Things to Do in Scottish Highlands
Clava Cairns
4.5
Historic SitesAncient RuinsPoints of Interest & Landmarks
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Mysterious ancient ruins and burial chambers similar to Stonehenge.
Duration: < 1 hour
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  • Ronald R
    Stromness, United Kingdom269 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great little site to visit, plus a few bonus bits of interest
    Very interesting group of cairns , built to a local distinctive style and layout. There are plenty of info boards around giving a fairly comprehensive amount of data. You can just imagine the trees gone and the large mounds of coloured stone standing out in the raised area of the valley. Crossing the valley to the east of this site is the massive impressive Culloden viaduct. Also there is a little walk along the road to another less preserved site of a barrow cairn and a small chapel site. There is a reasonably large car park for this site and an interesting old bridge on the way to it, Light load! Not far from the Culloden battlefield, can't believe we didn't visit here before as we have been to inverness quite a lot over the years. Well worth a stop.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 13, 2023
  • Fern
    Glasgow, United Kingdom473 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    a must see
    loved visiting here, i can't believe it took me so long to visit this place. i love standing stones and have visited many in scotland but having them alongside cairns here is particularly interesting. a must visit!
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 30, 2023
  • pfefmeister
    San Francisco, California3,039 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best Free Site
    Just a short way from the battlefield, it is definitely worthy of a stop. An ancient burial site, it has several time travel stones as used in the Outlander series, so fun to have your picture taken while contemplating where to be transported. Plenty of free parking.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 31, 2023
  • Kathleen V
    200 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Returning to Clava Cairns!
    This was my 4th visit to Clava Cairns, a first in 2016 and then bringing a small group with me for 3 tours. The place never disappoints, even on a marginal weather day. Going on a weekday, mid-afternoon, was a great time as we nearly had the place to ourselves. Storyteller Lizzie McDougal shared legend and lore about the mystical place and alignment of stones. Of course, we all had to have our photos taken with a large upright flat stone that we think could have been used in Outlander for the time travelers.
    Visited April 2023
    Written June 20, 2023
  • Ian L
    Perth, Australia542 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Map these cairns on your GPS
    Very interesting place to discover and learn about what a cairns is, a mound of stones marking a tomb. Amazing to walk around, and in to the middle of, what was built literally 3,000 - 4,000 years ago. There are also large stones set up in a circle surrounding the cairns. Signage is poor/non-existent so map out the route on GPS before driving in. Drive slowly and carefully as the road is often single lane with blind corners. Not busy but there were some inconsiderate car and tractor drivers around… The background information on the notices around the site really helps give visitors like us insight into what we're seeing, well worth a visit. And it’s free!
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 11, 2023
  • MorayJohnny
    Princeton, New Jersey387 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Neolithic Burial Site - Clava Cairns
    if you are a fan of outlander, you are familiar with the stones that Claire uses for time travel. Clava Cairns, in the Scottish Highlands near Lowden battlefield and Inverness, is the real thing, and it served as the inspiration for the fictional circle of stones in outlander. It is a Bronze age burial and religious site dating back some 4,000 years that comprises two tombs or Cairns; Balnuaran of Clava and Milton of Clava. There are several of the cairns, or stone structures, in addition to the standing stones which are also present. It is a quiet, tranquil place, and there are about 50 of this type of cairn in this area. The three prominent cairns form lines aligned with the winter solstice and show remnants of forgotten beliefs carved into the stones. So, for those looking to explore this atmospheric site, the Clava Cairns walk around here is majestic. It is free to enter, and when we visited on a weekday mid-morning, there were only about 5 or 6 other people present. Clava Cairns is Scotland's version of Stonehenge, and it should not be missed if you are in the Inverness area.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 14, 2023
  • Deb C
    37 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Clava Cairns near Culloden
    On our way to Culloden and saw the signs. The road in & out is tight but we were in a 7m motor home. The cairns, difficult to describe but worth the diversion to see them. Set amongst old Oak trees it’s easy to see why this area was chosen.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 30, 2023
  • Pdonatyandkids
    Westborough, Massachusetts260 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good stop…packed with tour buses
    We went at the end of the day and there were still tour buses with many people. The road to get there is sort of one lane in many spots. The sight has the feeling of magic. We would return but try and arrive prior to all the tour buses. This is a free sight and is nicely signed.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 25, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles750 reviews
Excellent
468
Very good
250
Average
30
Poor
1
Terrible
1

MorayJohnny
Princeton, NJ387 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
if you are a fan of outlander, you are familiar with the stones that Claire uses for time travel. Clava Cairns, in the Scottish Highlands near Lowden battlefield and Inverness, is the real thing, and it served as the inspiration for the fictional circle of stones in outlander. It is a Bronze age burial and religious site dating back some 4,000 years that comprises two tombs or Cairns; Balnuaran of Clava and Milton of Clava. There are several of the cairns, or stone structures, in addition to the standing stones which are also present. It is a quiet, tranquil place, and there are about 50 of this type of cairn in this area. The three prominent cairns form lines aligned with the winter solstice and show remnants of forgotten beliefs carved into the stones. So, for those looking to explore this atmospheric site, the Clava Cairns walk around here is majestic. It is free to enter, and when we visited on a weekday mid-morning, there were only about 5 or 6 other people present. Clava Cairns is Scotland's version of Stonehenge, and it should not be missed if you are in the Inverness area.
Written July 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sallythewelshgirl
Cardiff, UK110 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Friends
A lovely place to visit even if you are not an Outlander fan. Lots of standing stones and some information plaques but nothing else which is as it should be. The atmosphere would be totally spoiled by a cafe or visitors centre. A peaceful place to visit.
Written May 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathleen V
Portland, Oregon200 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
This was my 4th visit to Clava Cairns, a first in 2016 and then bringing a small group with me for 3 tours. The place never disappoints, even on a marginal weather day. Going on a weekday, mid-afternoon, was a great time as we nearly had the place to ourselves. Storyteller Lizzie McDougal shared legend and lore about the mystical place and alignment of stones. Of course, we all had to have our photos taken with a large upright flat stone that we think could have been used in Outlander for the time travelers.
Written June 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Codiak!
Abbotsford, Canada10,878 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
Clava Cairns is the Scottish equivalent of Stonehenge where their construction aligns with the solstices. As with Stonehenge is it anyone’s guess how and why exactly they came to be used. This site has soared in popularity as it is where Claire Fraser touches the stone to travel back in time in the series Outlander. (Our guide said if the women touch the stone and disappear all the gents will be heading to the pub!)
Written June 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brahma762
491 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
We were fortunate that it was a bright sunny June morning when we visited this historic site. The stiff wind added to the charm of the day.
The entrance is through a narrow, winding road that is off the main motorway, beyond the exit for Culloden Visitor Center.
The story is that the site goes back centuries and allow a peep into the way the folk back then, lived - steeped in difficulties that we can’t imagine today. The sun shining through the main entrance of the main cairn on winter solstice was a great event.
Please do bear in mind that apart from your camera, it is advisable to carry or wear woollens, even June afternoons can be a wee bit nippy.
A great place to visit.
Written June 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pdonatyandkids
Westborough, MA260 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
We went at the end of the day and there were still tour buses with many people. The road to get there is sort of one lane in many spots. The sight has the feeling of magic. We would return but try and arrive prior to all the tour buses. This is a free sight and is nicely signed.
Written December 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Papadoc529
Birmingham, AL303 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
This was seen with a local guide that gave us a lot of information other than was presented on the signage. We got there late in the day, there was an approaching storm and it all seemed very mystical. It was a great experience. It is difficult to imagine the culture that did this lived over 4,000 years ago. Of course, all of the females in our group had to lean on the stone tablets ala Outlander.
Written August 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sue C.
Pittsburgh, PA3,739 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
This is a very unique and interesting site that has been around since the Bronze Age. Believed to be an ancient burial site. Fans of the show Outlander will enjoy the standing stones. The temperature changed very quickly here which was very weird. When we arrived it was pouring down rain. By the time we got to the first standing stone the sun was shining and was getting warm.
Written June 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Beachdeac
Gaiole in Chianti, Italy347 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
This place is a reminder of how much we humans value life...and how important it is to honor the memory of those we have loved and lost.It has been going on in one way or another since the beginning of time. And the upright stones draw you like a magnet.
Written July 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Parkin P
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Solo
Iconic Bronze Age cairns near Inverness (about 1 mile from Culloden Battlefield). 4000 years old. Three large caurns and one smaller cairn, plus numerous standing stones. Free entry and parking and there is often a guide, though the plaques around the site are informative. Beautiful and peaceful site.
Written August 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Clava Cairns, Scottish Highlands

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