The hidden Kinnell Stone Circle

Time is flying, and I can’t believe it has been 3 weeks since my last update.

I don’t know if you remember (probably not :-)), but last time, I was talking about the charming –but decaying, Buchanan Castle. It was lovely to stop briefly there on our way to Killin.

The drive to Killin was very picturesque, as we drove past several beautiful lochs. First, Loch Lubnaig.  This is a small loch of 5 km long, easily accessible from the road ! It’s perfect for fishing, having a barbecue or doing some kayaking. In Gaelic, Lùbnaig means crooked, I can definitively see where they got that from :-)

Loch Lubnaig

A bit further away, we stopped near Loch Earn ! This loch is twice as big as the previous one and therefore, a tiny bit less picturesque. It’s famous for water-sports. We didn’t stay very long over there, as we wanted to check out Falls of Dochart and the Kinnell Stone Circle before sunset.

When we arrived in Killin to check-in, we had a bad surprise. The room we had booked had been cancelled a few days prior our arrival because the lady that was running the bnb was at the hospital. I had a person on the phone that told us everything was arranged for us, that we shouldn’t worry, that we have been relocated to another place. He gave us a phone number and an address. When we arrived at the replacement guesthouse that night, the owner wasn’t aware of our arrival. And… he was fully booked. We called the guy we had on the phone, for him to come and sort out that mess. He was disorganized and stressed, but we could see he wanted to help (he was probably not used to run bnb, and it was difficult to get mad at him). He rang the neighbor house (who used to be a bnb) and asked if she could accommodate us. The lady was very old and everything looked a bit old inside but we knew at that time of the day, it was going to be difficult to get another room.. especially in such a small village. So we took the room and prayed for the best.

After sorting out this mess, we walked through the village towards Falls of Dochart. This waterfall is considered by many as one of the Scotland’s most easily accessible waterfalls. These falls are really variable and depends on the amount of precipitation so it can change from day to day. It’s easy to take pictures of the falls from the bridge but you can also walk on the rocks nearby :-)

Close by, you can find the entrance to the Kinnell Estate, the place where you can find the Kinnell Stone Circle. I was very excited to be able to see it as I’ve never seen anything like that before.

Nothing is indicated, it’s really off the beaten paths. If you want to see it, you have to enter through the gate close to the Dochart Falls inn, then walk for 15 minutes on the forest trail. You will pass in front of rental cottages, but keep going. On your right, you will see a pasture and a metallic gate. Keep going. At the end of the pasture, you will come close to a dry stone wall and a farm, and next to the wall, there is a cattle gate. If you look towards that direction, you will see the stone circle !

As there was no sign mentioning you couldn’t enter (and no cattle in the pasture), we had a closer look to the stone circle. It is considered as the best preserved example of a cluster of distinctive six stone rings ! And it was trully gorgeous ! The light was perfect in the evening (as the days were longer at that time of the year)

Kinnell Stone Circle

Kinnell Stone Circle

Am I the only one fascinated by Stone circle ? :-)

Packing my Suitcase
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133 responses to “The hidden Kinnell Stone Circle

  1. There are many similar relics from pre-Gothic times throught Denmark, along with burial tombs now covered by trees. Stone circles are quite common, and fascinating. Hard to get into their minds and conceive of their universe.

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    • yes, I read that there are many structure like this in Scandinavia ! Some of them shaped like a ship. It’s really fascinating but i don’t think we’ll ever known the real purpose of them

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  2. Yay, I’m glad you’re back… missed you! You’ve clearly been a busy lady. I love your photos of the stone circle. I love them – they remind me of a smaller version of Stonehenge. I wonder what they are there for? Do you know? Glad you managed to get a room after all those problems – an old lady’s house wasn’t your first choice but hope it was comfortable! #MondayEscapes

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    • I’ve never been to Stonehenge, but I’ve always been fascinated by legends associated with stone circles ! A lot of people think it was to study the moon cycles. But there are not a lot of information available, this stone circle is quite off the beaten path and it is not even mentioned in touristic books.

      Well, I can’t say it was amazing, but we had a decent night of sleep, the breakfast was good and she was lovely. It was just a bit old and dusty (she wasn’t suppose to welcome guest at that time of the year)

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  3. Pingback: The Scottish Crannog Centre | Darwin on the rocks and around the world·

  4. You are definitely not the only one fascinated by stone circles. The only one I have been to is Stonehenge – but I understand there are lots of smaller ones around. Always wondered what they were used for. There are lots of theories out there, but in reality I guess no one really knows for sure.

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  5. That’s too bad about the b&b but the scenery makes up for it! I love stone circles (and abandoned Roman forts that dot the country side). If you ever get up to Keswick, check out the castlerigg stone circle, it has dramatic views and is the best I’ve seen.

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  6. I love all of these old megalithic structures. When we were Ireland last year, we made it a point to visit lots and lots of ancient sites–all different, all wonderful!

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  7. Beautiful! Nope, you’re not alone. I find them fascinating as well. Perhaps it’s due to my archaeological background, but I love them. I visited a shite with stone ship graves in Sweden and I loved it!

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  8. Great! It looks all the fresh and green. I only visited one stone circle. The one in Kåseberga in Southern Sweden (Skåne). But it’s a more a kind of stone ship than a stone circle. I don’t know if there’s a difference between both. It’s beautiful anyway and located directly at the Baltic Sea. If you weren’t there yet, go there! :)
    Have a happy day!

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    • Oh it looks quite big ! I think the difference between the two is that the tiny one (the kinnell) is supposed to be related to the observation of the moon whereas the stone ship is kind of burial monument. But both look incredible !

      I haven’t been there ! It looks quite interesting ! I have also seen that there is a huge stone ship in Denmark :-)

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  9. Hi Gin I’d been wondering where you were! Life gets very busy though! Sorry about the muddle with the B and B – am so glad you found a bed for the night in the end :) You always go into such great detail, which is very useful for travellers! Such stunning scenery and I’ve never heard of most of these little lochs and waterfalls. I think the Kinnell stone circle is fascinating too – a mini Stone Henge! Hope you’re having a good week! :)

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    • I was busy creating some jewellery for a craft market :-) I went there last sunday and I managed to sell a few of them, i was happy. But it was hard work. I didn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to blogging :-)

      Yes, the kinnell stone circle was very interesting. I’ve never been to Stonehenge, but I would love to visit at one point. Despite the popularity. I think I would end up disappointed, but it something I would love to see myself.

      I was very detailed because it’s difficult to find this little hidden gem, I hope other people will be able to have a look as well :-)

      I’m having a good week and guess what, the weather is not that bad !

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      • What jewellery do you make Gin? I love hand made jewellery – I wear a lot of bracelets and bangles made with beads and charms they are my signature look!! Great that you could sell some of your work – which market was it? I’ll have to take a look when I’m over next time! So useful that you give out all the information about the places you visit especially as some of them are hard to find if you don’t know about them. I’ve been to Stone Henge but years ago so can’t really remember much about it (it was on a family holiday). The weather sounds like it’s improved – my dad was wearing his winter sweater when I spoke to him recently (on Skype). Not bad here either but we’re expecting rain tomorrow and a cold wintry blast over the weekend (by Perth standards!). Hope you have a lovely weekend :)

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        • Oh I made cabochons, with pictures of human cells (taken by a microscope), butterflies, owls, flowers, aurora… My jewellery is inspired by my life and my travels. Since it’s quite new, I don’t have a facebook page or anything online to share, but I can send you a few pictures so you could have an idea.

          I went to the Rivers meet café in Methley. It’s a lovely place ,where you can have a tea, a coffee and delicious cakes and enjoy and craft market :-) I’ve booked 3 other dates over there, fingers crossed !

          I spoke too soon, it’s raining again :p

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          • They sound very pretty Gin and a reflection of your travels and interests – the human cells under a microscope sound fascinating! I had to look Methley up – I didn’t know where it was! Yes I’d love to see some photos just when you have time as it sounds like you’re very busy with it all and let me know if you get a facebook page for it so I can “like” it. Good luck with it all – great that you have some more bookings. Hope the rain clears up soon :)

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    • Oh well, it can happen. It’s the second time we have that kind of problem. Last time was in croatia, they had booked the same room twice. So we didn’t get any room. We’ve booked a room with the air con (because in croatia it’s around 40°c during summer) and they propose a replacement room without it for half the price. We took it as we didn’t want to look for an accommodation, but my boyfriend has some hallucination that night because it was way too hot in the room. He dreamed he was a fish, I will remember that night for the rest of my life ! :D

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    • I think it’s still a mystery for many people. But apparently, this kind of stone circle could have been used to study the lunar cycle (don’t ask me how ;-)).

      I love this quote “Even more remarkable than the stones themselves is our ignorance over their original purpose.”

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        • I think there are different types of stone circles. Some of them are linked to funeral rituals, others to highlight some elements of the landscape (a mountain for example), and of course linked to the sun or the moon or even the constellations like you mentioned. I’ve read that the location of the stone circle can be linked to astronomical alignments (the sunrise on the summer Solstice in Glastonbury for example). But for the kinnell, I can’t find a lot of information, it’s not well documented

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  10. Very cool – never heard of this place, but it looks awesome!

    Also, in the first picture, are those stones naturally in that curved shape? Or were they placed there by someone?

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    • They were placed by someone (or several people probably), a couple of thousands year ago. There are a lot of them in Europe but especially in the British isles. I don’t know if you have heard about Stonehenge ? Stonehenge is also a stone circle. The original purpose is still unknown, but people are speculating a lot of about it and a lot of mysteries and legends are associated with them

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  11. The stone circle looks beautiful! It looks so enchanting right there in the middle of the greens and grass, like a magic trick happened there in the past and it popped up like that :D Also, beautiful cloud cover above and I think that looks like the teensiest bit of a blue heart in the last photo in the sky above the stones <3

    Sorry to hear about the bad experienced with the bnb :/ It must have been very stressful but glad it all worked out in the end. Worst comes to worst you'd end up sleeping in the car!

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    • I have so many questions popping in my head when I see this. Why this inclination, why so many stones, why carvings on one of them,… So little is known regarding their original purpose. I wish we could have an explanation one day :-)

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      • It is a mystery, and I think that makes the stones all the more interesting. Endless stories, endless possibilities. Maybe if you sit next to the stones long enough they will whisper you their history ;)

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  12. Now I have no idea where to go next year. The Scotland pictures are gorgeous. A friend asked us to go on a safari to Africa with her next year. We will try if my friends go but depends how expensive that is (she tends to under quote by a few thousand dollars. We know Africa safaris are expensive.). I’ve been looking for back up trips. First it was Vancouver and Grizzly bears, then Croatia, then Turkey, then Bahamas to go to the island where the feral pigs swim and now these Scotland posts. Just confused. Always wanted to go to Scotland since I was little after hearing the Loch Lomand song. Scotland looks so beautiful.

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    • I think Safaris in Africa are quite expensive, then you have to spend a few couple of hundreds $ on vaccination before going there. Then there are bugs… you have to buy equipment to prevent to be eaten alive at nights.

      The Vancouver trip sounds really interesting! I’ve seen a lot of pictures on different blogs and it seems gorgeous ! the scenery, the animals.. wow !

      I’ve been to Croatia during summer and it’s really hot, like 40-42°C so be prepared if you chose to go there during the summer months. The food is really good, it’s cheap (europe is cheap for us citizen these days, the euro is really weak).

      Scotland is really pretty. It looks like Iceland (minus the active volcano and the geothermal activity). It was magical. But the weather can be really shit sometimes.

      I think the best would be to define a budget and when you want to go and see what could match the best

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      • Now I’m hoping my friend doesn’t want to go to Africa yet to give us more time to save. She says it’d be $3000 a person total and we know thats crap. Every time we look it’s at least $5000 a person. Knowing the Euro is a good rate for us makes us feel like we have to go to Europe to be honest. But all we want to see are a lot of trees and Vancouver would def be that trip. Been eying Croatia for a long time too. Thanks for the weather heads up. Can’t stand hot weather. It’s been pretty hot in NY. Not as bad as the heat wave that hit Europe though. You are so right – budget is the best way to go. We should probably do a cheaper trip. We’ve been vacation starved since we blew our budget on Iceland Paris (so worth it) earlier this year.

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          • Will do. Her parents tend to pay for a lot of stuff. We’re guessing she’s giving us the cost of what she is covering.

            Holy crap, you’re right. I checked exchange rates. $1 = Euro .92. You are right we should take advantage of that. We got $1.12 to the Euro in Feb. You two like nature. What areas/countries in Europe are the best for that? After Paris we learned we need to keep the city part to 5 days max. We weren’t in love with Paris. Its a nice city but we don’t understand all the hype. Doesn’t help that growing up in a city. Cities feel like cities so makes us feel like we never got away.

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            • The Nordic countries are pretty good when it comes to natural wonders. Finland is the only one using euro. Some places in Germany are good, the forests are beautiful. France, there are a lot of places over there Brittany is great, with a lot of Celtic history and the coastline of Corsica is amazing), and the food is great ! good cheese, good wine, good dishes. Italy well, I’ve seen wonderful pictures of the Cinque terre but never been there myself ! I think in every country you will find interesting nature and landscape.

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              • Humm…Italy (southern or Sicily – all the food I’m familiar with from Little Italy), Germany, and the Azores we’re thinking about. Really want Italy – my fav food :) but the pictures of Azores look awesome. Like you said now’s the time for Europe. Think I can live with my Italian restaurants for a couple more years.

                How’s your transition to England going? We’re entertaining the idea that in the future maybe Vic may put in a transfer to the London office or look for a job in Australia. All fantasy right now. The idea that Trump may be president makes Vic want to leave the US. I’ve always been curious about going abroad. I have the wander bug and each year that passes I get more restless. For US citizens, we have to pay taxes to the US if we live abroad. I don’t think I’m allowed to work if Vic gets a work visa. Not sure how all that works. We’re weird, we really really think about the money and finances sometimes to the point where we won’t make the leap. Vic’s brother was lucky. He got an expat package and they paid all taxes and gave him a six figure stipend. That won’t happen to us. We don’t have that kind of job. Don’t want to loose our rental stabilized apartment too. It’s a big and cheap for NY and really hard to come by. It’ll all fall in place if it’s all meant to be. Just excited that Victor is actually thinking of moving abroad for a few years. Never thought he could leave his family. He can vacation to the same places all the time and stay in one place forever. Maybe I am rubbing off on him after all :)

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                • It’s pretty good, I’m getting used to it ! People are a little less friendlier than in Belgium, but maybe it’s because Leeds is a big city (difficult to compare with the countryside where everyone knows each other). The town is vibrant and there is a lot to do which is great !

                  Here, as an European citizen, I don’t need a work Visa. I will pay my tax in the uk. It’s easier and less complicated.

                  I’m sure living a few years in another country is a great experience. If you get the opportunity, it’s cool. But leaving without having a job waiting for you can be stressful I think.

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  13. Amazing landscapes, and that’s not just a compliment; I really never seen in real life landscapes like yours in my country.
    I find haunting stone circle, there is something in their inclination that seems almost starting to rotate… Thank you :-)

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  14. Stone circles are so beautiful and so fascinating. I’ve never heard of this particular one, so it is very interesting to see it. It’s also great to know about these hidden treasures! Thanks for sharing! :))

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  15. Welcome back! It’s been a while, indeed. Always exciting when you have problems with the accommodation. I’m glad it all worked out in the end. The pictures are absolutely amazing. Such a beautiful area. The stone circle is fascinating. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Looks like a miniature Stonehenge :)

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    • Oh i was so busy making the jewellery ;-) I’ll send you an email soon and tell you how it went !

      These stones are as old as Stonehenge ;-) But it’s less impressive for sure, and less touristy. But I quite enjoyed it ! This morning, I watched an episode of Outlander, it’s a British TV show that is filmed in Scotland, and we can see plenty of stone circles :-) I was feeling nostalgic ! :-)

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      • Looking forward to the email!! I hope it was a success. Anyway, good to have you back :) I also have this, with becoming nostalgic with some places. I can see why your heart is still there. It was a wonderful trip! I had no idea the rocks are just as old as Stonehenge. I know such places lose their charm once a large number of tourists visit. This is a reason why I like to visit places when it’s cold haha.

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  16. Oh what a wonderful trip. And I am also intrigued by the stone circle. It’s sad there was confusion with the room accommodation, but I’m glad you could still have a good time :)

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    • Thank you ! I really loved that stone circle, i’m sure there are plenty of hidden locations like that in Scotland. I would love to go to Orkney island. apparently, they have amazing displays over there as well !

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    • It was my first time as well ! Never been to Stonehenge or anything like that in the past. It’s so great to be there, especially with no one around. You can really enjoy this mystical place :-)

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  17. Sorry to hear about the confusion with the accommodation. That can be so stressful. The stone ring photos are so beautiful. You are right such perfect light!

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    • I’m watching a tv show about Scotland right now, Outlander, and some stone circles are featured in it :-) It’s quite interesting ! But I think it’s a british tv show.. have you heard of it ?

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  18. Your photos are beautiful! That’s really unfortunate about your accommodation being cancelled but it seems that you made the best of it which is all you really can do! I’ve never been to a stone circle but I’ll have to check one out after seeing these photos :)

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