Druids Temple Masham North Yorkshire Visitor Guide

When we were staying at the Tree lodges at Swinton Bivouac we were staying right on the edge of the forest that is home to the Druid’s Temple. They are located in the Swinton Estate that is near Masham in North Yorkshire. You don’t have to be staying on-site to visit.

Druids Temple Review

The Druids Temple is actually a folly that was commissioned by William Danby and built-in 1820. The Druids themselves resided in northern Europe around 2,000 years ago. Because no single artefact has ever been universally agreed to be Druidic they remain a mystery in history. Stonehenge was once attributed to having been constructed by Druids but that was later debunked.

The folly was inspired by Stonehenge. The one-time Sherrif paid local builders to erect a 100-foot long temple with standing stones that stand at 10 feet tall. There is a ‘sacrificial’ altar and a tomb-like cave where Danby was reported to have lived for seven years.

There is a small car park with an honesty box for visitors. You can also pick up a map from the cafe which is a few minutes walk downhill from the parking area. The woods aren’t massive though and a map isn’t really necessary.

Druids Temple Masham North Yorkshire Visitor Guide

We decided to try and find the Druid’s Temple without a map. We did wander aimlessly for a while but there are lots of other standing stones hidden in the forest so if you don’t wander aimlessly you might not find them. The path was mostly a dirt path that was sometimes grass but sometimes muddy in places.

Druids Temple Masham North Yorkshire Visitor Guide

If you are walking in from the centre of the car park the stones are just a short walk away. We entered from the left so it took us a few minutes to find them. We came down from the top where there was this unusual pile of rocks with a mini stone circle around the bottom.

Druids Temple Masham North Yorkshire Visitor Guide

As we started getting nearer it was clear it was quite the vantage point coming in from the top. The stones give off quite a haunting look and if you didn’t know they were a purpose-built folly you could really let your imagination run wild.

Druids Temple Masham North Yorkshire Visitor Guide
Druids Temple Masham North Yorkshire Visitor Guide

Even the entrance is quite spooky. My son absolutely loved exploring and we could have easily spent much longer here than we did.

The Druids temple itself is very impressive with many large rocks forming the outer ring and with other large rocks used within. There are little cubby holes, a table and chairs made of rocks with the small cave at the back. The cave is rumoured to have luminescent bugs in it, sadly we didn’t spot any.

Druids Temple Masham North Yorkshire Visitor Guide
Druids Temple Masham North Yorkshire Visitor Guide
Druids Temple Masham North Yorkshire Visitor Guide

Don’t forget to go looking for more stones along the paths of the forest. If you want to extend your visit there is a cafe at Swinton Bivouac. This is at the far end of the glamping field and there is parking here. The cafe is very good and they serve hot and cold food and drinks. There are a few things in the basement of the cafe for smaller kids to play with and there is also a small play area, again more suited to toddlers.

The temple is also close to Leighton Reservoir which is part of the Swinton Estate. You can fish there, with a permit, for rainbow trout.

There are a number of walks that include a visit to the Druid’s Temple which you can find on Google. The roads in this area are very narrow so they are not for the nervous drivers among us.

Druids Temple FAQ & Further Information

Address: Swinton Bivouac, Masham, Ilton, Ripon HG4 4JZ, North Yorkshire

Category – Follies in woodland – Outdoors – Suitable for all ages.

What are the ticket prices?

If it free to visit.

What are the main facilities and things to do?

Follies in woodland with a main section inspired by Stonehenge. There is a cafe nearby that has toilets.

When are they open?

The follies are open all year round. The gate to the car parking area may be locked overnight.

Is there food available?

There is a cafe a short walk away. You are welcome to bring a picnic but please take your rubbish home.

Is there parking?

There is parking with an honest box.

Are they dog friendly?

Dogs are welcome.

Are they accessible?

They are not accessible to wheelchairs. On wetter days you may struggle with a pushchair.

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