Crovie in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

stones on a windowsill in Crovie
Crovie

Crovie History

Crovie is an 18th century fishing village in the North-East of Scotland. People first came to live there after having been cleared away from their inland homes to make way for sheep farming.

Today many of the houses are holiday lets, and it’s a scenic place to walk. And take photos.

Oh, yes.

A Crovie Walk

This post details a walk taken in 2015.

Crovie from above

See those vans below? Beside the amazing sea? That’s as far up the street as vehicles can go in Crovie:

Crovie and coast

View from the shore:

The shore at Crovie

The wee postbox:

red letter box at Crovie

The coastline is beautiful and dramatic. Light conditions change constantly.

rocks

Myself and a friend set off on what was meant to be a 1.5 mile walk.

We got lost.

There was torrential rain.

The approach of the rain:

clouds gather

We walked on and on.

We followed the arrows.

And we found ourselves in a pea field.

pea plants growing

The pea field led to a gorge. We retraced our many, many steps, eight miles of steps in the end… but then there was soup and pie and cake and all was very, very well.

pebbles spell out Crovie

Unconventional Romance

A Dancer's Journey Series by Ailish Sinclair

Scotland’s all misty lochs and magical forests and perfect boyfriends, right?

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…

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

My dance background and love of history and spicy stories are what inspired this heady mix of contemporary romance and ballet set in a castle. Readers of my historical fiction will recognise the castle and stone circle that feature in these books.

There are no cliffhanger endings in this series; each book completes a story, but then there is more. So much more. Read all the blurbs here

Historical Fiction

Books by Ailish Sinclair

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

“Ailish Sinclair spins this Scottish tale filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Newsletter

Go here to sign up for my occasional emails. It’s a more intimate space than the blog and always contains some exclusive photos. If you would like to hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

About Page

Ailish in the stones

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Writer’s Tip Jar

Aviemore Stone Circle at the Summer Solstice

Roses bloom in Aviemore stone circle

Aviemore Stone Circle is unusual, though not unique, in that it is situated in the middle of a housing estate.

On the day I visited – Summer Solstice 2019 – roses were blooming at the edge of the circle, adding to the magical atmosphere of the place. The houses don’t detract from that; bushes and trees lend some privacy to the ancient stones.

Aviemore stone circle in the sun

Solstice Sun

The sun was newly risen and bright; patches of ground seemed almost luminescent. There’s often a special light quality at stone circles, whether they’re in an open urban setting like this, or tucked away within dark forests. Maybe the mind just tends toward mysticism among these mysterious old standing stones.

Under the rowan tree

People had left mementos or offerings in the Rowan tree, perhaps treating the site like a clootie well?

ribbons tied to a tree by the stone circle

Clouds gathered overhead as I left the circle, on my way to an utterly amazing breakfast just round the corner at the Mountain Cafe (no longer there, sadly).

Aviemore stone circle and house

If you liked this post on Aviemore Stone Circle, you might also like:

There’s a stone circle in all my books:

Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair

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

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the press release here

Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair, and a harp

Taking place mainly in a 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.

See the press release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland 

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

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!

See the publisher’s Press Release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society Editor’s Pick

And A Dancer’s Journey:

A Dancer's Journey series by Ailish Sinclair

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

New novel from Aberdeenshire author combines passions from Grampian Online.

A Dancer's Journey Series by Ailish Sinclair - dark and romantic books

About Page

feet

See my About Page here

Newsletter

Go here to sign up for my occasional emails that always include some exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. If you would like to hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

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The Red Well by Whitehills in Aberdeenshire

the red well and the sea
the red well near Whitehills in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The Red Well

The Red Well by Whitehills is protected by an unusual building. On the autumn equinox, at sunrise, a beam of light shines through the doorway of this beehive-shaped shelter and illuminates the well within. This happens on the spring equinox too. The well, and the building, are said to date from Roman times.

the red well by whitehills

A Witch’s Hoosie

the red well by Whitehills

When I was a small child, I lived with my grandparents in Whitehills for a while. One day, playing with my cousins, I was locked in that building to see if the witch would get me. The place was referred to as the ‘witch’s hoosie’ back then, by children at least. There were scary stories of an old lady witch ghost. I was quite interested to see if she would show up. She didn’t, and I was eventually freed, my lack of fear having disappointed my companions somewhat.

The door is kept locked now.

Since then, I’ve always viewed the well as rather a magical place, and keenly look out for the quick glimpse of it in the landscape that you get when driving along the main Banff to Portsoy road.

thistles by the well
Thistles by the well

It’s in a particularly beautiful spot, the Red Well. The town of Banff can just be seen in the distance below.

the red well by the sea

A Book Set in Roman Times

I included the Red Well in SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD.

Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair

It was seven years in the making, this book. Both the novel and I went through a lot as the story developed: severe editing, hospitalisations, deleting, pain, rewriting, crying and being monstrous.

See the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

Paperback and Kindle:

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

It’s on Kindle Unlimited too so can be read for free (there’s a 30 day free trial).

sisters at the edge of the world

Newsletter

Go here to sign up for my occasional emails that always include exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. They’re a more intimate space than the blog. If you would like to hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

About Page

Ailish Sinclair in a tree...

Read all about little old me here

Writer’s Tip Jar

Staring Out to Sea from Dunnottar Castle

Dunnottar Castle on the cliffs
A cliff-edge view

Dunnottar Castle sits high on the cliffs near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. It’s scenic and sprawling and, though peaceful now, it boasts a turbulent history.

drawing room at Dunnottar Castle
Great Hall

History of Dunnottar Castle

Dunnottar was attacked by Vikings in the ninth century, and captured by William Wallace in 1297. Kings and queens loved to visit: Mary Queen of Scots, James VI, and at one point during my own visit, I was standing in the bedroom of Charles II.

Smithy at Dunnottar Castle
The Old Smithy

Ghosts!

Though I didn’t meet them, there’s said to be a lassie in a green plaid searching for her lost Pictish children, a young deer hound, and a Scandinavian military gentleman who likes to stare out to sea.

I understand the need to stare across the ocean. The seascape at Dunnottar is mesmerising.

silvery ocean
Seeing across the sea…

The elevated position of the castle means you can see across miles and miles of silvery sea. The window below is located in the Whigs’ Vault that held imprisoned Covenanters in 1685. It’s a dark and terrible place. I had to reach out to the air and the sky and the light.

Ailish Sinclair stares out to sea
A dark window

Views, views, everywhere…

sea view at Dunnottar Castle
Sea and cliffs

But it’s time to go. It’s time to walk back up the many, many steps that seemed so inconsequential on the way down…

Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar

For more information on the wonderfully atmospheric Dunnottar Castle visit the official site.

My Books

Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair

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

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the press release here

Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair, and a harp

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.

See the press release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland 

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

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!

See the publisher’s Press Release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society

ballet feet of Ailish Sinclair

See my About Page here

Newsletter

Go here to sign up for my occasional emails that always include exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. They’re a more intimate space than the blog. If you would rather just hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Writer’s Tip Jar

Vikings and Mermaids at the Beach

sea at Fraserburgh beach - vikings and mermaids

Sky. Sea. Sand. Vikings and mermaids. It’s been a summer of these. Even on dull days it’s been warm, and walks on the beach, beautiful. I’m donning the tour guide hat, and we’re going to explore some beaches, cliffs and caves.

Whitehills

rainbow over the coast: vikings and mermaids

Let’s walk the coast route between Banff and Whitehills. We get rained on, but we get a rainbow.

Below is the Red Well. More on that here as it features in SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (out now!).

The Red Well, Whitehills

Vikings!

No time to linger at the well today as we’re skipping along to Gardenstown and St John’s Kirk. There it is, up on the hill between cloud shadows.

St John's Kirk, Gardenstown - vikings and mermaids

There is an exciting tale of local ladies winning a battle with the Vikings in 1004 by weaponising their stockings with rocks and sand. Three Viking skulls were subsequently built into the walls of the then under-construction Kirk.

The coast as seen from the walls of St John's Kirk, Gamrie - Going Coastal with Ailish Sinclair North East Scotland Beaches

Today it’s a peaceful place, though the landscape is probably much the same as it was during the era of battling lassies and Viking warriors.

landscape at Gamrie

New Aberdour

Time for a picnic and an exploration of the various bays at New Aberdour.

New Aberdour: North East Scotland Beaches

Let’s lie on the ground and gaze up at the red rocks and blue sky above.

rocks and sky: North East Scotland Beaches

We watch, entranced, as sand martins dart in and out of their nests. Whoops, forget to cover the homemade pizza so it’s now covered in sand.  Never mind, just time for a poke around in a rock pool before we go…

rock pool: vikings and mermaids

Fraserburgh

Okay. Shoes off. We’re searching for vikings and mermaids. We’re going to race along the golden shore at Fraserburgh, getting the sand right up between our toes. If we’re feeling energetic we can climb Tiger Hill, that large dune to the right, and enjoy enhanced views of the beach and town.

reflective clouds at the coast: North East Scotland Beaches

A reflective moment.

Fraserburgh beach - reflections at the coast

St Combs

Calming right down now. We turn the corner. Out comes a book and a bar of chocolate as we sit on the rocks at St Combs.

St Combs beach: vikings and mermaids

Walking boots on for this next part…

rocky

The Bullers of Buchan: Mermaids!

On we go, past Peterhead, to seek out mermaids at the Bullers of Buchan. There are folk tales of them being spotted here in the cave known as the Sea Cauldron:

the sea cauldron - vikings and mermaids!

It’s actually quite a dangerous place, with cliff edges all round, so do take care.

The coast at the Bullers of Buchan: vikings and mermaids

We’ve come to the end of our coastal odyssey. Just one more stare at that silvery sea from the Bullers, and then it’s home for a cup of hot chocolate.

The coast at the Bullers of Buchan - Ailish Sinclair, author: vikings and mermaids

My Historical Fiction

Historical fiction by Ailish Sinclair

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

“Ethereal and spellbinding….” Historical Novel Society

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

And don’t miss the new naughtier books!

A Dancer's Journey, a 3 book series by Ailish Sinclair

Read about them here.


See my About Page here

Newsletter

Go here to sign up for my (roughly monthly) newsletter. It’s a more intimate space than the blog and always includes some exclusive photos. If you would like to hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Tip Jar

The Ancient Sound of the Carnyx

misty morning at Midsummer
A misty Midsummer morning: a perfect time to hear the carnyx

It’s Midsummer, and I’m in celebratory mode and sounding my (imaginary) carnyx, a wind instrument of the Iron Age Celts.

in the woods; can you hear the carnyx?
Midsummer in the woods

Sound of the Carnyx

In the video below, a musician plays a reconstruction of the Deskford Carnyx. The original was discovered in this area of Scotland and dates from the time of my Iron Age novel, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD.

SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD on sale - sound the carnyx!

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…

Midsummer, or High Summer, is important to the people of the book. There’s dancing, singing, storytelling and other, naughtier, activities in the stone circle. There’s also feasting and fighting, and the sound of a newly constructed carnyx.

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

“Ethereal and spellbinding…” Historical Novel Society

Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, featuring a carnyx.

About Page

feet

See my About Page here

Newsletter

Go here to sign up for my occasional emails that always include some exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. If you would like to hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Writer’s Tip Jar

The Lost City of Lenabo Woods

Demolished building in Lenabo Woods

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, and we’ll walk through what was once the setting of Britain’s most northerly airship base.

Lenabo Woods

Lenabo woods near Longside

The Lost City

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.

Officers' Mess in Lenabo Woods

The above wall is thought to have been part of the officers’ mess.

Memorial plaque below:

Memorial plaque in Lenabo Woods

The fireplace within:

fireplace at Lenabo

Throughout the woods, remnants of various structures are to be seen, such as these airship moorings:

airship moorings at Lenabo

Buildings swept away:

remains of a WW1 building at Lenabo

Lenabo Soo

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.

Building remains on Lenabo Woods

Pinterest

I forgot to mention in my last post that I’ve made a Pinterest board for FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, my second historical novel – see info page on it here.

Review

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.

The Mermaid and the Bear, bookstagram photo

Naughty Contemporary Fiction

Book covers of A Dancer's Journey series by Ailish Sinclair: celebratory dance.

Scotland’s all misty lochs and magical forests and perfect boyfriends, right?

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…

My dance background and love of history and spicy stories are what inspired this heady mix of contemporary romance and ballet set in a castle. Readers of my historical fiction will recognise the castle and stone circle that feature in these books.

There are no cliffhanger endings in this series; each book completes a story, but then there is more. So much more. Read all the blurbs here

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

My Latest Historical Novel

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

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the press release here

Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

About Page

Ailish Sinclair in a stone circle

See my About Page here

Newsletter

Go here to sign up for my occasional emails that always include some exclusive photos and news of my writing and life. If you would rather just hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

Writer’s Tip Jar

Is the Real Stone of Scone Hidden at Finlaggan?

Stone, though not the real Stone of Scone, at Finlaggan

That’s definitely not the real Stone of Scone above. It’s an ancient standing stone at Finlaggan on the Isle of Islay.

But is the official stone, the one pictured below, the real stone? See BBC article about this stone as it heads south to be used in the latest coronation.

Official, maybe not real stone of scone

History of the Real Stone of Scone

The Stone of Scone, or Stone of Destiny, was used in the inauguration of Scottish Kings for centuries. In 1296 the English King, Edward I, took the stone from Scotland and incorporated it as part of his new ‘Coronation Chair’. Or did he?

Fobbed Off and Spirited Off?

Early mentions of the stone describe it as black and shiny, polished and beautiful. It’s rumoured that Edward was fobbed off with a worthless rock that was actually a drain cover, while the real stone was spirited off and hidden safely away.

One legend states that the original stone was buried at Finlaggan, the medieval Seat of the Lordship of the Isles, by Angus Og of Clan Donald.

Finlaggan is a quiet and remote place. It’s easy to believe that it might hide secrets.

grave at finlaggan. Is the real stone of scone hidden here?

An archaeological dig there was abandoned when money ran out.

Finlaggan, the site of the real stone of scone?

If the stone is at Finlaggan, I suspect it might be on the Council Island, the place of important discussions and decisions. Maybe the island was also the site of a few laughs about kingly bottoms sitting over what was actually a drain plug?

The Council Island at Finlaggan.

More articles and posts

Older article about the stone from the Herald, referencing Finlaggan: So which is fake, and which the genuine article?

See my earlier post about visiting Islay

Historical Novel Society Review of Sisters

“In the vein of Lucy Holland’s Sistersong with the narrative style of Rena Rossner’s The Sisters of the Winter Wood, Sinclair’s novel centers on two sisters and is told from Morragh’s point of view. The prose is deeply personal to Morragh’s struggles.”

See the whole review here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide/Barnes & Noble

Ethereal and spellbinding... says the Historical Novel Society of SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

Newsletter

Sign up to the mailing list for news about my life and writing, and some exclusive photos. If you would rather just hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

My About Page

Ailish Sinclair stares out to sea

Read my bio and see all the social links and articles here.

Writer’s Tip Jar

The Dule Tree of Leith Hall

The Dule Tree

History of the Dule Tree

The Dule Tree at Leith Hall is one of the best known examples of this type of historical tree. It is said to have been used as both a gallows and a gibbet in the past. The house dates from the 17th century, so the macabre use of the tree probably does too.

The Dule tree - informational plaque

Another Dule Tree Tradition

There is a gentler tradition associated with dule trees. They were possibly used as places of mourning. The word ‘dule’ derives from Gaelic, and means grief.

Me, actually in the tree, trying to take a photo from an interesting angle:

Ailish Sinclair in the dule tree at Leith Hall.

Leith Hall through the trees:

Leith Hall through the trees. Dule Tree post.

One of the hall’s beautiful windows:

Roses and a window at Leith Hall in Aberdeenshire. Dule Tree post.

There’s more Leith Hall to be found here

Meanwhile, back at the desk…

The editing of A Dancer’s Journey series continues apace…

And in the garden…

Spring in Scotland is also going well.

Newsletter

Sign up to the mailing list for news about my life and writing, and some exclusive photos. If you would rather just hear about new books and offers, you can follow my Amazon author page.

SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair. "Ethereal and spellbinding..." says The Historical Novel Society

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 chosen sisters, fierce warriors, a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the press release here

Read the article New Novel Highlights Roman History in North East from Grampian Online.

THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair

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. There’s 6 chapters of medieval Christmas too.

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the press release here

From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland 

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 600 children and young people who were kidnapped from Aberdeen during the 1740s and sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s proper derring-dos on the high seas… and there’s chocolate!

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the publisher’s Press Release here

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society Editor’s Pick

My About Page

Ailish's feet

Read my bio and see all the social links and articles here.

Writer’s Tip Jar

Culloden Moor and the Clava Cairns

Fraser Clan Stone on Culloden Moor

This post details a 2014 trip to Culloden Battlefield and the nearby Clava Cairns.

Off We Go

A bright blue sky day. Good for a journey up the coast and into the past. I stopped to take a picture of the anchor on the hill in Macduff.

Macduff, anchor and church

A couple of hours and many miles later, the skies had clouded.

Culloden Moor

Culloden Battlefield

The visitor centre at Culloden is high-tech, swish, clean and pristine, all the things the bloody battle of the past was not. The contrast always gets me. I sit on a soft red sofa looking out at the battlefield, eating my delicious lentil soup and enjoying decadent chocolate cake in comfort and warmth.

Compare that to being one of the Jacobite clansmen, having marched across boggy rough terrain in the dark all night, exhausted, starving, about to be slaughtered in a fight so unfairly matched that it was all over in one hour. What would he think of Culloden Moor today and the nice day out it provides for families and tourists?

Out on the battlefield, things feel more authentic, more memorial. Red flags mark the government line:

flag on Culloden Moor

Clan stones over mass graves:

clans stone
field of the English

Old Leanach Cottage is dated about 1760, several years after the battle, but is said to stand on the site of an earlier cottage that was used as a field hospital for government troops:

cottage at Culloden

People leave offerings:

tartan offering at Culloden

After a little look at the peaceful, cud-chewing, Highland cattle, it’s time to visit some ancient standing stones.

The Clava Cairns

Victorian Grove

Here ancient burial cairns (estimated at about 4000 years old) are surrounded by circles of stone and trees. It’s the perfect peaceful place to visit after Culloden.

Clava Cairns

You can walk right into two of the three cairns, though the entrance tunnel would have been covered in the past: you would have had to crawl.

into the cairn

Some of the standing stones are high and shaped, rather like enormous graves:

standing stone rectangular, at Clava

Let’s finish with one of the aforementioned Highland Coos. There’s four of them in a field next to Culloden.

Highland Cow

Also see the post about the Cumberland Stone.

Cumberland Stone, by Culloden in the Scottish Highlands

Historical Fiction

Sisters at the Edge of the World by Ailish Sinclair

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

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

See the press release here

Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair

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.

See the press release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland 

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, out April 1st, is set at the time of Culloden and 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!

See the publisher’s Press Release here

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society

A Dancer’s Journey – unconventional romance

A Dancer's Journey, a 3 book series by Ailish Sinclair. Unconventional romance.

My dance background and love of history and spicy stories are what inspired this wild mix of romance and ballet set between a Scottish castle and London.

There are no cliffhanger endings in this series; each book completes a story, but then there is more. So much more. Read all the blurbs here

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…

Series on Amazon UK

Series on Amazon worldwide

Book covers of A Dancer's Journey series by Ailish Sinclair: celebratory dance.

Posts on the inspiration behind these stories:

A Dancer's Journey series by Ailish Sinclair
feet

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