Out of the Invernes but not to be missed are the Clava Cairns. This site, built around 200 BC is one of the most fantastic prehistoric burial sites in Scotland. I love standing stones, cairns and stone circles, so here I was in for a treat, as the three burial cairns are surrounded by standing stones.
The site is not far from Culloden following the A96 towards Nairn there is a well signposted turn off to Clava Cairns.
The site lies in beautiful woodland and there is a carpark next to it.
A real find this one, located near to the Culloden battlefield site. In the care of Historic Scotland, its never busy and it's free!
The Clava Cairns - or more correctly Bulnaraun of Clava - is one of the best preserved Bronze Age burial sites in Scotland. There are three cairns here, two with passage ways aligned to the Midwinter sunset, and all with more subtle features, incorporated to reflect the importance of the South-west horizon.
The site consist of 3 small, relatively well preserved burial chambers, aligned on a North-east to South-west axis. Each cairn consists of a multitude of large water-worn pebbles and boulders, piled in a bun shape, with an outer kerb of larger stones, around which stands a stone circle
Anyone who has read "Outlander" will know that standing stones feature in major plot points in the books and TV series, the standing stones facilitate the transfer of several characters through time. Clava cairns is not featured in the books or used as a filming location but since we were close by while visiting Culloden, I figured it would be interesting to see real standing stones.
There's a nice visitor's guide on the attached website, since the site is free to visit, there is no visitor's center on site although there are a few explanatory panels as you walk around.
It is an 4000 years old burial site, consisting of 3 doughnut shaped rock mounds, 2 with passage to the inner circle.You will probably not spend 3 hours to this site, but it's free, mysterious, old and for me north american, it is just amazing to see how far the history goes.