A fantastic example of Scotland's distant history
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Discover The Mysterious Clava Cairns…
The Clava Cairns, found at Bulnuaran of Clava on the Eastern outskirts of Inverness, are a fantastic example of Scotland’s Bronze Age history. This prehistoric site features three prominent chambered-tomb cairns, with many more located nearby. Such a richly historic and mystical site has unsurprisingly served as the inspiration behind crucial settings in the Outlander book and TV series. What does continue to surprise us, however, is the fact that the magical Clava Cairns are completely free to visit!
Prehistoric Clava Cairns
This deeply sacred burial site, nestled into the picturesque Highland landscape, is steeped in over 4000 years of history. Set within a beautiful, forested area, there is evidence that ancient peoples returned here again and again after first using the site for burials in approximately 2000 BCE. Even the ruins of a medieval chapel remain at the Clava Cairns, further indicating the deeply spiritual purpose of the site.
Clava Cairns Outlander Connection
In recent history, Clava Cairns has heavily inspired the fictitious setting of Craigh na Dun; the magical standing stones of Diana Gabaldon’s books and the Starz TV series, Outlander. In fact, the famous ‘cleft stone’ which sees the main character, Claire, transported back in time, can be found at the Clava Cairns. The global attention towards Outlander has seen Clava Cairns become an increasingly attractive tourist destination over the last decade. Fans of the series as well as keen historians continue to add Clava Cairns to their must-see destinations in the Scottish Highlands.
Getting to the Clava Cairns
The Clava Cairns are best accessed by taking the A96 east out of Inverness and following signs for Culloden, passing through the towns of Balloch and Culloden and over the river Nairn, following a single-track road until reaching a parking area. From there it is a short walk to the Clava Cairns. A number 5 bus from Inverness town centre is also an option, although there is a walk of around 1 mile from Culloden Moor Inn to the cairns.
Our Available Tours
If you are unfamiliar with the roads or unsure about using public transport, by far the best way to experience sites like the Clava Cairns is by booking a tour, such as the ones offered by Historic & Scenic Tours. Avoid busy public transport and the stress of vehicle rental – instead, sit back, relax, and enjoy the best of the Highlands on a tour with one of our friendly local guides. Begin your Historic and Scenic tour with direct pick-up either from your place of stay in Inverness on one of our Loch Ness Tours From Inverness or at the ferry port in Invergordonon one of our Loch Ness Tours From Invergordon. From there, soak in the history at such historic and scenic sights as Clava Cairns.
Visit Clava Cairns on our Loch Ness Tour from Inverness or the Loch Ness Tour from Invergordon.
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Dornoch & Dornoch Cathedral
Beautiful 13th-century Dornoch Cathedral
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Beauly Priory, an ancient abbey located in the village of Beauly
Beauly Priory is an ancient abbey located in the village of Beauly, thought to have been founded around 1230. French monks settled here, who gave the area and the nearby river the name “beau lieu” (“beautiful place,”) which has stuck ever since.
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