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Attractions

Clava Cairns

Find Scotland Tours that visit Clava Cairns.

Address: Near Inverness, on the B851, 1 mile south east of Culloden
Operated by: Historic Environment Scotland
Opening Hours: Unattended site, never closed
Admission: Free
Parking: Yes
Languages: N/A
Accessibility: Outdoor attraction so soft and uneven ground and stones everywhere
Toilets: No
Shop: No
Cafe/Restaurant: No


Three Bronze Age burial chambers in an attractive setting surrounded by trees. The tombs are made of carefully arranged pebbles and stones that are surrounded by a row of larger boulders. Two of the cairns have a passageway leading to their centre and there is a perceptible drop in temperature at the centre of the cairn…Spooky! 

The third cairn is a lower lying circle of stones arranged in concentric rings. It is thought that this cairn was used as a funeral pyre for cremating bodies and that the ashes were then placed in the centre of the two other cairns. 

There are interpretative boards around the site that propose explanations for the functions of the cairns and the significance of the various stone arrangements around the site. 

A beautiful place to visit on a sunny day. If in the area, visiting Culloden or Fort George, then it is well worth following the brown signs to the Clava Cairns. However, this site has been a lot busier due to the popularity of the "Outlander" TV series. Clava Cairns aren't actually mentioned in Diana Gabaldon's books and the author hadn't even visited Scotland at the time of writing the first book so there isn't a real Craigh na Dun to be found. We have written a blog on the subject of Craigh na Dun.

Clava Cairns burial chamber

Clava Cairns and standing stones 

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