Two weekends back the weather was lovely and we took a day to go exploring. I completely forgot about it until I was clearing out all the pictures from my mobile phone and found the photos. We decided to go East to look at some of the Pictish stones and circles. Aberdeenshire is unique in having reclining stone circles. That is stones deliberately on their sides, unlike places like Stonehenge where all stones were upright.
The West coast of Scotland was populated by the Gaels, the North saw the Vikings come and go, but The East was Pictish. For those who don't know much about the Picts. The Picts were the people who populated this area of Scotland. They carved wonderful designs onto stone, they most likely were tattooed with similar designs (based on what Romans reported) and they spoke their own unique language.
You can find all the designs and photos/info HERE.
Aberdeenshire is more gentle than the highlands. Some areas look more like England with lush green rolling countryside. I love the names in this area too. It was here, on holiday for the first time, I found Cowbog. This time I noted down a few favourite names along the way. Places like Meikle Warple and Drum of Warple sound like places a Hobbit might enjoy, but would any creature want to live in Windyraw or Boghead? Goblin towns perhaps?
Our first stop was at the very pretty town of Inverurie. There are stones, and two man made "hills", in the cemetery. That hill looks small, but up close it was steep enough to be a bit off-putting to climb.
Here is one of the carved Pictish stones. It is a bit worn and hard to see the entire design.
You can see that stone on the left, with the reclining stone next to it. They were quite small. I'd say the reclining stone was about the length of a two seater park bench.
The best part, for me, wasn't the stones. It was the view. Isn't that scene below perfect? It looks like it should be a painting.
After a picnic lunch we headed off to the next place, a complete stone circle with reclining stone at East Aquhorthies. (another mind-boggling tongue-twisting name)
This circle is set up on the ridge of a hill. The reclining stone here was HUGE. To give you an idea the stones at each end are about 2 metres (6 foot) tall.
It's hard to photograph a circle. We took pictures from each angle.
You can see the view from this one.
Here's the back of that reclining stone.
This stone was my favourite. It really was pink, and slightly sparkly.