Kilmartin Glen Rock Art

[Achnabreck Rock Art]

Evidence of Neolithic activity is found throughout Kilmartin Glen, most obviously in the form of huge burial cairns stretching in a line south from near Kilmartin village. But perhaps the most beautiful remains are the intriguing 5,000-year-old rock carvings found on a number of exposed outcrops throughout the glen. This prehistoric art usually takes the form of circular depressions (or "cup marks") sometimes surrounded by a number of rings. Cut directly into the rock, they must have taken a significant amount of time to create, and the same patterns exist elsewhere in Britain and beyond. Their purpose remains a mystery, but what is certain is that Kilmartin Glen has some of the most significant outcrops discovered to date, so you should visit at least one of them if you're passing through the area. (Probably) The four best examples are listed below.

[Cairnbaan Rock Art]

📌 Achnabreck Rock Art ★★☆☆
Description: Kilmartin Glen's most impressive cup and ring maps, although perimeter fencing means you can't see the middle of the main outcrop.
Location: Off the A816 a mile east of Cairnbaan, G.R.: NR 856907 ///wriggle.ferried.growth
Open: Always
Cost: Free
Anything else? The site is signed from the A841 opposite the junction with Cairnbaan Lea. An unsurfaced track leads to the parking area at NR 852908 ///face.otherwise.soldiers. From here it's a 10-min walk to the main outcrop on a wide but steep path, with further carvings a little further on.

📌 Baluachraig Rock Art ☆☆☆
Description: A small outcrop with a few cup and ring maps - not the most impressive in the area but the closest to the other main sites in Kilmartin Glen.
Location: A816 a mile south of Kilmartin, G.R.: NR 831970 ///finely.overlooks.trip
Open: Always
Cost: Free
Anything else? Park as for Dunchraigaig Cairn at NR 834968 ///sung.rules.unity. The cup marks are a few minutes away: carefully cross the road to the cairn, turn right and follow the path through trees then next to the road to the rock outcrop.

📌 Cairnbaan Rock Art ☆☆☆
Description: 5,000-year-old cup and ring marks split across three rock outcrops.
Location: Off the B841 at Cairnbaan, G.R.: NR 840910 ///flaking.stall.pelt
Open: Always
Cost: Free
Anything else? Limited space to park on Cairnbaan Lea at NR 841908 ///ages.dumplings.bucked. A woodland path with some steep sections leads uphill to the rocks from the B841 next to the Cairnbaan Hotel. The main outcrops are a 10-min walk, but the best art is a little further on along a boggier path.

📌 Kilmichael Glassary Rock Art ☆☆☆
Description: Cup, ring and unusual keyhole-shaped carvings in an easily-accessible roadside location.
Location: Am Baille Mhor, Kilmichael Glassary, G.R.: NR 858935 ///
Open: Always
Cost: Free

[Kilmichael Glassary Rock Art]


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