Knoll of The Sun/Glencoe, Scotland
Note: Here is the truly epic gateway to the Highlands of Scotland. Tucked deeply into an ancient forest trail that is dotted with free-standing-boulders and gorgeous Celtic pines, is a rock alter known as The Knoll of The Sun. The relatively short trail that winds from the beautiful river into dark mossy glades and root-running pathways, leads to a small but distinct rocky porch in the midst of the forest. This alter is understood to have been used in ancient times by Druids as an observatory of the Sun, or for rituals, although I do not believe the Druids built the alter. The Knoll of The Sun is certainly an engineered area dating back to the beginning of Time, with small boulders lining the mystical forest as directional stones leading to the the Knoll, and potentially marking other significant points. There are incredibly old stone stairs that lead up the alter after a hike of a few miles. The stairs are supported by a siding of massive granite slabs built into the knoll, emphasizing the feature. The top of the knoll is a strange set of long smooth and level granite crevices, distinctly different from the rounded and knobby boulders below. All of these features have a marvelous similarity to sacred stone engineering sites in New England, Ireland, and Wales.
The perimeter of alter marked by a distinct standing stones which is clearly cut, lends serious significance to the sacred spot. Time has tilted the stone and altered it’s original visage, but it remains the small slanted guardian to this Celtic alter.The Scottish elements in July are often a rainy, but even so, the area exudes all the best aspects of the hiking experience, combined with enticing ancient anthropology. The megalithic culture that was present in the southerly Celtic areas was definitely also present here as well. To navigate these particularly drastic mountain passes and trails the ancients would’ve been that much more stout and determined than the average megalithic culture. When the Sun comes out in Scotland, it is truly hard to picture wanting to be anywhere else, which is the very idea that this alter, in my opinion, must have been dedicated to. Glencoe is a hikers heaven, go for it.