Walking into sculpture
The wind always blows on the 500m walk up to Coldstones Cut. The carpark is nestled into the hillside, in a place you can still hear the birdsong as various species of bird chase each other through the grazing sheep.
But as you climb higher, you hear the rush of air over the song until you enter the massive sculpture, which shields you once more. Walking through the massive structure, you have a choice of paths taking you through the right or left wall.
Both lead up to turrets with panoramic views and a silver plaque with helpful distance markers to a multitude of different destinations. Penrith, Calgary, Tobamory... Las Vegas, Griesdale Forest, Jura... read like choices on a menu but once you sample the view, it's difficult imagining being anywhere else but here.
One one side, clouds chase each other over the rolling landscape of the dale. On the other, a wall of rock descends in massive steps into the core of the earth. This is one of the few remaining quarries in an area that has seen mining from Roman times, and if you come down the narrow track and into the arena facing the area still being worked, signs will tell you about the history of the place.
Coming here is a rich experience at any time, with the wildlife contrasted with the industry, and the history contrasted against modern art. At night, though, it comes into its own. The dark skies pictures taken between these walls rival any coffee table book in the world.
Well worth a visit!