Sunday, 21 June 2009


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.



The Crow said...

Lovely photos, and I love the pun in the title!


The Crow said...

P. S. to the first comment - I've bookmarked the linked page, in my "On the Road" file. I'd like to visit here.

Hayden said...

wonderful! I looked around, years ago in those lost, pre-google days, but wasn't able to learn much abt. the Picts. Might have done better to look after I moved to SF; small town libraries are charming but have limits. But then, it isn't often that I think to be curious about Picts.

Love their name...
And the names you listed.

Am very fond of Welsh names, though mostly I stare at them in astonishment, wondering how to wrap my tongue around them.

Will check out the link.

Live, Love, Laugh, Write! said...

Looks like it was fun!

Bogey said...

First off, what's with all the sunshine? I keep hearing about how rainy it is over there! The golfing God's are probably waiting until The Open next month! Your pictures are fantastic especially coming from a phone camera.

Amel said...

THANKS for sharing the pics!!! Indeed the hill looks steep enough to climb and though I also dislike climbing onto steep hills, it's worth it when the view from on top of the hill is just breathtaking he he he...

Connie said...

Great pictures, Michelle. I love that view you had for your picnic too. So pretty and peaceful there. Hope your weekend is going well. :)

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful photos. It must be fun to visit these mysterious ancient sites. I am especially fond of the third picture in which the green grass, the golden sun dots and the irregular stones look perfect.

Qualityservice44 said...

I love the pictures of those stones. It looks like a wonderful place to have a picnic.

PV said...

Nice pictures. You sure do get out to some interesting places.

Michelle said...

Sophie Crow

This country constantly amazes me at the wonders hidden where you least expect them. Well worth visiting!

Hi Hayden

I love the internet for the fact it is the world's biggest library right at my fingertips. I lived in a small town and know exactly what you mean about the limitations of small town libraries.

Hi Rose
It was fun. :-)


I'm amazed myself at the quality of pictures my phone takes. I use it more as a camera than as a phone, to be honest!

Today is the first really rainy day we've had in three weeks. The weather has been so hot it's actually a relief to have a cool drizzly day. Especially since it damps down all that hayfever-inducing pollen. ;-)

Hi Amel

Yes. The view was worth the walk. :-)


Belated thank you. :-)


Thank you. :-)It is fun visiting places like this. I also enjoy being out in the country.

It certainly was a very enjoyable day.

There are so many interesting places here it's hard not to find something to visit or look at. I must admit I really love my new "home". :-)

Vasant Prabhu said...

Nice Pics Michelle, appear like country side cousins of Stone Henge.

Michelle said...

Hi Vasant

I like that. :-)