1820.  The walk we did was a 6-mile circular route starting just outside of Masham in the picturesque village of Fearby. Alternatively, the Temple is only a short drive away and there is a carpark at the end of the lane leading up to it. 

You follow the road through Fearby, past the village pub, until you reach a public footpath on your left, the route from here is well signposted, taking you through fields and woodland until you have to walk a while on the road. Ignoring the road sign for the Druid’s Temple, follow the track straight ahead into a farmer’s field, eventually arriving at the lane where the car park can be found. A right turn here takes you to the entrance to the forest; there are several different walks through the woodland surrounding the Temple, but since we had a few miles to walk back, we took the quickest route.

The Druid’s Temple is impressive and does bear a resemblance to Stonehenge; unfortunately, though there were people climbing all over the stones despite the numerous signs. There are other stones dotted about the place too, including a cave and a ‘stone tower’ behind the temple. The woodland overlooks Leighton Reservoir and offers great views of the surrounding countryside. Leaving the Temple, we turned right at the lane and headed back to Fearby. (The way back was poorly sign posted and we did end up getting lost a couple of times!)

Known as the brewing capital of Yorkshire, Masham is home to both the Black Sheep and Theakston’s Brewery. We drove into the market town after our walk but all the of the shops had already closed. You can park in the main square where there is an honesty box for the carpark, surrounded by old Georgian buildings; we also paid a quick visit to St Mary’s Church where we saw an Anglo-Saxon stone cross in the churchyard. The cross is believed to date back to the 8th century.

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