Clava Cairns


Nearest Town: Inverness, Invernesshire

OS Grid Reference: NH 75 74 44

Directions: From the B9006, follow signs for the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre which is well signposted. If you pass this visitor centre on your left, turn around and go back. If you pass it on your right, take the next right turn at the pub. Go straight on, across the small crossroads and down the hill. Over the bridge, follow the road around the bends, and Clava Cairns will be on your right. Large car park and free entry.

Site Notes: This site has just about everything you could wish for in one place. Stone circles, burial mounds, outlying standing stones, kerb cairns, cup-marked rocks and a very peaceful setting make this a place you could linger for hours. Although there are over 60 known ‘Clava Cairns’ as a type in this part of Scotland, (Corrimony being one) these are the originals the others were named after.

Three beautiful cairns in a wooded river valley, each surrounded by their own Stone Circle. Although all of the cairns are now roofless, this does enable you to see and understand their construction better. Different coloured stones were deliberately placed for effect, and several stones were decorated with ‘cup-marks’ (as in the photo below) for reasons we do not know. All in all a wonderful site, and I can think of no-where better for your final resting place.


The entrance passage

The entrance passage


4000 year old workmanship

4000 year old workmanship

One of the many cup-marked stones

One of the many cup-marked stones

3 Responses to “Clava Cairns”
  1. Joolz says:

    I came across this site by accident whilst cycling from Glasgow to Inverness; it is a absolutely beautiful and enthralling place and felt very special. Exploring these cairns was a highlight of my trip and nowim planning on seeing more! Thanks for this website- great resource.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Joolz, I’m glad you enjoyed Clava and I’m pleased you like the site.

      Good luck on visiting more stone circles and I hope you had a good ride!

  2. Phil Breed says:

    Have just started a “group” of like minded people to meet and discuss various subjects about ancient history …as one of the founder members have been tasked with a 1 st subject to introduce for discussion. I decided on standing stones and stone circles as a good starter… glad i found your site as am now using it as part of my introduction….oh we are actually based in Kinloss near forres so am also planning a visit to many of the sites that you have listed …thanks for a great wee site …..Phil breed…founder member of …”Revisitation”

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All text and photography © Chris Lodge 2009-12