Home Expertenteam Room to Roam – Huntly in Aberdeenshire

Room to Roam – Huntly in Aberdeenshire

von Wilfried Klöpping

Thinking of Scotland, one’s mind conjures up images of the Highlands, whisky, shortbread, the kilt, castles, bagpipes. But roaming round one little place in Aberdeenshire you get it all in one. Room to roam – but only one home. You go yours, and I’ll go mine, the many ways we wend…so go the lyrics of one of Scotland’s many great sons, the fantasy writer George MacDonald. Huntly a small market town built on Aberdeenshire granite is his home and Room to Roam is their brand. But it is also home to award winning shortbread, a thriving folk music scene, a medieval castle and GlenDronach, one of the less well known malt whisky distilleries.

There is ample opportunity to roam around here. The countryside around Huntly has a great network of pathways leading you to the Cairngorms, to the coast, maybe past one of the many stone circles it is surrounded with. The town is still slow-paced enough, still remote enough to provide ample space and peace for roaming in your thoughts and imagination. It is the kind of place where you still can buy one screw at the hardware shop, or a rhubarb hardboiled sweet at the ice cream parlour. The river Deveron features some of the best Scottish salmon, the nearby moor and grouse land might be something for the discerning deer stalker. Come winter, you can join one of Huntly’s three Olympians around their 100 kilometres of cross country skiing trails.

Room to roam here is not just taken in a geographic sense. The town has also made its name with a bold and brave arts scene through Deveron Arts. The stream of local and international artists who make Huntly their home for several months at a time consistently strive to explore and expand what home can mean. There is no gallery or art centre, instead the ‚town is the venue‘ is the motto here, and the artistic outputs have included a Slow Marathon linking Huntly with Addis in Ethiopia, a Barbie Amnesty and the birth of a Ceilidh-Samba band. Following an invitation of Mike Scott the Waterboys‘ lead singer, Room to Roam became the town’s anthem and brand, inspired by both the pop group’s like-named album and MacDonald’s poem.

Roam a little further and you will find more of the best of all of Scotland’s worlds. Cycle to the Moray Firth coast to have a Cullen Skink, or follow the world renowned Castle and Whisky Trails. Many of the Speyside distilleries, and over 20 castles and stately homes are within easy reach from here, including Duff House – an out-station of the National Galleries of Scotland packed with painterly treasures including an El Greco. Follow quiet roads through forests, by rivers and mountains, to Royal Deeside.

Once you get back, don’t miss the weekly spectacle here, the sheep market at the local mart, where the café features good old fashioned mince and tatties, sticky toffee pudding and other comfort food for the farmers and their discerning guests.

It is all here, a Scotland in miniature with only one wee thing missing: the roaming Scottish midge.

Claudia Zeiske

Zusätzliche Informationen

Kontakt und Anschrift

Claudia Zeiske
Brander Museum
The Square
AB54 8BR
Tel: +44 (0) 1466 794494
E-Mail: claudia@deveron-arts.com

Fotocredits: Claudia Zeiske/Deveron Arts

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