Just like everyone else at the moment (originally posted 2020 during lockdown), I am not able to gallivant around filling my phone with pictures of interesting places. However, during my daily scroll to find #goodthings to post on Instagram and Twitter, I found photos of Lenabo Woods taken in 2017. I had meant to blog about the site back then, but didn’t get round to it.
So, take my hand, virtually, hygienically, and we’ll walk through what was once the setting of Britain’s most northerly airship base.
RNAS Longside was active from 1916 to 1920. 1500 personnel were based at the station and the site boasted a swimming pool, a theatre, shops, a church and gas works. All of those buildings are long gone, but some things remain.
The above wall is thought to have been part of the officers’ mess. Memorial plaque below:
The fireplace within:
Throughout the woods, remnants of various structures are to be seen, such as these airship moorings:
Buildings swept away:
The site was known locally as RNAS Lenabo and the ships referred to as ‘Lenabo Soo’, soo being the local name for female pigs!
It’s fun to imagine the bustling community that lived at Lenabo for those four years, swimming in the pool, attending the theatre, and, of course, maintaining and operating the airships.
Well, this has been a pleasant virtual walk today (I’ll let your hand go now) and Lenabo will be a good place to explore in person again once things have calmed down.
I forgot to mention in my last post that I’ve made a Pinterest board for Fireflies and Chocolate (my next historical novel). Pinterest is a good virtual place in these times too.
Thanks to Reading is my Yoga for this beautiful #bookstagram picture and review of The Mermaid and the Bear: “While the first part put an almost constant smile on my face, the second part made me cry ugly tears.”
See the whole review here and the book is now free on Kindle Unlimited.
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Set in 1st century Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance.
“Ethereal and spellbinding….” Historical Novel Society
See the press release here
Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.
Taking place mainly in a fictional castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.
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From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!
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92 Replies to “The Lost City of Lenabo Woods in Aberdeenshire”
A fascinating insight into a forgotten corner!! Thank you for sharing this.
Glad you liked 🙂
Haunting… Thank-you. Hope you stay well.
In that other world, BC, we’d planned to catch trains and walk along the east coat, in April and May, wild camping in quiet places. …
So many plans delayed 🙁
My husband loves abandon buildings or structure remains. Really lovely photos! Thank you for sharing.
I’m glad you liked them.
Ailish, you struck a chord for me with this post, focusing as it did on military history. Interesting place. Thanks for the historical context. Hope you’re doing better.
I am doing quite well 🙂
Thank you so much.
I love exploring old ruins like this, thanks for sharing. Hope you’re well.
I am getting better all the time 🙂
You too 🙂
Fascinating and sort of haunting!
The stones in the woods are rather haunting.
Lenabo Woods looks like a beautiful and interesting place. That is a nice picture of your book, cool!
I love, love, love abandoned places, especially when the forest grows up around it. Thank you so much for sharing this place with us!
It is a beautiful place 🙂
Magical spot! Thanks for the tour!
You’re welcome 🙂
Nice post, Ailish. The photos remind me of two places I used to go. The first was the remains of camp where members of a corp that FDR put into operation during the Depression in the United States. There wasn’t much left in the 1950s but we still looked for interesting tidbits. We also found musket balls from earlier times.
The other place is in the Patapsco State Park which divides Baltimore County and Howard County. During Hurricane Agnes back in 1972. Several small towns along the Patapsco River were drowned by the hurricane, so the State decided to buy all the farms and turn the area into a park. We used to ride our horses in the park and would across half of a basement wall, or the bottom part of a chimney and sometimes we’d run across and ironing board still set up to iron something. Great grist for the writer’s mill. Thanks for sharing.
Those sound fascinating places! The only place I’ve seen musket balls is in the Culloden visitor centre.
Cool post. I downloaded your book though I haven’t had a chance to start it yet.
I hope you enjoy it when you get to it 🙂
Posts like this make me want to go to Scotland!
What an amazing hidden place… I love living in this country – there have been so many generations of feet who have trodden this land before me. What a comfort! Thank you for sharing these pics at this difficult time Ailish:)
I’m glad you like them 🙂
How I would love to explore the lost city of Lenabo Woods. It’s just my sort of place, with the ghosts of so many untold stories left behind.
It is a great place to explore and spot things among the trees.
Another beautiful walk and full of history as a bonus.
A great walk, yes.
It really gives a sense of the time passed, seeing a tree growing over and around what was once an airship mooring. Thank you for sharing these beautiful images!
Glad you like 😀
Very interesting Ailish, it does look like a really great place to visit, its a shame I’m too far away !
Maybe there’s somewhere hidden and historic near you ?
You are right , I just have to clever enough to find it!
Fascinating post Ailish. The concrete is somewhat similar to the what our German friends left us in profusion here in the Channel Islands.
So many interesting things left over from the wars.
What a great setting for another story!
How fortunate you chose to post this now. In my current book I’m including some history and alternate history about the airships in Scotland and I researched Montrose, but I didn’t realize the larger base was actually at this site. Research from afar is often difficult. I wish I could come to Scotland in person and walk the areas in my story and meet people and hear stories and absorb the reality of the place. Your blog is always a delight, and it helps me see and understand many things about Scotland and life there. I enjoyed your first book and I’m looking forward to the next one!
I’m getting close to having my next book ready for beta readers. Would you or perhaps someone you know have interest in reading it to give feedback on the Scottish expressions and descriptions that are included? I want to be as authentic as possible. I’ve found such readers to help with my French and Italian characters in past books. I’d be happy to return the favor of a beta read for you perhaps? Or let me know what might work.
Oh, I love this sort of synchronicity! If you drop me a line via my contact form when you’re ready for beta readers, I’m sure we can sort something out.
Thank you! I’m excited for the opportunity. I’m hoping for some time in May to complete the draft. If all goes well. As you likely know, fiction with historical reference can be very time consuming due to research. But I think its mostly in order to move ahead now. I’ll be in touch soon.
What an interesting place! It is amazing to think of all the busyness going on there for those few years and now hardly any trace!
I know, all neatly swept away…
Thanks Ailish. Enjoyed a lockdown virtual visit to this fascinating site via your post. Something kind of poignant about a once busy site becoming reclaimed by ivy and moss.
Yes, it is poignant.
Thank you 🙂
great photos…it has gone on the list of places to see. Thanks for sharing
You’re welcome 🙂
Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Sunshine Blogger Award. If blogger awards don’t fit in with your blog’s style, no problem. I mainly wanted to express my appreciation for the beautiful images and musings you share.
I am very bad at getting round to doing blogger awards but thank you so much! I do appreciate it 🙂
Hey, I absolutely adore Scotland and its nature and I am so glad I came across your beautiful blog! What nice pictures… I meant to go Scotland this year but due to the covid 19 I had to cancel my trip but I really enjoy reading your bloh, it’s amazing!
I’m glad you like the blog and hope your trip is great when you are able to do it!
Wow! Such beautiful pictures, and I can’t wait to read your books. Thanks for the follow!
You’re welcome 🙂
Wow, I really wish to go to these places, Someday !
And also thank you for Following my post, I hope my post make your day good
One day! And, you’re welcome 🙂
Fascinating post! Love Scotland !
I’m glad you like the post 🙂
Beautiful sight! And lovely blog you have here
Thank you 🙂
Thank you for the fascinating journey through time, Ailish. I’m a history buff. 🙂
I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Great virtual tour! Strange that they would build a base, use it for only 4 years and then abandon. But I’m sure they had their reasons. Interesting to see the forest reclaiming the ruins. Nature is so powerful.
They didn’t need it after WW1, I suppose. The forest is lovely.
Looks like an interesting place to go for a walk! Great photos.
It is a great walking place.
very likely post good watch ,regards
Thank you for sharing your lovely photos. Nothing like learning a bit of new history from abroad. Nothing better than finding a good dirt path to dust off your witch’s hat.
Dirt paths are good 🙂
Interesting post. Here in Colorado we have something similar near a town called Leadville where they set up a now abandoned base to train American boys for Winter combat in Europe during World War II. For better or worse it led some of the returning soldiers to start our ski industry.
I went to Leadville several years back to help a friend run a 100 mile race. I’d like to go back someday, is the base accessible or closed off?
That was great!
Also, Thank you for showing love and appreciation towards our work
Very interesting , quite originapost. Great photos!
Thank you 🙂
Very good post. Highly informative for travellers who want to visit the lost city of Lenabo Woods. Nicely written and keep up the good work.
Definitely reminds me of those abandoned Nazi bunkers in forests around Eastern Europe.