New guide launched to take you through the Pictish heartlands of Aberdeenshire

A guide to showcase some of Aberdeenshire’s best examples of Pictish Stones is now available to the public.

As the school holidays arrive, it’s a great time to get out and explore the area’s rich heritage.

Ranging from prehistoric stone circles and medieval castles to the remains of World War II defences, a wide variety of historic sites help tell the story of how the region and its people have developed.

To help inspire visitors and residents, Aberdeenshire Council’s Archaeology service in conjunction with the Tourism Team in the Economic Development service has produced a new guide to some of the historic sites on offer.

Aberdeenshire is considered to be one of the heartlands of the Pictish people, and the new trail highlights the best surviving and most easily accessible examples of Pictish Stones in the region.

The Picts, who lived in Scotland between the 4th and 9th centuries AD, are famed for their elaborately decorated symbol stones, although the exact purpose of these enigmatic monuments, and the meaning of the various symbols, continues to be the subject of much research and debate.

The Pictish Stone Trail is a guide to 10 of the best local sites and was launched at the Maiden Stone, near Inverurie by Provost of Aberdeenshire Hamish Vernal and council archaeologist Claire Herbert.

Funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), it follows hot on the heels of a Stone Circle Trail leaflet. (

The Stone Circle Trail ( ), produced in 2014, highlights 10 of the best stone circles in Aberdeenshire, with particular focus on the recumbent style of stone circle, which is unique to the north east.

Aberdeenshire Provost Hamish Vernal said: “Many of us who know and love this area are aware of lots of these sites through knowledge passed down through generations.

“But we need to make more of our fantastic local history and enourage others to value it as we do and to learn about what has made and continues to make Aberdeenshire a great place.

“If the sun’s shining, and even if it’s not, there’s a whole range of historical points of interest in Aberdeenshire set in a beautiful landscape so I’d encourage anyone to go out and find out what’s on their doorstep, or to visit us and spend some time here.”

Copies of both leaflets will be widely available for free at local visitor information centres and libraries throughout Aberdeenshire, and are available online:

They are also available from the reception area of Aberdeenshire Council’s Woodhill House headquarters in Aberdeen, where another Pictish Stone, the Rhynie Man, can be seen.

If you’re keen to visit more historical sites in Aberdeenshire, there’s more information on the Archaeology Service section of our website. ( )

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