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Kilmartin Glen, Scotland
Fast Facts
Historic Interest
Ancient Ruins
Tourist Attractions
Points of Interest Nearby
Family Travel Tips

Kilmartin Churchyard


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

There is more to Kilmartin Glen than lambs, ewes and rams. This green, glacial valley is an outdoor museum. More than 350 age-old ruins and relics - burial cairns, standing stones, stone circles, and rock art - speckle this sheep-spotted basin. Take a walking tour of Kilmartin Glen. Hike public rights of way. Crisscross farmland. Enjoy nature. Marvel at Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age remains. Start your visit at Kilmartin House. View a slideshow. Learn about old stones. Plan your visit to coincide with the lambing season (March to May) and turn an archaeology adventure into animal escapade. Visit Kilmartin Churchyard and see some of the oldest gravestones in Scotland. End your journey at the museum café; it boasts some of the best food in Argyll.
What is a Cairn?
Cairn at Kilmartin

Cairn at Kilmartin

Alfredo De Simone

Cairns, also spelled carn and carnedd, are more than heaps of rocks. These manmade piles of stones, often conical in form, are built for one of four purposes. 1) Cairns can mark a burial site. 2) They are built by hikers and climbers to symbolize a successful mount. 3) Cairns are used to mark a path across rocky and frozen lands. 4) They were once built along Scotland's rugged coastline to help seafarers determine their location. But what makes cairns really cool is the Scottish tradition of placing a stone on each mound one passes.
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