Fantastic. The whole Kilmartin Valley is such a fantastic place. It rained, rained and rained again. But despite this I had a great day (soaked to the skin) and I can't rate this place highly enough. I hope to visit again when (hopefully) the weather will be better! Stayed all day but only managed to see some of the sites as there are so many. The Great X is just one of the wonderful things to see. If you are anywhere near this part of Scotland, allow at least a day of your holidays to enjot this very special place. So far, my favourite place in Scotland. For me this is on par with Avebury in England. Fantastic.
We visited this site in Feb. 2000. We just wandered around this valley floor all day - you need loads of time for all the jewels that the people left us here. The great X is one of them. We wandered and wondered round this unique monument.
The overall alignment of this whole monument is approximately the same as the cairn cemetry, the valley and the river. I cant say any more - it's like much of this valley - a beautiful mystery.
If there were ritual processions north up this glen - which seems almost certain - this seems to be the place where eveything starts to get 'focused down' a bit, as the valley floor starts to narrow approaching the linear cemetery of cairns. However, the 'X' is aligned roughly NE-SW, and doesn't line up with the cairns as you might expect.
It was a lovely summer's evening. The low sun shone brightly over these wonderful stones. All was quiet except for birdsong and the occasional passing car in the distance. The stones had a decent covering of 'hairy lichen' and the angle of light showed the cup marks in all their glory. It is easy to take rock art for granted in Kilmartin Glen. Something we should never do of course. I hope the stones, their cup marks and secrets are with us for another couple of thousand years. I hope this glen is as beautiful then as it is now. If you have never been, make sure you visit this special place and allow as much time as possible to try to take it all in. Evening and morning visits are best as the place can get busy when the afternoon coaches arrive. Still, this place is big enough to accommodate us all - you can always find a quiet spot amongst these large and mysterious stones.
The last time I came to Kilmartin it rained and rained and then rained some more. In fact it never stopped raining from the moment I arrived to the time I left. Kilmartin is a joy but is more of a joy in decent weather. A return visit was always on the agenda and here we are, 5 years later, back in Kilmartin glen.
We were booked into a B+B opposite the museum and as it was a lovely summer's evening I didn't want t waste the opportunity. Karen agreed to take the children to the B+B and let me have the rest of the day to myself to re-explore the many wonderful sites Kilmartin has to offer - result!
Karen dropped me off near Ri Cruin and drove off. I immediately headed up the path and was keen to see if this site was as good as I remembered it? And of course, it was! I had the place to myself and eagerly sought out the axe head carvings. The light wasn't great for this but I did spot them once I got my eye in.
With its relative seclusion away from the 'main' Kilmartin sites you are likely to also have the place to yourself. The axe heads, cists and surroundings still (alongside Dunned Fort) makes this my favorite Kilmartin site. Simply wonderful.