Cornwall has a lot more to offer than its glorious beaches and dramatic coastlines.
The interior is much overlooked - yet offers a fascinating, beautiful and different view of this incredible landscape. Penwith is littered with up to 90 standing stones, many moved by farmers and seen in gateways, but those left in situ offer a wonderful opportunity to get up close to the past, touch the stones and imagine the Cornwall of Ancient times.
The Merry Maidens near Penzance are the most well know stone circle. According to legend, a group of women decided to go dancing on the Sabbath and were turned to Stone for flouting God’s law. In reality we don’t know why this Bronze Age stone circle was built neither do we know why the holed stone of Men-An-Tol was erected near Madron around 3000 years ago. I’ve so far found out that it can cure infertility, rickets, small pox and unrequited love. Accessible via the path which passes the wonderfully named Ding Dong Mine, the number of times you should crawl through the very large Polo Mint shaped hole should be researched, depending on your ailment!
If you do take the Madron to Morvah road, be sure to stop at Lanyon Quoit. Although it was rebuilt after a storm in 1815 and now stands a few feet lower than its original builders intended, you can still sit underneath the impressive 12 tonne capstone, and enjoy the spectacular moorland views. Another strange, (yet wonderful for use in Scrabble), ancient structure is the fogou. Pronounced foo-goo. Only 15 have ever been found. If you get a chance, visit the Halliggye fogou in the Trelowarren Estate near Helston. I would recommend stopping at the New Yard Restaurant for a cream tea on your way through the Estate too.
Whichever Ancient Site you choose to visit, you can guarantee you will be pleased you took a step back from the seagulls and the sand. Visiting these stones is an all-weather activity - I even think the walks to get to them are enhanced by a bit of Cornish mizzle.
Fourways, Townsend, sleeps 8
Nanturras, Goldithney, sleeps 8
St.Petry, Goldsithney, sleeps 6
Trenow, Perranuthnoe, sleeps 4