Recent Searches
Clear
Clava Cairns
Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns

Free admission

The Basics

Two parts of the Clava Cairns complex can be visited: the Balnuaran of Clava, which features two passage graves, a kerb ring cairn, standing stones, and a central ring cairn; and Milton of Clava to the southwest, with its ruins of a medieval chapel and a cairn. Visitors will find information boards at the site explaining the significance and symbolism of the ancient stone mounds.

The cairns make for a common stop on guided day trips from Inverness and Invergordon, most of which include round-trip transport and visits to other famous Highland sites, such as Loch Ness, Cawdor Castle, and Culloden Battlefield—the site of a major Jacobite defeat—which is just a 5-minute drive from the Clava Cairns.

Show all
Glen Affric, Culloden & Clava Cairns Small-Group Tour from Inverness
Glen Affric, Culloden & Clava Cairns Small-Group Tour from Inverness
$47.87 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Fantastic tour! Would definitely recommend.
Amy was a fantastic tour guide. Perfect blend of fun, education, and relaxation! We loved how she played scottish music on the bus to match what we were seeing.
Taylor_S, Aug 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Inverness

star-5
Culloden and Clava Cairns are not to be missed--especially with Steve!
Laurie_M, Jul 2022
Culloden, Clava Cairns Private Day Tour from Edinburgh
Traveling with Steve was a true pleasure. He is knowledgeable and provided insights that we never would have known had we not taken the Culloden, Clava Cairns tour with him. It was incredible and I'd recommend it to anyone.
star-5
Through the Eyes of a Native Scot
Anna_B, Jul 2022
Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns & Cawdor Castle
A very special day traveling with George Murray to Clava Cairns, Culloden Battlefield and Loch Ness. One of the highlights of the day was stopping to drink from Loch Ness! I was also deeply moved by George’s telling of the history of Clava Cairns.
star-5
Brilliant
Kelly_P, Aug 2022
Culloden, Clava Cairns Private Day Tour from Edinburgh
Fablous trip, the tour guide was fantastic and helpful !!!! We all enjoyed the trip and Would definitely recommend !!!
star-5
Go ! You'll love it !
Peter_B, Aug 2022
Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns & Cawdor Castle
The knowlege and good entertaining of our guide - a good man ! We will recommend our friends who have knowlege of the hills - they wil love it
star-5
Perfect port day
Elizabeth_O, Aug 2022
INVERGORDON PORT Tour of Culloden, Cairns & Cawdor Castle
What a delight. From an immediate follow through on an emailed question to timing to get us into the sights with fewest crowds, to fascinating information, Avril's tours was fabulous. Being picked up dockside and being returned comfortably within cruise departure time gave this day an ease I hadn't anticipated. She has a great sense of humor as well as a grasp of history..a great and unusual combo. I would recommend highly.
star-5
Great experience
Lisa_M, Jul 2022
INVERGORDON PORT Tour of Culloden, Cairns & Cawdor Castle
Had a perfect day. We really enjoyed the history. Amy was a wonderful guide. I wish we spent more time at Culloden.
star-5
Wonderful day at class cairns and culloden
Angela_J, Jul 2022
Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns & Cawdor Castle
George was very knowledgeable about every venue and you can tell he loves what he does. All the info made it so much better
star-5
Awesome!!!
Sharon_D, Jun 2022
Glen Affric, Culloden & Clava Cairns Small-Group Tour from Inverness
The weather was perfect ! Jim the driver was very informative about everything !!! Only having a small party, made the day go without a hitch. ! Could of stayed all day at National park in Glen Affric !! The Culloden tour was exceptional and very informative. The Clava Cairns were mystical and enchanting. So in all a very good day trip !! Would go again, hopefully have more time to explore Culloden museum as it was very busy and the National Park which was so peaceful.
star-5
Amazing day!
Tricia_G, Jul 2022
Glen Affric, Culloden & Clava Cairns Small-Group Tour from Inverness
James was a great host. He provided great historical information at each site. There were a perfect number of stops which made the day go by quite quickly. We appreciated his great sense of humor.
star-5
Perfect combination of history and nature!
Anmarie_G, Jul 2022
Glen Affric, Culloden & Clava Cairns Small-Group Tour from Inverness
Liam was an excellent guide on this small group tour (16 people). He was very knowledgeable about the history and natural aspects of the region. The distances between stops was perfect and our lunch stop in Beuly was ideal.
star-5
Awesome Tour!
Sarah_B, Apr 2022
Glen Affric, Culloden & Clava Cairns Small-Group Tour from Inverness
Out of all the tours I did in Scotland, this one was my absolute favorite. It is the perfect blend of nature and history! Glen Affric is stunning and Culloden and Clava Cairns are so worth a visit! The exhibition at Culloden is particularly great. Our guide James was also awesome. He shared a lot of great information with us, but didn't talk our ears off either. It was nice to have those quiet moments to just enjoy the scenery. Thanks James!
star-5
History, Science, and Gin
Judith_S, May 2022
Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns & Cawdor Castle
Our guide George M. was fun and knowledgeable. A wonderful tour to Clava Cairns, Culloden, Loch Ness Museum and a sweet little gin distillery! He also whisked us up to Beauly Priory. A very full day with many interesting stops.
We perform checks on reviews

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Clava Cairns is a must-see for history buffs.

  • The area around the cairns can become muddy after rain, so wear sturdy footwear.

  • Bring rain gear in case of a downpour, as the open-air site is exposed.

  • The surface around the cairns is uneven and may be difficult for wheelchair users to navigate.

Show all

How to Get There

The Clava Cairns are located about seven miles (11 kilometers) east of Inverness, and are not served by public transport. From the Culloden Battlefield, the cairns are just a 5-minute drive or 30-minute walk away. Parking is available at the site.

Show all

Trip ideas

Scottish Island Tours from Inverness

Scottish Island Tours from Inverness

How to Spend 1 Day in Inverness

How to Spend 1 Day in Inverness

How to Spend 3 Days in Inverness

How to Spend 3 Days in Inverness


When to Get There

Because of their off-the-beaten-track location, the Clava Cairns do not attract big crowds. If you want to have the site all to yourself, go early in the morning.

Show all

The Mystery and Intrigues of the Clava Cairns

As with many prehistoric burial sites, the Clava Cairns remain somewhat of a mystery. Historians can only theorize about their purpose or meaning. The cairns’ alignment suggest midwinter sunset was an important time for those who built it, but it’s not known exactly why it was so significant. With the sheer amount of effort necessary to arrange the stones for each grave, historians also believe the cairns may have housed important members of society.

Show all
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Clava Cairns ?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Inverness?
A:
As well as visiting the Clava Cairns , check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: