Huntly is a small town in Aberdeenshire in North East Scotland; in bygone times it was more snappily known as "Milton of Strathbogie". With a population of 4810 in 2016, Huntly is nowadays a commuter town for Aberdeen, as it's on the railway. The main reason to visit is the ruined castle.
This page also takes in Rhynie, often the butt of comedy for its rural obscurity, yet once the seat of Pictish kings.
Get in edit
The nearest airport is Aberdeen. A taxi from the airport might charge £80 to Huntly, so if time allows, take a short taxi ride to Dyce railway station.
1 Huntly railway station is east side of town.
Stagecoach Bus 10 runs hourly from Aberdeen Union Square, taking 90 min via Inverurie to Huntly. Alternate buses continue to Keith, Elgin, Forres, Nairn and Inverness.
Get around edit
You can easily walk between Huntly village and castle but you need wheels for outlying sights.
- 1 Huntly Castle, Castle St, Huntly AB54 4SH. Apr-Sept daily 09:30-17:30, Oct-Mar Sa-W 10:00-16:00. Impressive shell of a five-story L-plan tower-house embellished by the Marquess of Huntly in 1602. It's about the third or fourth structure known to have been on this site. Adult £6, conc £4.80, child £3.60.
- 2 Huntly Falconry Centre is west of the river loop, take A920 west then turn up the lane. They put on flying displays Apr-Oct three times a day, adult £8, conc £7, child £6.
- 3 Leith Hall, Kennethmont AB54 4NQ (7 miles south of Huntly). Hall July-Sept daily 10:00-16:00. Fine country house built in 1650. Sumptuously furnished with tapestries, china, artwork and furniture, visit by guided tour. Adult £13.50, conc £11, NTS / NT free.
- 4 Tap o' Noth 8 km south of Huntly was long thought to be a volcanic crater. But it turned out to be a prehistoric fortified settlement of 800 huts, which at some stage burned so fiercely that the hillfort walls became vitrified. Some artifacts date to 2000 BC, but its heyday was later in Pictish times. Access is from the car park south on A941.
- Rhynie is the small village south of the hillfort. Druminor Castle is an impressive tower house but it's a private residence, no tours. The Craw Stane is a granite slab with Pictish inscriptions: go south half a mile from the village and look east. Another, the "Rhynie Man", now graces the Aberdeenshire Council offices in the city. Other findings include a post-Roman amphora, and evidence of wine drinking, from 500-700 AD when the village may have been the seat of Pictish kings. But in the 1990s comedy review Scotland the What?, which mocked Aberdeenshire's lumpen agricultural ways, Rhynie was a frequent target. How does it have a Station Hotel yet no railway or station? - "Aw, but they were aye hopin' for one."
- St Mary's Kirk 2 miles south of Rhynie is the substantial ruin of a 13th century church. It remained in use to 1810 with its original Romanesque features little altered.
- See Strathdon for sights further south, such as Kildrummy Castle.
- 5 Dufftown is across the boundary in Moray, but easiest explored from Huntly. It has the ruined Balvenie Castle, lots of distilleries (Glenfiddich and Balvenie offer tours), and the Keith & Dufftown Heritage Railway.
- Huntly Swimming Pool & Fitness Centre is on The Avenue next to the football pitch.
- Huntly Nordic & Outdoor Centre remains closed in 2023.
- Golf: Huntly Golf Club is north side of the village. It's 5359 yards, par 67, visitor round £25.
- Horse-riding: centres within a few miles are Glenside Stables, Wardhaugh Farm, and Craigie Equestrian Centre. Hillside View just does livery.
- Dufftown Highland Games are held there on the last Saturday in July, with the next on Sa 29 July 2023.
- The Farmers Market is held in Huntly first Saturday of the month 09:00-13:00 in Market Square.
- Asda at the A96 / A97 junction south edge of Huntly is open M-Sa 07:00-23:00, Su 07:00-22:00 and has a filling station.
- Eating places in Huntly along Gordon St and Duke St are Elim's Kebab, Super Wok, The Larder, Dragon Garden and Cafe India.
- Pubs in Huntly are Strathdeveron Bar, Royal Oak and Crown Bar, plus the hotels.
- Black Bull distillery in Huntly produces blended whiskies, they don't issue a single malt. No tours.
- Classic Speyside distillery country starts to the west at Dufftown, where Glenfiddich and Balvenie are among the famous names.
- Glendronach. A 19th century whisky distillery in Forgue to the east, tours available.
- Cabrach distillery is expected to begin production in 2024 and release its first whisky for sale in 2027.
- Huntly Castle Caravan Park, Riverside Drive, Huntly AB54 4UJ, ☏ . Clean friendly caravan site open April-Oct. Tent £21, caravan £30.
- B&Bs in Huntly didn't open in 2021. They include Hillview, Gordon Arms Hotel and Glenburn.
- 1 Castle Hotel, Marquis Drive, Huntly AB54 4SH (2 miles north of town), ☏ . 18 room hotel in a grand Georgian mansion, gets great reviews for comfort and service. No dogs. B&B double from £140.
As of Oct 2021, Huntly has 4G from all UK carriers, but 5G has not reached this area.
Go next edit
- North to Elgin, Lossiemouth, Portsoy, Gardenstown and Fraserburgh
- East to Methlick and Peterhead
- South to Aberdeen, Westhill, Banchory and Stonehaven