Episode 37 (Season 4): ‘6,000 times around the sun’
Let’s travel to the Heart of Argyll to explore the fascinating history of early Scotland and the Neolithic sites at Kilmartin Glen!
‘6,000 times around the sun’ is a story about Scotland’s ancient history and how we connect with it. Kilmartin Glen is an excellent place for this journey as there are hundreds of historic sites to discover.
We explore structures and monuments that were built soon after the last Ice Age and rock art that was created thousands of years ago. Along the way we learn about the lives of the people who created them and knew their meaning.
Our guide on this journey is Heather Thomas-Smith of Heathery Heights.
Listen to my conversation with Heather for an insight into life as a history guide and more stories about Kilmartin Glen!
After the story, I’ll tell you some of my top tips to make the most of your trip to the Heart of Argyll!
Are you ready? Great – let’s travel to Scotland!
Written and hosted by Kathi Kamleitner.
Produced, edited and sound design by Fran Turauskis.
Transcripts and social media by Kirsty Spain.
Cover Art illustrated by Lizzie Vaughan-Knight.
All original music composed by Bruce Wallace.
Additional sound effects from Zapsplat.
All photographs by Kathi Kamleitner.
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My Kilmartin Glen Travel Tips
Look beyond the showstoppers
There is no doubt that the standing stones at Nether Largie are the most popular site in the glen. It’s an easy stop and who wouldn’t want to see standing stones.
But, I want to encourage you to spend a little more time in the glen, to visit a variety of sites. I didn’t even mention everything we saw on our walk with Heather.
We also walked up to Dunadd Fort, a monument that has been used from the Iron Age until the 16th century. We drove across the peatlands of Moine Mhòr and over the Crinan Canal, and we explored the ruins of Carnasserie Castle.
No matter which era of Scottish history you’re interested in, there’s something to see at Kilmartin Glen.
Book a walk with Heathery Heights
Heather was the perfect person to guide us through the area. With her combined expertise about history, geology and the natural world, she could really help us understand the history of the glen and its people. It never felt dry, as history sometimes does, and Fran and I both walked away inspired to learn more about the places we visited.
We’ll hear more from Heather next week, but I hope you’re already convinced to book a guided walk with her on your next trip to Argyll.
Visit Kilmartin Museum
Now, this is a tip for the future, because at the time of recording this episode in 2022, Kilmartin Museum is still under refurbishment. However, it’s set to reopen next year and when it does, it’s going to be a must-see on your journey through Kilmartin Glen.
The museum houses a vast collection of historic documents and artefacts which tell the story of the glen. You can visit to learn more about the sites in the area, or do more in-depth research about a specific monument or time period you’re interested in.
Also explore the Heart of Argyll region
I decided to focus on Kilmartin Glen for our story, but really it’s worth to explore the entire region known as the Heart of Argyll.
It includes areas like the Knapdale Forest and the Taynish Peninsula, villages like Inveraray and Ardfern, and you can easily access a few different islands. The Crinan Canal cuts right through it and you can easily access the sea lochs of the west coast.
There are castles and nature reserves, spots to see wildlife and lots of other things to do and see.
Allow me to help you
To figure out how to turn all of the above into a feasible itinerary for Kilmartin Glen and the wider area, use my free Heart of Argyll travel guide, get my Hidden West Coast itinerary or book a session with me to help you plan your trip.
As I said, this is one of my favourite places in Scotland, and I’d love to be able to share it with you.
Oh, and here’s a bonus tip: My favourite place to stay in Kilmartin Glen is Kings Reach Self Catering – they have two 2-bedroom apartments in a detached cottage with views of Dunadd Fort. This is where we stayed during our trip and it’s a great home base to explore the Heart of Argyll.