Isle of Albion
Sleepy spot on the edge of Dartmoor.
Photographed: Saturday 7th May 2005
Other Names: Belstone Nine Stones
Site rating:  

The Nine Stones are often referred to as a stone circle, but in truth, they're really the remains of a burial cairn. It's believed that there may have been around 40 stones here once, but now only 16 remain. These are all under a metre in height, and the ring measures about 8 metres in diameter.

The Nine Stones proved a little difficult to find. I initially went straight past them and didn't locate them until I doubled back and struck out away from the footpath. Having said that, the walk was no great burden. I suspected I'd overshot the stones, but the scenery was stunning and I decided to carry on for a while before turning around.

It seems that whenever Dartmoor becomes comfortably familiar, another little spot like this crops up reminding you just how huge and varied the place really is. What strikes me is that despite the common landscape that characterises Dartmoor, each little corner still retains a character all of its own.

When I eventually doubled back from my extended walk, I was able to find the stones with little trouble. I assumed the stones must be up on my right and out of site, so I climbed up a way and walked parallel to the path.

Slightly removed from the passing ramblers, the setting of the Nine Stones allows for a little solitude. The views from here are absolutely magnificent and the stones provide an atmospheric spot from which to take it all in. The landscape of Dartmoor dips away before the eye. Where it rises again, the distance creates a detached remoteness. This is a place from which to watch the world drift lazily by.