Walk: Kilmartin Glen - trip back in time

Argyll & Bute | Kilmartin | Half day walk | ★★★

[Temple Wood Stone Circle]

Kilmartin Glen is often described as an open-air museum, and the best way to explore many of its main Neolithic and Bronze Age sites is by walking from Kilmartin village. Most immediately obvious is the spectacular linear chain of burial cairns stretching down the glen, but stone circles and standing stones also form part of the package, with rock carvings in the wider area. Start by visiting the Kilmartin Stones and also the village museum for a good overview of the region, then work your way south and prepare to be amazed by the sheer number of sites. Allow a few hours for the places on this route; if you're hungry for more then there are plenty of other sites nearby, many looked after by Historic Environment Scotland.

[View north along the linear cairns from Nether Largie Mid Cairn]

📌 Walk: Kilmartin Glen - trip back in time ★★★
Start at car park outside Kilmartin Church, A816 in Kilmartin village centre, G.R.: NR 835988 ///assembles.play.rings

▶ 7 km / 4 mi | ▲ 30 m | ⌚ Half a day | Easy
Features: Kilmartin Stones; Kilmartin Museum; Glebe Cairn; Nether Largie Cairns; Nether Largie Standing Stones; Ri Cruin Cairn; Temple Wood Stone Circle(s)
Terrain: Minor roads, tracks and good paths - flat.

Route & map

Start - Kilmartin Stones ★★ - Kilmartin Museum ★★ - Glebe Cairn ★★ - Nether Largie North Cairn ★★★ - Nether Largie Mid Cairn ★★ - Nether Largie South Cairn ★★ - Nether Largie Standing Stones ★★ - Ri Cruin Cairn ★★ - Temple Wood Stone Circle(s) ★★ - continue to rejoin outward route to start

1. Start by heading into the church graveyard to view the Kilmartin Stones. Kilmartin Museum is next door to the church, and also worth visiting.

2. Walk north along the road and take a signposted track on the left just after a garage. As it curves right, fork left onto a path to join a track heading south, with Glebe Cairn soon accessible via a footbridge on the left.

3. Continue south on the main track to Nether Largie North Cairn, followed by Nether Largie Mid Cairn a little further on. Next, carry on south along the track, passing a school onto a tarmac road straight ahead beyond, soon reaching Nether Largie South Cairn.

4. From this cairn, head southeast towards woodland then south on a path alongside the trees to Nether Largie Standing Stones. Head briefly east (left) from the stones to reach the B8025. Head right (south), then right on the first minor road towards Ri Cruin house. Just before the house, turn left onto a path to Ri Cruin Cairn.

5. Return to the road, turn left (northwest) before taking the first road on the right (with a cycle route sign) for a further few hundred metres to Temple Wood Stone Circle(s). Continue on the road, soon regaining the outward route near the school. From here, return by the outward route.

Route credit: Walkhighlands

On our visit

Wildlife: Sheep in the fields; cows watching on at Ri Cruin Cairn.
Weather: Warm with sunshine and areas of cloud, light winds.

Chronological photo guide

[Kilmartin Stones at the start]

[Kilmartin Museum (16/7/16]

[Glebe Cairn seen from Kilmartin village (16/7/16)]

[Sliding open the access hatch at Nether Largie North Cairn]

[View north along the linear cairns from Nether Largie Mid Cairn]

[Main chamber at Nether Largie South Cairn]

[Nether Largie Standing Stones (10/7/18)]

[Ri Cruin Cairn]

[Nervous cows at Ri Cruin Cairn]

[Temple Wood Stone Circle]


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