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Kilmartin Glen

It is true that there are many wonderful places to visit in Scotland and that there is much to see and do but I just wanted to tell you a little about one of the places that is often overlooked. Kilmartin Glen Is one of unseen treasures of Scotland. It nestles upon the sea plain Just South Of Oban and North of Lochgilphead in Central Argyll. When you arrive there is little to show just why you are there. Yet if you park and walk a little you will reach a set of large standing stones which date from around 3,500BC, Impressive. But then walk a little farther and you reach burial mounds and crypts from a similar time period; some of which are open to view. This would normally be enough to draw crowds yet there is much more to see. Soon you will reach the first circle of standing stones and then another and soon you realize that the whole Glen is full of Standing stones, burial mounds and crypts. In the hills nearby there is a castle and the remains of a brooch as well as a few dun's and a hill fort, that whilst mostly ruins and difficult to see in the summer are still worth a look. Even having seen all this I have not mentioned the jewel in the crown of Kilmartin. Dunadd fort lies just a short walk away. Dunadd was the first fort the "Scotti" tribe raised upon reaching the shores of Alba yet they were to give their name to our land and the peoples here.
Dunadd fort is an impressive fortification dating from around the sixth century. It is upon a high promontory that views the land all around to the mountainous spine of central Argyll. It is almost completely encircled by fast flowing rivers but may once have been an Island, no one really knows. It also is well worth a view. It is worth noting that all the standing stones, crypts, hill fort's, Dun's and Dunadd are just there, there is no entrance fee, no restrictions, all you have to do is go and have a look. I do not work for the tourist board and as I said; all these things are free to see, so I am not trying to sell you anything, I do not even live in that area but simply remember, when I first visited, the sense of wonder that I felt walking past the standing stones and thinking, these were erected before the pyramids by a race that could have hardly created a sandcastle on the many beaches nearby.  It got me thinking. It does still. 


  • VisitScotlandAngelaVisitScotlandAngela Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Kilmartin Glen has to be one of the most beautiful and interesting areas that I have visited in the west of Scotland.  Kilmartin Museum is also fascinating and a great place to find out about all of the archaeological features in the area!
  • HannaniteHannanite Member ✭✭
    I would agree that Kilmartin Glen is one of the most fascinating but understated places in Scotland. You just cannot escape the sense of history when you visit. I have to say though, that having popped into the Kilmartin Museum recently, I was very disappointed with the customer service on offer in the tea room. Despite it being quiet, there wee too many dirty tables, a lack of menus, and 4 staff talking amongst themselves and ignoring the customers. It was just such a poor experience and we really must have to raise our game to make sure we match the experience that our natural environment offers.
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