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Kilmartin




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Kilmartin Glen in Argyll, near Kintyre, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe, having seen human occupation since the earliest times, when hunter gatherer groups moved into the area after the last Ice Age.

More than 350 prehistoric and historic sites lie within 6 miles of the quiet village of Kilmartin, with 150 of them being prehistoric. Of particular interest are the earlier prehistoric monuments: chambered cairns, round cairns, cists, standing stones and rock carvings. There are also some early Christian crosses, medieval castles and features of the industrial revolution like the Crinan Canal.

When visiting Kilmartin Glen, it is best to start at the Kilmartin House Museum of Ancient Culture. This is located in the old manse in Kilmartin village and admission includes an atmospheric audio visual presentation as well as entry to the museum itself which includes a model of the glen. There is also an award winning cafe that is open seven days a week.

Almost next to the Museum is Kilmartin Parish Church with its remarkable collection of early grave slabs, some of which have been collected together in a small open enclosure for easier viewing. Some grave slabs are of early Christian design, some are medieval.   

Before the pyramids were built, the inhabitants of this area of Scotland had built the first of the burial cairns that make up the Linear Cemetery at Nether Largie South. These Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments, together with the stone circle at Temple Wood and the standing stones at Ballymeanoch and other sites, are all part of the ritual landscape of Kilmartin Glen.

About a mile south of Kilmartin village along the A816, there is a car park from where you can visit the group of sites at Nether Largie South. The Nether Largie stones are to be found in the field across the road from the car park.

Whether you are interested in archaeology or perhaps walking, horse-riding, sailing or climbing or simply want to immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquillity of this idyllic part of the Scottish Highland on the shores of Loch Linhie you are certain to have a holiday of a lifetime in Kilmartin.