Methlick is a village in Aberdeenshire about 20 miles north of Aberdeen; its main attraction is Haddo House. Methlick derives from Gaelic Maothulach, which may mean "vale of honey". It's not a census district but its population is probably little changed from the 1851 count, of 1737.

Methlick is of one a handful of similarly-sized villages in a triangle of farmland between the coast and the cross-country route to Moray and Inverness, so they're all off the main track. These villages include Turriff, Fyvie, Tarves, Pitmedden and Oldmeldrum. The area lacks public transport, but has visitor facilities and a scattering of historic and prehistoric sights. The south tip of the triangle is commuterland for Aberdeen, where once-small villages grew in the late 20th century into the dormitory towns of Ellon and Inverurie.

Get in edit

Gight Castle: Byron's mother sold it to pay off Mad Jack's gambling debts
The facilities of communication are pretty good: there are commutation roads leading to New Deer, Fyvie, Ellon, Meldrum, and Tarves; and a mail-gig runs daily between Methlick and Aberdeen. - Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851

The village is at the junction of B9005 from Ellon to Fyvie and B9170 from Inverurie to New Deer.

Stagecoach North Scotland Bus 290 / 291 runs from Aberdeen Union Square via Udny to Methlick, M-Sat every couple of hours, four buses Sunday, 75 mins. A few of these continue, as Bus 292 to Ellon or as Bus 293 to Fyvie.

Bus 35 runs from Aberdeen via Dyce to Oldmeldrum, Fyvie, Turiff, Macduff, Banff, Portsoy, Buckie, Cullen and Elgin. They're every 30 min M-Sa and hourly Sunday from Aberdeen to Banff, where alternate buses turn back.

The nearest railway station is Inverurie, with trains every couple of hours on the Aberdeen-Inverness line, so bike-on-train would work.

Get around edit

There once was a troop of Irish Dragoons / came marching down through Fyvie-oh
- trad Scottish folk song; but lacking a reliable internet travel guide, the excursion did not end well.

It's a scattered district, you need a car or bike.

See edit

  • 1 Haddo House, Methlick AB41 7EQ (Two miles south-east of Methlick), +44 1651 851440. Apr-Feb F-M 11:30-15:30. Sumptuous stately home, built in Palladian style from 1732; the interior was made-over with Victoriana in 1880. There's a large art collection, and an elaborate porcelain dinner service from His Nibs' stint as Governor-General for Canada. There's also an arts venue with theatre and concert hall. House and grounds passed to the National Trust in 1979. Adult £14.50, conc £11, NT / NTS free.    
  • 2 Gight Castle (Formartine Castle), Ellon AB41 7HY (access via B9005). Crumbling ruin of an L-plan tower house built in 1570. In Georgian times it was owned by Catherine Gordon Byron, the mother of Lord Byron the poet, but she sold it in 1787 the year before his birth. She had to sell to pay off the gambling debts of Byron's father "Mad Jack", while she and her infant went to live in meagre lodgings in Aberdeen. Jack died aged 34 in Spain so the title "Lord Byron" bypassed him and went to the son. Gight's new owner was the 3rd Earl of Aberdeen then his son Lord Haddo who died aged 27 in 1791, whereupon the castle fell derelict. Not much to see and the ruin is unsafe, you come for the bosky setting.    
  • 3 Fyvie Castle, Fyvie AB53 8JS. Jun-Aug daily 11:00-17:00, Sept Oct Th-Su 11:00-17:00. The first structure was from 1211, and each later owning family added a tower: Preston 1400-ish, Meldrum, Seton 1599 (the present entrance), Gordon 1778 and Leith 1890. The overall style is Scottish Baronial. Within (by guided tour) there's a grand wheel staircase and portrait collection. A charming walled garden grows Scottish fruit and vegetables. Adult £14.50, conc £11, NT / NTS free.    
  • 4 Tarves is a small village where the Victorian schoolhouse has been made into a heritage project, open Apr-Oct Th-Su 13:00-16:30. The parish church graveyard has an ornate medieval tomb. There's accommodation in Tarves, see Sleep.
  • 5 Prop of Ythsie is a brick tower built 1861/2. It's to commemorate the 4th Earl of Aberdeen, Lord Haddo, UK Prime Minister 1852-55.
  • 6 Tolquhon Castle, Tarves AB41 7LP, +44 1651 851 286. Apr-Sep F-W 09:30-17:30. Impressive ruin of a castle built between 1584 and 1589 - it's pronounced "Toh-hon". The original Preston Tower was 15th century and defensive, but it was incorporated into this Renaissance building intended for comfort and show. The owners were busted by the collapse of the Darien scheme in 1718 and the castle fell derelict. Adult £6, conc £4.80, child £3.60.    
  • Tolquhon Gallery is a commercial art gallery next to the castle, free entry. It's open M Tu F Sa 11:00-17:00.
  • 7 Pitmedden Garden, Pitmedden AB41 7PD. Jun-Aug daily 10:00-17:00, Sept Oct Th-Su 10:30-16:00. Recreation of a Scottish Renaissance walled garden with striking geometric designs. The original was destroyed by fire in 1818 but recreated by NTS. Admission includes the Museum of Farming Life, a collection of old implements. Adult £9, conc £7, NT / NTS free.    
  • 8 Udny Castle is a tower house of 14th / 15th century. A mansion house was tacked on in the 1870s but demolished in the 1960s. No tours but you can admire the exterior.
  • 9 Loanhead of Daviot Stone Circle is on the ridge just north of Daviot village off A920. It's virtually intact, and Bronze Age though some pottery found at the site is early Neolithic.

Do edit

Gatehouse of Tolquhon Castle
  • Golf: there are courses at Ellon, Oldmeldrum, Meldrum House and Turriff.
  • Braes of Gight is one of several hiking trails. Start from B9005 and follow the Ythan riverbank upstream for views of Gight Castle, eventually looping back on the other bank.
  • Oldmeldrum Highland Gathering is held in June on the village Pleasure Park. The next is Sa 17 June 2023.

Buy edit

Farmers, dinnae trust to luck, always use our Turriff muck - marketing Aberdeenshire-style in the 1950s
  • Ellon has the largest store hereabouts, Aldi open 08:00-22:00, Su 09:00-19:00.
  • Oldmeldrum Co-op is open daily 06:00-22:00.
  • Pitmedden Co-op is open daily 06:00-22:00.
  • Methlick Costcutter is open M-Sa 08:00-19:00, Su 10:00-13:00.
  • Tarves Spar is open daily 07:00-20:00.
  • Turriff has Tesco open M-Sa 07:00-23:00, Su 08:00-20:00 and several other stores.

Eat edit

There's a dress code for dinner at Haddo House
  • Morris's Hotel & Restaurant, Market Square, Oldmeldrum AB51 0DS, +44 1651 872251. Restaurant seating 70, trad Scottish fare, and Jock's Bar is open from 11:00 to late. They also have two double rooms. Mains £10-20.
  • Oldmeldrum also has Meldrum Kitchen (Chinese obviously, W-M 16:00-22:00), and Spice within Meldrum Arms.
  • Ellon has East & West, Nosheen Tandoori, and fast-food takeaways.

Drink edit

  • Ellon has The Bridge Bar and The Tolbooth.
  • Pitmedden has The Craft Bar.
  • Glen Garioch Distillery in Oldmeldrum distills whisky and offers tours.

Sleep edit

  • 1 Ythan Valley Campsite is off B9005 in Ythanbank.
  • 2 Ythan View Hotel, Main Rd Methlick AB41 7DS, +44 1651 806235. Small 3-star with restaurant. B&B double £60.
  • Aberdeen Arms Hotel, The Square, Tarves AB41 7GX, +44 1651 851214. 4 bedroom hotel and pub.
  • 3 The Redgarth, Kirk Brae, Oldmeldrum AB51 0DJ, +44 1651 872353. Pleasant hotel built 1928 near the golf course, good food. B&B double £120.
  • Ellon further east has Buchan Hotel, New Inn and Station Hotel.

Connect edit

As of Oct 2021, in Methlick you can get 4G with EE and 3G with Three and Vodafone, but there's no signal from O2.

Go next edit

This city travel guide to Methlick is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.