The Twelve Apostles and Burley Moor

I thought it was a bit ironic as a Yorkshire photographer that I’ve been to and photographed the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia but I’d never been to the Twelve Apostles stone circle on Burley Moor!  So this summer, with the heather in bloom, I decided to go and have a look..

White Wells on Ilkley Moor
Looking up to White Wells old bath house amongst the heather on Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire

I hiked from Ilkley up onto Ilkley Moor, approaching White Wells under a stormy looking sky.  It was a bit drizzly too, so I put a hat on (wouldn’t want to be baht ‘at on Ilkley Moor after all).

Lanshaw Lad on Ilkley Moor
Lanshaw Lad boundary stone on Ilkley Moor

I climbed up Ilkley Crags and followed the Millennium Way to the Lanshaw Lad boundary stone.  I’ve been here and photographed Lanshaw Lad before so it’s doubly odd that I’ve not been to the Twelve Apostles before as you can see the stone circle a short distance away!

Twelve Apostles Stone Circle Burley Moor
Twelve Apostles stone circle Bronze Age scheduled monument on Burley Moor

I guess my excuse is that the stones are only about three feet high so they’re not that obvious in the landscape even when you’re quite close to them!  It’s an interesting location and I liked the rather threatening sky above them, despite the drizzle.

Twelve Apostles Stone Circle Burley Moor
Standing stone at the Twelve Apostles stone circle

Whilst it was nice to photograph the whole circle, the shots that seemed to work best were of single stones from a low viewpoint – probably because they appear a bit more imposing from low down!

Boulders on Burley Moor
Gritstone boulders amongst the heather on Burley Moor

After spending quite a while at the stones I continued across Burley Moor, finding more natural looking gritstone boulders by the path.

Shooting Hut on Burley Moor
Shooting Hut on Burley Moor

There’s also a rather lonely looking hut further along, presumably used by shooting parties given the number of grouse butts in the surrounding moorland.

Lower Lanshaw Dam on Buley Moor
Lower Lanshaw Dam on Burley Moor

Further down at Lower Lanshaw Dam I crossed to the edge of the moor and made my way back towards Ilkley via Stead Crag.

You can see more images from the shoot in the West Yorkshire gallery on my website.

About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a retired landscape and travel photographer still taking the occasional photograph! For image licensing and prints see

10 Responses

  1. I place I know and love…thanks for the photos, Mark. Just beyond the hut is the Grubstones circle… an odd one and hard to spot in the heather, but well worth a look next time you feel obliged to traipse over the moors 🙂

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