bowfiddle rock, Scotland

Exploring Scotland | Aberdeenshire and Beyond

Last time on, “Amber Goes to Aberdeen and Doesn’t Stop Talking About It,” we’d checked into the gorgeous Sandman Signature, and spent the rest of the day exploring the city, plus the nearby town of Stonehaven.

The next morning, we were up bright and early, thanks to Max (Honestly, though, for once this was actually a good thing. In the past, Terry and I have always complained a bit about having to get up early(ish) for any reason, but now we’re just all, “Oh yeah, we’ll be up long before that!” How things change, huh?), so we had a quick breakfast in our hotel…

The restaurant at The Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen

… and jumped back into the car, for our next adventure.

Our first stop on this trip was Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, which is near the town of Inverurie, in Aberdeenshire:

Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, Inverurie, Scotland

Baby Max

Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, Inverurie, Scotland

offering at the stone circle

Now, I’ll be honest: as stone circles go, this wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen. (That would be the Machrie Moor stone circles on Arran, just FYI…) It was a pleasant walk up to it in the warm sunshine, though, and the view from the circle itself was well worth the five minute walk from the little car park. Although the stones aren’t the most dramatic around, it’s still always interesting to see something that’s been there for many hundreds of years, and, in this case, it was also a good opportunity to take some photos of Max, who, as you can see, I’d dressed as a stereotypical American tourist for the occasion:

Max and I at Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, Inverurie, Scotland

As you can also see, I was very careful not to touch the stones themselves, because, as an Outlander fan, I know exactly what can happen if you take that kind of a risk, and, well, we had a lot planned that day, so it would’ve been super-inconvenient to find myself spirited back in time to the 18th century or whatever, you know?

Instead, we jumped back into the car, this time heading for the picturesque Moray coast. This time, our destination was Bow Fiddle rock, near Portnockie, where we descended a steep path to take photos of Max determinedly trying to pull my sunglasses off my face:

Bow Fiddle Rock, Portnockie, Scotland

Bow Fiddle Rock, Portnockie, Scotland

Max trying to pull my sunglasses off my face

awkward family photo

(Don’t be fooled by our massive puffy jackets, by the way: we brought them because Terry was all, “Oh, we better wrap up – it’ll be chilly by the coast!” but yeah, it totally wasn’t – we were boiling.)

Terry is absolutely fascinated by natural rock formations like this, and spent ages scrambling about on the pebble beach, taking photos. I, meanwhile, was just as enamoured by the little surrounding villages, like Portnockie itself, and nearby Cullen, which were picture-perfect, but in a way that apparently rendered me totally incapable  of taking any perfect pictures, because, when I went through my camera roll to put this post together, here’s the only photo I could find, which depicts our ill-fated attempt to feed Max, on a bench in Cullen:

I may not have gotten many photos, however, but I HAVE just discovered a five minute video of my own knee, which I apparently filmed by mistake, as we drove along the coast, because all you can hear is me wittering on about how OMGPRETTY it all is, while Max shouts, “BA BA BAB!” in the background. One to keep for future generations, for sure.

I also failed to take photos in Banff, where we had a very excellent chocolate cake in a local cafe, but made up for it with a complete photo overload at our next stop – Balmedie Beach sand dunes:

Balmedie Beach sand dunes, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Balmedie Beach sand dunes, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Balmedie Beach sand dunes, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Balmedie Beach sand dunes, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Balmedie Beach sand dunes, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

I really wish my photos even came close to doing justice to this beach, because it was absolutely beautiful, with huge sand dunes stretching on for miles. It would be a fantastic place for a long walk – or a long sit, if you wanted to just chill out and read a book or whatever – and I really wish we’d had more time to explore properly. This, however, was the day we had dinner booked at the Sandman Signature, and it was also the day we visited Fittie, so  we gave Max a quick feed atop one of the tallest sand dunes (Because where else would you feed your baby?) and then were on our way back to the hotel. Our Aberdeen adventure was at an end – and so, you’ll be pleased to know, is  this blog post. I can’t promise there won’t be more of them, though, because, as I said way back at the start of  this short series, this is a part of the country we’d really like to see more of – so fingers crossed it doesn’t take us too long to make it back there.

In the meantime, though, it’s time to plan our next adventure…

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  • You really visited the best places! I am so glad you liked Aberdeenshire 🙂
    Also, isn’t the Sandman stunning? I went to their opening and was very much impressed by their rooms and restaurant!


    September 17, 2018
  • Mary Katherine


    What fun! This American is loving your posts (and yes, Max is the CUTEST!) Though child-free myself, I know how exhausting little ones that size can be, and I admire you packing up your little family for a wee adventure. Gorgeous photos, and you always make me chuckle. Looking forward to your next update.

    September 17, 2018
  • Veronica


    Beautiful pictures!

    September 18, 2018