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Places to go in Argyll, the Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling and the Trossachs

Alloa Tower, Alloa
Built during the 14th and 15th Centuries, Alloa Tower was extensively renovated in the 18th century and again recently, but still retains a medieval timber roof. In 1360 the town of Alloa was put under the control of Sir Robert Erskine and his descendents have maintained the association with the town to the present day and still own the Tower. In 1565 the family were made Earls of Mar by Mary Queen of Scots, who is said to have been reconciled with Darnley here.

Another notable Erskine was the 6th Earl of Mar who led the 1715 Jacobite rebellion an enterprise which was not crowned with success.

Bobbing John, as he was known, was forced into exile, but his son was later able to recover their Alloa property.

Alloa Tower
Copyright Sunnyside Studios

Antonine Wall Monuments
See also Antonine Wall entries in Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley section

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Antonine Wall: Castlecary
East of Castlecary village on B816, 65 NS 790 783
The reduced earthworks of a fort
Antonine Wall: Rough Castle
Signposted at Bonnybridge, one mile east, 65 NS 835 798-845 799
The best preserved length of rampart and ditch, together with the earthworks of a fort, the most complete on the Wall, and a short length of military way with quarry pits.
Antonine Wall: Seabegs Wood
One mile west of Bonnybridge, 65 NS 798-811 792
A stretch of rampart and ditch with the military way behind
Antonine Wall: Watling Lodge
In Falkirk, signposted from A9, 65 NS 866 798-863 798
The best section of ditch
Ardchattan Priory
On Loch Etive, six and a half miles north east of Oban, 48 NM 971 349
The ruins of a Valliscaulian priory founded in 1230 and later converted to secular use
Balquhidder Church
Follow signs from  Balquidder, off A84
Balquidder Church  - There are two churches on this site; one dating from 13thC, the other from 1631.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Balquhidder Church

Beheading Pit
at Finlarig

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Beheading Pit

Blackness Castle
4m NE of Linlithgow on the Firth of Forth, off the A904.
Tel: 01506 834807

One of Scotland's most important strongholds. Built in the 14th century and massively strengthened in the 16th century as an artillery fortress, it has been royal castle, prison, armaments depot and film location for Hamlet.
Winter: closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays.

Blackness Castle

Bonawe Iron Furnace
By the village of Taynuilt off the A85.
Tel: 018662 432

Founded in 1753 by Cumbrian iron masters this is the most complete remaining charcoal fuelled ironworks in Britain. Displays show how iron was once made here.
Winter: closed

Bonawe Iron Furnace

Callendar House
Has been restored to its former Georgian splendour. You'll find a working Georgian kitchen, with its open fire and convection driven spit, kitchen maids in period costume offer authentic Georgian recipes. There is also a General Store, a Printer's Shop and a Watchmaker's workshop.
The Georgian Kitchen
Cambuskenneth Abbey
One mile east of Stirling, 57 NS 809 939
In its day a famous house of Augustian canons, the scene of Robert Bruce's Parliament in 1326, and burial place of James III and his Queen. The fine detached tower is the only substancial survivor, but extensive foundations remain of he rest.
View exterior only
Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Cambuskenneth Abbey

Carnasserie Castle
Two miles north of Kilmartin, 55 NM 838 009
A handsome combined tower house and hall, home of John Carswell, first Protestant Bishop of the Isles, and translator of the first book printed in Gaelic. Very fine architectural details of the late 16th century.
Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Carnasserie Castle

Castle Campbell
At the head of Dollar Glen, 10m W of Stirling on the A91.
Tel: 01259 742408

Known as "Castle Gloom" this spectacularly sited 15th-century fortress was the lowland stronghold of the Campbells. Stunning views from the parapet walk. A lovely walk beside the Dollar burn takes you to the castle but there is also a road which takes you right up to the Castle.
Winter: closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays.

Castle Campbell

Castle Sween
On the east shore of Loch Sween, in Knapdale, 62 NR 712 788
This is one of the earliest castles in Scotland, started in the twelfth century, with later towers built in addition to now vanished wooden structures.
Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Castle Sween. Probably oldest castle on mainland Scotland.

Clackmannan Tower, Clackmannan
The town of Clackmannan has a long association with the Bruce family and this keep was the home of Robert the Bruce for a while. It was built originally in the 14th century but substantially altered over the next three hundred years.

Photography by Duncan Fenton

Doune Castle
In Doune, 8m S of Callander on the A84.
Tel: 01786 841742

The formidable 14th-century courtyard castle was built for the Regent Albany. The striking keep-gatehouse also combines domestic quarters including the splendid Lord's Hall with its carved oak screen, musicians' gallery and double fireplace.
Winter: closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays.

Doune Castle

Building was started towards the end of the 14th century, by Robert Duke of Albany and completed by his son Murdoch, who was later executed (1425) by James 1st. Doune consists of a large courtyard protected by high walls and a gatehouse tower. It is protected on two sides by the River Teith and a tributary and in a strategically important position in Central Scotland, second only to Stirling.

doune1.jpg (16990 bytes)

Dumbarton Castle
In Dumbarton on the A82.
Tel: 01389 732167

Site of the ancient capital of Strathclyde, Mary Queen of Scots sailed to France from here as a child in 1548. The castle is spectacularly sited on a volcanic rock overlooking the River Clyde. Displays in Governor's House.
Winter: closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays.

Dumbarton Castle

Dunblane Cathedral
In Dunblane
One of Scotland's noblest medieval churches. The lower part of the tower is Romanesque, but the larger part of the building is of the 13th century. It was restored in 1889-93 by Sir Rowand Anderson.
Thanks to
Louise McGilviray for sending us in this picture.

Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel
By Loch Etive, 3.5m from Oban off the A85, 49 NM 882 344
Tel: 01631 562465.

A very fine 13th-century castle built on a rock with a great curtain wall. Close by are the remains of a chapel with beautiful architectural detail. The castle's colourful history stretches across the Wars of Independence to the '45 Rising. Briefly the prison of Flora Macdonald.
Winter: closed

Dunstaffnage Castle Dunstaffnage Chapel
Photographs by Duncan Fenton

Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel


Eileach an Naoimh
An island in the Garvellach group, north of Jura
The ruins of beehive cells, a chapel and a graveyard, associated by local tradition with St Columba
Eilean Mor: St Cormac's Chapel
On an islet off the coast of Knapdale, 62 NR 666 753
A chapel with a vaulted chancel containing the effigy of an ecclesiastical figure, probably of 12th century date.
Finlarig Castle
Near Killin, off A827.  Built in 1620's by Black Duncan of the Cowl (NN 575 338)

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Finlarig Castle

Inchkenneth Chapel
On an island on the west side of Mull, 48 NM 437 354
A simple building of a distinctive West Highland type, with good medieval monuments in the graveyard.
Inchmahome Priory
On an island in the Lake of Menteith. Reached by ferry from Port of Menteith 4m E of Aberfoyle off A81.
Tel: 01877 385294.

A beautifully situated Augustinian prior founded in 1238 with much of the building surviving. The five-year-old Mary Queen of Scots was sent here for safety following the disastrous Battle of Pinkie in 1547.
Winter: closed.

Inchmahome Priory

Iona Abbey
Thanks to Duncan Fenton for sending in this picture.

Iona, MacLean's Cross
48 NM 285 242
A fine 15th century free-standing cross

Thanks to Duncan Fenton for sending in this picture

Macleans Cross

Keills Chapel
Six miles south west of Tayvallich, 55 NR 690 806
A small West Highland chapel housing a collection of West Highland grave slabs and Keills Cross.
Kilberry Sculptured Stones
At Kilberry Castle, 17 miles south south west of Lochgilphead on the west coast of Knapdale, 62 NR 709 642
A collection of late-medieval sculptured stones gathered from the Kilberry estate.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Kilchurn Castle
At the north-east end of Loch Awe, two and a half miles west of Dalmally, 50 NN 133 276
A square tower, built by Colin Campbell of Glenorchy c1550, it was much enlarged in 1693 incorporating the first purpose built barracks in Scotland. The substancial ruins are some of the most picturesque in the country with spectacular views down Loch Awe.
Open summer only. Regular sailings to Kilchurn by steamer from Loch Awe Pier: Telephone ferry company: 01838 200440/200449

Kilchurn Castle

Kildalton Cross
On the island of Islay, two miles east north east of Port Ellen, 60 NR 458 508
The finest intact High Cross in Scotland carved in the late eighth century.

Kildalton Cross

Kilmartin Glen Monuments
These monuments on the Poltalloch Estate form a remarkable group.

Kilmartin Glen: Achnabreck Cup and Ring Marks
One and a half miles north west of Lochgilphead, 55 NR 856 906
The exposed crest of a rocky ridge with well preserved cup and ring marks of the Bronze Age date.

Kilmartin Glen: Ballygowan Cup and Ring Marks
One mile south west of Kilmartin, near Poltalloch, 55 NR 816 978
Cup and ring marks on natural roack faces, of Bronze Age date.
Kilmartin Glen: Baluachraig Cup and Ring Marks
One mile south south east of Kilmartin, 55 NR 831 969
Several groups of Bronze Age cup and ring marks on natural rock faces.
Kilmartin Glen: Cairnbaan Cup and Ring Maks
200 yards north west of the Cairnbaan Hotel, which is two and a half miles north west of Lochgilphead, 55 NR 838 910
Cup and ring marks on a natural rock surface.
Kilmartin Glen: Dunadd Fort
One mile west of Kilmichael Glassary, 55 NR 837 936
This spectacular site has been occupied since the Iron Age. The well preserved hill fort is post-Roman, when it was a stronghold of Dalriada, the kingdom of the Scots.
Photographs by Duncan Fenton

Dunadd Fort.  On an isolated peak on Moine Mhor can be found the carved footprint where ancient kings placed their foot to be acknowledged as the true king of Scots.

Dunadd Footprint

Kilmartin Glen: Dunchraigaig Cairn
One and a quarter miles south of Kilmartin, 55 NR 833 968
A Bronze Age cairn excavated in the last century.
Kilmartin Glen: Glebe Cairn, Kilmartin
Kilmartin Glebe, 55 NR 832 989
An early Bronze Age burial cairn, with two burial chambers (cists).
Kilmartin Glen: Kilmartin Sculptured Stones
In Kilmartin Chuchyard
Over two dozen carved West Highland grave slabs, now housed in a former mausoleum and in the parish church.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Kilmartin Glen: Kilmicahel Glassary Cup and Ring Marks
Near the Schoolhouse, Kilmichael Glassary, 55 NR 857 934
Bronze Age cup and ring carvings on a natural rock outcrop.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Kilmartin Glen: Nether Largie Cairns
Between Kilmartin and Nether Largie, 55 NR 830 983, 831 985, 828 979
One Neolithic and two Bronze Age cairns. Access within the chamber of the north cairn.

Photographs by Duncan Fenton

Kilmartin Glen: Ri Cruin Cairn
One mile south west of Kilmartin, 55 NR 825 971
A Bronze Age burial cairn with the covering removed to reveal three massive cists. There are axe heads carved on one of the cist clabs.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Kilmartin Glen: Temple Wood Stone Circles
Quarter mile south west of Nether Lodge, 55 NR 826 978
A circle of upright stones, and the remains of an earlier circle. Dating to about 3000 BC.

Kilmoden Sculptured Stones
At Clachan of Glendaruel, eight miles north of Colintraive, 55 NR 994 842
A group of West Highland carved grave slabs in a churchyard.

Kilmory Knap Chapel
On the shore between Loch Sween and Loch Caolisport in South Knapdale, 62 NR 703 752
A small medieval West Highland church with a collection of typical West Highland grave slabs. In the church is Macmillan's Cross, a splendid piece of medieval carving.
Kinneil House
On the western outskirts of Bo'ness, 65 NS 982 805
Set in a public park, the oldest part of the house is a 15th century tower remodelled by the Earl of Arran between 1546 and 1550 and transformed into a stately home for the Dukes of Hamilton in the 1660's.
View exterior only.
Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Kinneil House

Rob Roy's Grave
Follow signs from Balquidder, off A84

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Rob Roy's Grave

Rothesay Castle
In Rothesay, Isle of Bute. Ferry from Wemyss Bay on the A78.
Tel: 01700 502691

A favourite residence of the Stewart Kings this is a wonderful example of a 13th-century circular castle of enclosure with 16th-century forework containing the great hall. Attacked by Vikings in its earlier days.
Winter: closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays.

Rothesay Castle

St Blane's Church, Kingarth
At the south end of the Isle of Bute, 63 NS 094 535
A 12th century Romanesque chapel set within a Celtic Monastry. A charming tranqil spot.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

St. Blane's Church,  Isle of Bute, probably 11th C.

St. John's Cross
Thanks to Duncan Fenton for sending in this picture

St. Martin's Cross
Thanks to Duncan Fenton for sending in this picture

St Mary's Chapel, Rothesay
On the outskirts of Rotheay, Isle of Bute, 63 NS 086 636
The late medieval remains of the chancel of the Parish Church of St Mary, with two fine tombs.
St Oran's Chapel
Thanks to Duncan Fenton for sending in this picture

Skipness Castle and Chapel
In the village of Skipness on the east coast of Kintyre, 62 NR 908 578, 62 NR 910 575
A fine 13th century castle with a 16th century tower house in one corner. The early 14th century chapel with its fine grave slabs lies near the sea shore.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Stirling Castle
At the head of Stirling's historic old town off the M9.
Tel: 01786 450000

Considered by many to be the grandest of all Scotland's castles, set on a high rocky outcrop. The castle architecture is outstanding - the Great Hall and gatehouse of James IV, the marvellous Renaissance Palace of James V and the Chapel Royal of James VI. Stirling's colourful history saw William, Earl of Douglas murdered by James II and his mutiliated body hurled from a window in the Castle. The Castle has strong links with Mary Queen of Scots. She was crowned in the Chapel in 1543 and narrowly escaped death by fire in 1561. Her son, the future James VI, was baptised here in 1566. New restaurant and introductory display. New introductory display and new restaurant.
Open seven days a week, April to September 9.30 am to 6.00 pm. October to March 9.30 am to 5.00 pm. Last ticket sold 45 minutes before closing.
Read all about the history of Stirlingshire here!

Stirling Castle

Stirling: Argyll's Lodging
At the top of the Castle Wynd,Stirling off the M9
Tel: 01786 450000
A superb mansion built around an earlier core in about 1630 and further extended by the Earl of Argyll in the 1670's. It is the most impressive town house of its period in Scotland. The principle rooms are now restored as they were in 1680.

Stirling: Argyll's Lodging

Stirling: King's Knot
Below castle rock
The earthworks of a splendid formal garden, probably made in 1628 for Charles I.

Photograph by Duncan Fenton

King's Knot

Stirling: Mar's Wark
At the head of Castle Wynd
A remarkable Renaissance mansion, built by the Regent Mar in 1570, of which the facade is the main surviving part.
Stirling: Old Bridge
In Stirling
A handsome bridge built in the 15th century or early 16th century. The southern arch was rebuilt in 1749 after it had been blown up during The '45 to prevent the Stuart army entering the town.
Photograph by Duncan Fenton

Stirling Old Bridge

Wallace's Monument
By Stirling
The monument to the famous William Wallace of Braveheart fame.

Wallace's Monument

Westquarter Dovecot
At Westquarter, near Lauriston, 65 NS 913 787
A very handsome rectangular dovecot with, over the entrance doorway, a heraldic panel dated 1647.

Photo by Duncan Fenton

Dunollie Castle
1 mile north of Oban  NM 852314
13th C castle with 15th C  keep.

Photo by Duncan Fenton

Dunollie Castle

Sauchie Tower
2 miles north of Alloa, west of A908  NS 896957
15th C keep.

Photo by Duncan Fenton

Sauchie Tower

Photos by Duncan Fenton

 Ballymeanoch stones


Saddell Abbey Graves

Poltalloch Graves


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