Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Scottish Highlands  /  Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns, Culloden Moor

#10 of 77 in Historic Sites in Scottish Highlands
Ruin · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
The Clava cairn is a type of Bronze Age circular chamber tomb cairn, named after the group of three cairns at Balnuaran of Clava, to the east of Inverness in Scotland. There are about 50 cairns of this type in an area round about Inverness. They fall into two sub-types, one typically consisting of a corbelled passage grave with a single burial chamber linked to the entrance by a short passage and covered with a cairn of stones, with the entrances oriented south west towards midwinter sunset. In the other sub-type an annular ring cairn encloses an apparently unroofed area with no formal means of access from the outside. In both sub-types a stone circle surrounds the whole tomb and a kerb often runs around the cairn. The heights of the standing stones vary in height so that the tallest fringe the entrance (oriented south west) and the shortest are directly opposite it.

Where Clava-type tombs have still contained burial remains, only one or two bodies appear to have been buried in each, and the lack of access to the second sub-type suggests that there was no intention of re-visiting the dead or communally adding future burials as had been the case with Neolithic cairn tombs.

Use our Culloden Moor driving holiday site to visit Clava Cairns on your trip to Culloden Moor, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
Create an itinerary including Clava Cairns
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Clava Cairns reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
680 reviews
  • There was quite a bit here to see as there were several clairns dating from around 5000BC. A lovely peaceful place with placards explaining the history. There are not toilets or food here but a...  more »
  • We visited this hidden gem and definitely recommend that it is worth a short visit. An interesting intriguing sight, free of. Charge.  more »
  • By far one of the most interesting sites I have visited in Scotland. Very beautiful place with a mystic charm. Amazing
  • As a Outlander Fan it was very special to be able to visit this place. I felt a calm, mystical feeling walking around here. An experience I will always remember.

Plan your trip to Culloden Moor

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.