The town of Ellon, approximately fifteen miles north of Aberdeen, is the crown of ancient region Formartine, a jewel on the banks of the river Ythan.

The river winds wound the town like a mother’s embrace, the town a well nurtured child of raw rural lineage. History hisses as the river runs past, a timeless secret of survival in its waters. A mother’s kiss sparkles in its bubbles; the Buchan past hides in its depths. The river has seen kingdoms rise and decline; it is silent witness to Scottish lore. Today, it is hard to imagine a turbulent time gone by; the river breathes peace and serenity. The riverside walks are stunning, the perfect way to unwind, a blissful respite from modern life.

The Auld Brig – an old and majestic bridge built in 1793 – offers panoramic views of Ellon and its river.

Ellon’s small centre belies an abundance of retail and restaurants.

The Buchan Hotel offers lights lunches and mouth-watering main meals. On this day in the year 2020, it has also mastered social distancing, a covid safe cocoon. I recommend it highly.

Ellon is home to one of the last independent bookshops in the region. Better Read Books, a hidden gem on Ythan Terrace, whisks you back decades, a shop straight from the 1950s. When you step inside, the scent of books hits you like a hello from a better yesterday.

The longevity of good literature shouts from the bookshelves. As you tour the shop, it is like swimming in a sea of poetry, breathing in life-affirming stanzas, breathing out the words you wish you could speak. Time seems to stand still. Stories float around you, the beauty of language hidden in plain sight. This is a must visit for any book lover. The staff are experts on literature; no customer service avatars, these are real people with sound book advice and refreshing literary wisdom. Find out more at www.facebook.com/BetterReadBooks/

Ellon is also home to one of the few crystal shops in the North East of Scotland. Jules Healing Gems in the Bridge Street Shopping Centre shines like a fallen star, a piece of heaven within brick and stone. Gems crowd the shelves like a catwalk of crystals, mineral fashion on display, beauty struck solid. The owner, Jules, is a crystal expert and will help you choose the right crystal for you. There is also a range of books, jewellery, artwork and gift cards. This is shop like no other, an ounce of the otherworldly in the town centre. Browse and buy crystals online at www.juleshealinggems.co.uk

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