Most people only get one or two vacations a year shoved in between their many business months of working a stressful job. It’s best to make those vacations as extraordinary as possible. This vacation instead of doing something typical, go for something magical! Visit Inverness, a city on Scotland’s northeast coast where the River Ness meets the Moray Firth. Yes, the legendary spot of the Loch Ness Monster sighting! It’s also the only place to see the Mystical Clava Cairns Ruins. This guarantees the most exciting and magical vacation!


The History of the Clava Cairns Ruins & Important Information to Know

Top Five Inverness Attractions:

  1. Inverness Castle
  2. Inverness Botanic Gardens
  3. Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
  4. River Ness
  5. The Clava Cairns

The Clava Cairns are a very well-maintained bronze age cemetery cluster of passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairns, and standing stones in a mesmerizing setting. This is a fantastic example of the distant history of Highland Scotland dating back about 4000 years! This spectacular gathering of monuments is free to visit and open all year round! So no matter when you are making your vacation this is the ideal spot!

For cinematic fans, this site was made particularly famous in the show Outlander. In fact, this site was the complete inspiration for the show, all the mystery and medieval sentiment around it led to the thrilling story of Outlander. Fans can walk through the iconic scenes for this show for free on any trip to Scotland. Join the fans in their wild theories about this spot that is covered in a blanket of the unknown!

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This is a perfect Bronze Age cemetery, walk through this site that includes a variety of passage graves, eerie stone circles that encompass the graves, large standing stones, and the remains of a chapel, all surrounded by a beautiful lush setting amid elm trees and gently rolling hills. Surprisingly, these cairns are the only ones in mainland Britain that are surrounded by stone circles. To this day there is still no agreed-upon idea of how the stones arrived there in that fashion.

However, evidence suggested that each cairn contains no more than two burials, and all that effort went into constructing the cemetery for a minimum number of burials. This suggests the idea that those buried here are for power and wealth from ancient Scotland.

This amazing spot is one that is still completely covered in historical mystery - one that begs you to question the lives of those Scottish ancestors and to appreciate the practically ethereal beauty of the site.

The Three Parts of the Clava Cairns

The main section, Blanauran of Clava, consists of three large burial cairns that are each surrounded by a stone circle.

Two out of the three cairns here have narrow passageways that visitors can enter to access the central burial chamber.

Between these cairns lies a ‘kerb cairn’ with an enclosed central burial chamber. If you look closely, you’ll be able to see cup and ring markings along the stones in addition to suns and moons. This only adds to the mystery of this magical site.

The second section of this site is a bit smaller, Milton of Clava, and it rests in a space just across from the main section. This is the site most seen in Outlander.

Milton of Clava consists of a single standing stone and the ruins of the medieval chapel that was built long after the cairns were. There is still not a lot of information about this or why this happened but it’s an exciting and interesting thing to explore! There are also guides along this path to help answer any questions you could have.

The Cairns date from c. 2500 BCE, but the location is thought to have been used much earlier. This site was in continual use for over 1000 years and evidence suggests that it’s been reused by communities, intermittently, until 770 CE as a center for rituals.

Because of the symbols that can be seen etched onto the stones, there are suggestions that this is also a sacred site with astronomical significance. Some of the rituals performed here might have been using different phases of the moon and stars in order to bring abundance to the communities.

If you’re interested in learning as much of the history of this site as possible there are opportunities to book guided tours of the location along with other areas in the close area. Explore not only the Clava Cairns but all that Inverness has to offer with guided tours around the area. Learn about all the history of this spectacular site in Scotland.

There is so much history and ideas that are shrouded in mystery in this amazing and iconic spot in Ireland ensuring this will be the highlight of your visit to Scotland. Make sure to include Inverness on your trip to Scotland and see the mystical Clava Cairns that inspired the show Outlander. Guaranteed to be the envy of all your Instagram followers!

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