From East Aquhorthies we planned to visit the most evocatively named stone circle and one we were both itching to see – Sunhoney. The name just drips from your tongue and conjures up golden images (well, it does to me) so I was almost gearing myself up to be disappointed; had I based too much on the coincidence of a lovely name? Well, the answer if very definitely "no". We parked by the rather broken down farm building with the "Stone Circle" sign and set off walking. We were really lucky with the weather, as it was warm and the skies remained blue and bright. The approach to the circle is lovely alongside lush fields, full of tweeting and twittering birds. Then we came upon the site – set amongst the most beautiful ring of trees with foxgloves and wild grasses bobbing gently in the breeze. After the manicured surrounds of East Aquhorthies and Loanhead of Daviot, this was as absolute treat. Vicky was beside herself, taking picture after picture of the cup-marked recumbent and I just pottered around the site, feeling slightly drunk with the whole place, in the late afternoon warmth. The surround of tress make it difficult to place this most wondrous of sites within the landscape but certainly add to the amazing atmosphere of the place.
I called into Sunhoney after visiting Midmar Kirk. The grey November morning and The Kirk had combined to leave me feeling a bit gloomy but this soon lifted as I approached Sunhoney.
Not too much to say about the circle that hasn't already been said, although I would like to add my appreciation to the farmer for providing excellent access to this lovely ring.
Sunhoney will brighten your dreichest day.
The nicest and in this weather, one of the most apt names for a circle. The still strong September sunshine drifted around these warm pink stones and it really could have been any century, any millennia.
Largely whole (and wholly large!) you can imagine this to be an important site at the time of its construction, with the massively cup-marked recumbent adding weight to this. The recumbent has fallen and such a large piece as broken off, it almost looks as if it hit the ground with a crash. Strangely though, and like Tyrebagger this only seems to improve the site.
Access easy and as described, and a big thanks to the farmer for making it so. They don't have to, and they certainly don't always.
Today deep in thigh-high grass and purple foxgloves spikes, Sunhoney is sublime coolness.
The grass was so deep that we could hardly see the recumbent at all, and the atmosphere here so soporific and drowsy that Moth and I both forgot to seek out the cupmarks. The lovely deep red stones, the warm breeze in the trees, the hum of the insects and the luscious blanket of waving grasses all conspired to create a megalithic lullaby.
So low is the recumbent and so relatively tall the flankers that the arrangement looks more like a showjump to pop over on your pony than a megalithic altar.
It's on private land, but is a very good example of a farmer accepting his responsibility to let the public view it. There is a place to park and a sign pointing the way along which he has erected gates and a fence to protect his crops.
What a hot day - by the time we arrive at sunhoney its truly a summers day - we work our way carefully along a potato field and behold this very mystical circle - I really like this place it has an air of healing and meditation about it!
Sunhoney - a most apt name as the place seems to drip with the essence of summer. We visited midmorning in July, taking the farm road (R) for Sunhoney Farm. Park at the further away farmhouse - friendly inhabitants suggested the best route to take. Head up the lane and along the side of the cornfield. The stones stand in the midst of a small copse of trees and are just delightful - a wide grin split my face when we first entered the ring. There are nine good sized standing stones plus the rather "recumbent" recumbent which has toppled forward, revealing cupmarkings on it's rear face. So near to farmland you could be a thousand years away. Lovely!
These were the first Aberdeenshire stones we visited that stand on private land, and we set ourselves a good and decent precedent by knocking first to ask. We found that not only does this invariably lead to a friend granting of permission, but it means that when you're at the stones you can really get into it instead of always looking over your shoulder for the angry farmer coming to hassle you. It also means that the landowner comes to know that people into the stones are considerate and polite, so it'll help future visitors too.
But there was nobody in, so we asked at the house nextdoor, who said that the landowners are fine about visitors as long as they obey the Golden Rule of Walking on Farmland: SHUT THE GATE BEHIND YOU!
We crossed a field of ripening wheat and came into the circular grove of trees that surrounds the circle. The woman down at the Corrieburn house said 'but there's really nothing to see up there'. Ha! This is such a beautiful place, a luscious warmth radiates through the site, and not just because of the lurid glowing pink colour of the stones. On the crest of a small hill, this has a classic stone circle Centre Of The Landscape vibe. Barmekin Hill looms massively down behind the smallest stone, as much a horizon focal point as Mither Tap at East Aquhorthies. Barmekin Hill is a classic sacred hill shape, and has the same shape and name as The Barmkyn, a hill on which Old eig and Druidstones are aligned.
The fallen and broken recumbent stone is a sad sight, but it is still in better condition than most of the RSCs, and with the outer circle of trees and the landscape-central feeling, this is as bright and enchanting a place as you could see anywhere.
(NB In the Modern Antiquarian's gazetteer entry for Sunhoney (page 393), the directions say that by their 1994ce trip Sunhoney Farm had been renamed Corrieburn Farm, but they didn't find out why. In fact, Sunhoney Farm is still Sunhoney Farm, and the sign up the track to Corrieburn is for entry round the back to the new house nextdoor).