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Below the peaks of Creag na Caillich, the Tarmachan Ridge and Ben Lawers lies the picturesque highland village of Killin on the famous Dochart Falls.
A delightful highland village at the west end of Loch Tay in west Perthshire, it is situated beside the river Dochart close to its junction with the River Lochay and just a few hundred yards from the point at which it enters loch Tay and loses its identity to the Tay, Scotlands longest river.
Killin has been the home of many ancient celtic tribes, saints and clans who have all left their mark on the village and its surroundings. Very little is known of the earliest inhabitants, but they haver left their mark in the form of cup and ring marked stones, stone axes at the Creag-na-Caillach axe factory, and crannogs - stilted dwellings in the loch.
This is the largest and oldest of the many settlements in Breadalbane - 'Braghaid Albainn' - the High Country of Scotland. The name of the village comes from its association with the legendary Celtic Hero Fingal who, it is thought was buried here - 'Cill Fhinn' meaning the burial place of Fingal.
The river Dochart at Killin crosses a ridge of hard rock to form the famed and spectacular Falls of Dochart, with a row of restored cottages on the south side and the old watermill on the north. The celtic saint 'St Fillan' is reputed to have been the keeper of some the famous 'healing stones' which are were once kept in the old mill close to the falls. The famous Clan MacNab once owned these lands and the clan burial ground may be visited on the island of 'Innis Buidhe' which can be accessed from the bridge.
Killin has a wealth of serviced and self catering accommodation and is close to Loch Tay in the midst of spectacular scenery.
Inchbui burial ground at Killin
Halfway over the bridge at the Falls of Dochart a gate in the bridge wall gives access to Inchbui (G. 'Yellow Island') which is the burial place of the Clan MacNab of Killin. A stone enclosure some way down the island is the last resting place of generations of the Clan MacNab chiefs. A stone head above each end wall stands guard over the occupants of the enclosure and in the dozens of graves - most unmarked - around the enclosure lie the now constant companions to their chiefs. Kinnell House, the one time home of the clan chief before hard times forced its sale, stands near the island on the south shore.
The Tarmachan Ridge, Ben Ghlass, Ben Lawers and at least five more Munros (mountains over 3000 feet) lie in the mountain range to the north of Killin. The mountain names are all derived from the Gaelic - Tarmachan = Tarmigan, Ben Ghlass = Grassy or green mountain, Ben Lawers = Mountain of the loud waters. They are the remains of an ancient mountain range which at one time stretched from North America, via Scotland to Scandanavia. Ben Lawers is part of a nature reserve which is famous for its variety of mountain or 'Alpine' plants. They include Purple Saxafrage which is now very evident with its eye catching flowers on moist sunny ledges. Alpine Lady's Mantle covers vast swathes of the mountainside with a yellow carpet when in bloom.
The two most popular mountain walks, Tarmachan ridge and Ben Lawers, start from the Ben Lawers Centre car park at 1400 feet above sea level - a head start if this is to be your first Munro!