Aikey Brae Stone Circle in the Snow

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

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

The Stones in the Snow

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.

An Urban Stone

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.

The stones on a book cover


Let’s finish up by staring through the gap between recumbent and flanker, to the world beyond. The stones in this picture, from Aikey Brae Stone Circle, feature on the cover of my book SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD.

Looking through the stones to the landscape beyond


stone circle quote from THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR

A Dancer’s Journey – a contemporary series

A Dancer's Journey, a 3 book series by Ailish Sinclair. Dark and romantic books.

These books are so naughty that I’m a little worried nobody will be able to look me in the face again after reading them. But not that worried. They’re heading out into the world anyway.

When dance student Amalphia Treadwell embarks on a secret relationship with her charismatic new teacher, she has no idea of the danger that lurks in his school in Scotland…

See the series page here on the site for full blurbs and quotes

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

On the flat stone of Aikey Brae Stone Circle

Historical Dark and Romantic Books

My historical novels combine little-known dark events with love stories and a hint of magic.

The historical novels of Ailish Sinclair

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138 Replies to “Aikey Brae Stone Circle in the Snow”

  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……

  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.

    1. 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.

    1. I’m so glad you liked the post Jazz! The recumbent has been lying down for millennia so it’s probably really relaxed by now 🙂

  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.

      1. In the 90s, when I was a poor, but resourceful student, I walked up there from the youth hostel in Stromness with all my photo gear. Locals thought I was mad, but I got a few nice sunset pictures!

  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.

  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 🙂

    1. 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.

    1. Sorry for making you homesick Liz 🙁 I love your blog and have tweeted the post on Shandon Hydro, a place I’d never heard of before.

  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!

    1. There was a white quartz stone circle near New Deer. Two stones are left, the rocking stones of Auchmallidie. Maybe yours was one of the others?

      1. Those are the stones – I thought it was a recumbent! We lived in a rented cottage in the field to the north, closer to New Deer. Everyone for miles around had white quartz stones in their gardens. I think the quartz was a glacial erratic?

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

  13. Such a lovely place. My husband and I have been planning a Scotland trip and this has given me some inspiration on sites I wouldn’t have normally thought to see.

  14. 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!

  15. 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?

  16. 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 🙂

    1. 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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