The Kilmartin Glen in Argyll is one of Britain's gems of history. DùnAdd, ancient capital of Dalriada, was founded by the Irish in the 5th century amidst the pagan Picts. Gleann Cille Mhàrtainn (Kilmartin Glen), is where they came and so began the country we now call Scotland. But we humans have been here since the ice receded 10,000 years ago. We built our stone circles and standing stone temples; We left footprints....
Pick 4-5 hours worth from the following to give a full day's private tour (which allows a break for lunch and transport time between each site):
While it is theoretically possible that there is a guide somewhere on planet earth who knows more about the Kilmartin Glen than me, it is however unlikely! I lived there for 5 years and guided over a hundred parties, many of them repeat visits. Why use anybody else?
Note that these tours are offered as "step-on guide" which means that you need your own transport. Most visitors to the Glen have their own vehicle. If you do require transport, see † near page foot.
All tours on this page are arranged initially via an email enquiry to set the date and specific itinerary.
"Scot, We wanted to say again how much we enjoyed our day exploring Kilmarten Glen with you. It was absolutely the best way to kick off our journey through Scotland. All of the history and stories you shared from paleolithic through contemporary history made the rest of the trip so much more meaningful. Hope to see you again some day. Best, Willi, Kat & Alder." April 2022.
Linda Curtis & Ron Kamen, March 2009: "Scot,We had the pleasure of having a tour with you during the 2nd week of August in 2004. You gave us a day tour of the Kilmartin valley. We never thanked you properly for your wonderful tour and your hospitality. I have been working our photo album from that vacation and looked up your website in to recall where exactly we had visited with you. We would also be more then happy to be used as references for your tours, Thank you again! And if we are ever lucky enough to come back to Scotland we will surely request one of your tours again!"
Known in literature as The Long Crooked Glen of the Stones, it holds a huge amount of interest for the sensitive traveller: probably the last continously kept Earth Goddess shrine in Britain, sites of the last Pictish strongholds (pre 900 AD), Tales and Legends of Fionn MacCumhal, great natural beauty, early Christian sites, a Fairy Hill of the Celts, a remoteness of landscape that is felt by the visitor... and so the attractions go on.
This is a whole day tour, due to the remoteness of the glen and the distance into it.
The exact sites to visit I ascertain during the booking process based on your interests.
Grades* B and C.
Note that this tour is offered as "step-on guide" which means that you need your own transport. Most visitors to the Glen have their own vehicle. If you do require transport, see † near page foot.
In the fifty year period from 1750 to 1800, Edinburgh led the world in science and philosophy. It was the "Capital of the Mind" and "The Athens of the North". The latter appelation also refers to the enlightened town planning of the New Town in 1766 which was to eventually confer World Heritage status on the city.
So what is there to experience on a tour? This half or full-day walking tour covers both the old medieval and the new Georgian towns, meeting the various influential residents such as philosopher David Hume, his friend and economist Adam Smith, the writers Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson (Kidnapped, Treasure Island) and many others who shaped the course of the industrial and intellectual revolutions. There's poetry, architecture from the sublime to the seedy, science, art, poverty and grandure.
The total distance walked is about three miles for the full day, about one mile for the half-day, all on made paths and with steep staricases in some places. Much of the tour is outdoors, with frequent dipping into museums and galleries to pick one or two pieces that illustrate the story.Grade* B
Transport can be provided for tours of Kilmartin or Glen Lyon when:
I use the Ramblers Association of grading
A = Flat, path walks, not arduous, suitable for low mobility and wheels.
B = Mostly paths, some unmade and muddy, some climbs, but not for more than a couple of hundred feet, not suitable for wheels, moderate fitness or mobility required
C = Off path climbs involved. Climbs more than 500 feet, slighty higher than average fitness advisable.
All photos are from the tour locations and are the property of Scot AnSgeulaiche.