Discover 800 prehistoric structures within a 6-mile radius, from standing stones to cairns, Kilmartin Glen is one of the most important sites of its kind. Look out for the well preserved Dunadd Fort within the glen, said to be a stronghold of the ancient coastal kingdom of Dalriada.
Not just confined to the mainland, the rich history of Argyll’s beautiful islands, including Gigha, Colonsay and Iona can also be uncovered through their many sites of standing stones and stone circles.
The Ringing Stone on the isle of Tiree makes an eerie bell-like toll in the wind. Should the stone break, an old legend warns that the island will vanish beneath the waves.
The stunning island of Iona is adorned with Celtic crosses and is still a place of pilgrimage for people looking to follow in the spiritual footsteps of St Columba who is believed to have crossed its shores. It is the final resting place for 48 Scottish kings.
A vibrant culture welcomes visitors, with plenty of ceilidhs, gigs and local dishes as well as a lively arts and crafts scene.
If you have Scottish heritage, you may well find that your ancestors originate from Argyll & The Isles where there are 32 clan seats, such as Inveraray Castle on the banks of Loch Fyne which is the Clan Campbell seat and home to the Duke of Argyll.
Loch Fyne is a sea loch off the west coast of Scotland, running between the Kintyre and Cowal peninsulas. Travel up through the peninsulas and into Argyll Forest Park and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The Kintyre Peninsula is home to the ancient woodlands of Taynish National Nature Reserve, the largest remaining ancient oak woodland in Britain, whilst the Cowal Peninsula sits under the rugged Arrochar Alps, perfect terrain for mountain bikers and walkers.
Each of the islands also have their own breathtaking landscapes and fascinating geographic sites to explore, including the Fossil Tree at Burg on the Isle of Mull which is a distinctive sea cliff containing an impression of a tree which was engulfed by lava flow 50 million years ago.
Further south, the Corryvreckan Whirlpool is the world’s third largest whirlpool and is a dramatic sight to witness on a guided boat trip. The pounding roar of the swirling waters can sometimes be heard over 10 miles away.
The landscape is made truly complete by its extensive abundance of flora and fauna, from the white-tailed eagles which can be spotted on the island of Mull, to the beautiful late flowering rhododendrons at Benmore Botanic Gardens.
Boat trips off the coast will treat you to clear blue waters, white sand beaches and often glimpses of dolphins as well as the occasional minke whale or basking shark. The islands offer a safe haven for many species of animals, including puffins, red deer, otters and seals.
Visit the dedicated Brave site for more information.