Aikey Brae Recumbent Stone Circle

Sunshine and snow at Aikey Brae stone circle. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

Beautiful Aikey Brae. Of the 150 or so recumbent stone circles in the North East of Scotland, this is my favourite.

I used to live close by and enjoyed many a summer picnic and winter stroll there. One year I watched a solar eclipse, with my children, sat right in the middle of the circle. The setting made it feel timeless and magical.

Fallen stones in the foreground here at Aikey Brae Stone Circle. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

The snow picks out detail and shape, makes the stones look different.

Down on the ground with the stones at Aikey Brae Stone Circle. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

The fallen stone on the right in this next picture must have popped right out of the ground when it fell, because you can see the carved point of the anchoring lower part.

Aikey Brae stone circle in the sun and snow | Ailish Sinclair, writer.

This pointy feature can also be seen on the Lang Stane, hidden away just off Union Street in Aberdeen, leading to the theory that it was once part of a stone circle too.

The Lang Stane in Aberdeen. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

But back to the sun and snow at Aikey, and the smiling recumbent.

The huge recumbent stone at Aikey Brae stone circle.

On another subject, I have made a page for my mailing list sign-up form here – thank you to those who have already signed up! I’ve been thinking about what to put in the newsletters: news about my life and writing, some exclusive photos, and I’d also like to feature other people’s work. So if you have a site or blog that you’d be happy to have included, please feel free to link it up in the comments. I can’t guarantee to use them all in the mailings as they will only be occasional, but it would be great to see your sites here ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have any else you’d like to see in the mailing list, do let me know that too!

Let’s finish up by staring through the stones, to the world beyond.

Looking through the stones to the landscape beyond

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126 thoughts on “Aikey Brae Recumbent Stone Circle

  1. Serene…..and magical! Its exquisite to be exploring another part of the world thru someone else’s eyes….a new perspective(?), same(?), tehre’s(?) or mine(?) – I wonder!! Whatever, its awesome!
    Never been to Scotland – on my bucketlist of places I want to visit before I die……

    https://wickedly.blog/

  2. What a stunning place. My latest blog post is about buzkashi so my head and heart have been in Afghanistan – your post brought me straight back to Scotland.

  3. Your pic of the Lang Stane evokes dim memories of my Aberdeen childhood. We built our own mythologies around it.

    I don’t remember Aikey Brae in particular, but any megalith in that part of the world had my mum dragging me to it.

  4. If photos can be called poetical, these Aikey impressions are pure poetry! Thank you Ailish. Aikey is famous in folk song and legend. A fair used to be held there in olden days as a “feeing market” where farm labourers could sign up with a farmer for seasonal work. They were the guys who created the “bothy ballads”, so called because these journeymen slept in the bothy and entertained themselves in the evening by singing there.

    • The fair has started up again a few times over the years, once as a horse show, other times mainly a modern fairground. I don’t think it’s running just now. I remember being taken to it as a small child and my horror at the side show freak exhibit :O

  5. What a pleasure starting my day with your post – thank you! The images are all intriguing, but I especially like your smiling stone. A long smile would be my response, too, if I could just lie down after centuries of being upright.

  6. beautiful pictures! I would love to visit Scotland someday. I can’t imagine how beautiful it was to watch the eclipse in that circle. How many others before did the same? Awesome.

  7. Lovely pictures of a lovely site. I fell in love long ago with the Standing Stones of Stenness on the Orkney’s, one of my favourite spots in Scotland. This said, thanking for joining my blog subscribers. Occasionally I will talk of Scotland there, it has not only inspired composers, but also myself.

  8. [Note: My computer is being weird and this is my third attempt at commenting, so sorry if this is somehow a duplicate!]

    Totally gorgeous pictures! I’m planning a visit to Scotland soon, but sadly don’t think we’ll get that far north. I still can’t wait to show my kids lots of stone circles and castles and other magical things.

    My blog has lots of flash fiction, including a story I wrote a couple years ago that features a Scottish fairy hill: a fairytale with a modern twist. https://oliviabrannanwrites.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/milk-and-honey/

  9. We’re travelling elsewhere now but Scotland is definitely in our future plans. Thanks for your stunning photos and writing: feel a little homesick for a gorgeous place that was never home!

  10. What a magical place! Interesting about the carved bottoms, didn’t know they did that when raising stones.

    I’ve only been to Scotland once and I’ve been dying to go back to explore more of it, it’s such a beautiful country! I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog, I love your photos and descriptions of places ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The most widely circulated theory is that they were built by early farmers and settlers to the area. They’re at least 4000 years old.

  11. Aikey Brae was the first stone circle I had seen (in the 80s). I saw so many of them over the years of living in Aberdeenshire but my favorite was a single recumbent stone of pure white quartz in the field next to our cottage outside New Deer. I am fascinated by the Picts and their language. Great post!

  12. Pingback: The Rocking Stones of Auchmaliddie | Postcards from Kerry

  13. The tidbit about the stone in the Union Street is interesting. I wonder if it is really part of the stone circle.

  14. Such a lovely place. My husband and I have been planning a Scotland trip and this has given me some inspiration on sites I wouldnโ€™t have normally thought to see.

  15. Visiting some Scottish stone circles is definitely on my bucket list. I am a Brit living in Wichita, USA right now. I managed to get back and see Stone Henge, Avebury and Glastonbury last year. Thanks for the lovely pics!

  16. Somehow you always make me feel as though I’m standing right next to you when I read your blogs. I can see the discussion now about the stone lodged on the Lang Stane … I certainly believe it was once part of a stone circle – either that or a very big flint head! Are they saying the stone circle was there or that the stone has been moved from elsewhere?

  17. I walked around Long Meg and her Daughters on a recent trip to Cumbria. I am amazed at how many of these circles have survived and how we still know so little about them ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ooh, yes, I’ve been on your blog, and I think it would be a good fit. Will be writing a newsletter in the next few days…

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