Argyll & the Isles
The Crinan area has much to offer the yachtsman who wants to linger a while. There are excellent forest walks, easily accessible from the canal basin area.
The prehistory and natural environment of the area is of outstanding interest, and as important as any in Scotland. Crinan Moss, or Moine Mhor, just north of the Canal, is an important wetland that was once an inlet of the sea, and today is a bogland showpiece – a wild landscape of hummocks, hollows and pools, rich in spectacular wildlife.
Midway through the Crinan Canal, in the Cairnbaan area, are a series of rock outcrops with Neolithic cup and ring marks, thought to be around 5,000 years old. These are signposted and there are walkways to them.
Kilmartin Glen, just a few miles to the north, has one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age artefacts in Scotland. There are more than 350 ancient monuments within a six mile radius of the village, 150 of them being prehistoric. Monuments include standing stones, a henge, cists, and a linear cemetery comprising five burial cairns. Several of these, as well as many natural rocks, are decorated with cup and ring marks.
Dunadd lies between Kilmartin and Crinan, and is the site of an iron age hill fort. It is generally considered to have been the capital stronghold of the ancient kingdom of Dalriada, and is therefore one of the most important early medieval sites in Scotland, as it was the Scotti of north east Ireland who colonised this area, created the Kingdom of Dalriada, and in due course spread their influence across a country which as a consequence is known as Scotland.
For more information see: www.scottishcanals.co.uk