Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

1. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands and visit highlights, including Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Learn the history of this lush region from your guide and spend two nights in Inverness. Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, "Eilean Donan Castle." Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience a Scotch Whiskey tasting before you visit the historic village of Dunkeld on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

Loch Ness and the Highlands 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

2. Loch Ness and the Highlands 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Your tour departs Aberdeen and heads straight for the ‘Whisky Capital of the World’, Dufftown. Unfortunately it's too early in the morning to taste the whisky at the Glenfiddich Distillery, but you have time to take a photo of the iconic site and grab a coffee. Venture through the heart of Speyside and arrive at Loch Ness for an optional boat trip which is bookable via your guide on the day of the trip. Onboard the ship, you travel over the widest and deepest part of the loch and get a fine view of Urquhart Castle. Upon your return back on dry land, it’s time to travel deep into the past at Clava Cairns. This spot is situated in a gorgeous green grove and boasts well-preserved ancient burial tombs. They even say this spot was the inspiration for Outlander’s Craigh na Dun. Follow this up with a trip to Culloden Battlefield, the location of the final Jacobite Rising. It’s an eerie, flat, tragic landscape that can put the history of Scotland into perspective. The interactive exhibition center here really brings it all to life. Have a comfort break within the gorgeous Cairngorms National Park before you reach Aberdeen 8:00 PM.

From Inverness: Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns Tour

3. From Inverness: Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns Tour

Leave Inverness in the morning and begin your full-day tour with a trip to the ancient burial site of Clava Cairns. This Bronze-Age graveyard has survived 4 millennia and is a great spot to take photos.  Afterward, you’ll head to Culloden, one of the most important sites in Scottish history. It was here that a 60-year series of uprisings finally ended in a tumultuous battle in 1745.  Explore the visitor center and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last ever battle fought on British soil. Continue to Glen Affric and stop to walk among the indigenous Caledonian pine trees. Enjoy views over Loch Affric and the mountains beyond, with your expert guide taking you to the best waterfalls and photo spots.  Afterward, explore the historic ruins of Beauly Priory, a monastery dating back to the 13th century. To cap things off, you’ll head to the shores of Loch Ness, before ending up back in the center of Inverness in the early evening.

Inverness: Outlander Day Tour

4. Inverness: Outlander Day Tour

First, stop at the world-famous Loch Ness, after which you carry on to Wardlaw Mausoleum, which was built in 1634 as the burial place for the Frasers of Lovat before later being used by the clan until the early 19th century. You’ll even venture into the crypt where you’ll learn of the mystery surrounding the double lead-lined coffin which was said to contain the headless body of the 11th Lord Lovat (Jamie’s grandfather in Outlander). Next, visit the attractive ruins of Beauly Priory, dating back to 1230, the burial site for the Frasers of Lovat and MacKenzies as far back as 1479. It was there at Beauly Priory that Claire came across the Lovat Seer, Maisri, when she and Jamie were visiting his grandfather prior to the Jacobite Rising of 1745. Carry onto Culloden Battlefield, where Jamie survived the brutal and bloody end to the Jacobite Rising of 1745. Your guide will walk you around the battlefield and past the Fraser Stone, which commemorates the Fraser clansmen who fought there that day. Your next stop is Clava Cairns, three well-preserved Bronze Age burial chambers each surrounded by a circle of standing stones. The site boasts its own "split stone", similar to the one in the first Outlander book when Claire was transported back in time to 1743.

Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

5. Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Get back to nature in the Scottish Highlands and go for gentle walks. Spend the night in the city of Inverness and avail of a flexible itinerary on day 2. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and head west to Glasgow before visiting the pretty village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond. Descend into Rannoch Moor and pass the Black Mount and Glencoe at the site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. Go for a leisurely walk to soak up the atmosphere. Head north towards Fort William and get stunning views of Ben Nevis before traveling around Loch Ness after lunch. Pass historic Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, where you will spend the night. Day 2: Choose to visit the Culloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated by the Duke of Cumberland. Glimpse the ancient stones of Clava Cairns and taste the whisky at Dalwhinnie Distillery. Go to the old military garrison of Ruthven Barracks. Return via the Hermitage and stop for a gentle forest walk in idyllic woodlands (summer only) before crossing the Forth Bridge to arrive back in Edinburgh.

Invergordon: Highlands Guided Tour with Cawdor Castle Ticket

6. Invergordon: Highlands Guided Tour with Cawdor Castle Ticket

Our tour starts at Invergordon Cruise port where you are assured a warm Highland welcome from your tour guide. Our first stop is a visit to Cawdor Castle, which dates back to 1454. Here you can a self-guided audio tour of the castle then explore the wonderful gardens. Our next stop is Culloden Battlefield, the site of the last ever battle on British soil. Your guide will recount the events of this tragic day and bring the history of the field to life. We then go back in time 4000 years to explore the magical Clava Cairns. Your guide will explain the significance of the standing stones and stone burial chambers. Next on the agenda is Loch Ness, home of the legendary monster. We stop at one of the best viewpoints of the Loch, which is also home to Nessie Hunter Steve Feltham. Our final stop of the day is Inverness, the capital city of the Highlands. Depending on the length of tour we will have either a photo stop of 20 mins, or a slightly longer stop to take in a little more of the city.

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Isle of Skye & Highlands 5-Day Tour

7. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Isle of Skye & Highlands 5-Day Tour

Journey through the spectacular scenery of Scotland on this adventurous 5-day trip through the Highlands and the enchanting Isle of Skye. Immerse yourself in myths and legends while experiencing Glencoe, The Isle of Skye, and Inverness. Day 1: Edinburgh to Oban Marvel at the iconic Kelpies before heading north past Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle. Immerse yourself in the scenic Rannoch Moor and Glencoe and explore the quaint fishing town of Oban in the late afternoon. (Overnight: Oban) Day 2: Oban to Isle of Skye Journey through some of Scotland’s most breathtaking landscapes on the way to Skye. Get the chance to view the world-famous Glenfinnan Viaduct before passing romantic Eilean Donan Castle and spending the night in our enchanting island destination, the Isle of Skye. (Overnight: Portree) Day 3: Isle of Skye to Inverness Explore the magical Isle of Skye with its far-reaching mountains, stunning coastline, and local folklore before returning to the mainland. Head along the Great Glen to Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands. (Overnight: Inverness) Day 4: Inverness Search for the mysterious monster ‘Nessie’ while driving along the banks of Loch Ness before visiting the beautiful town of Beauly and stopping at the historical Culloden Battlefield. (Overnight: Inverness) Day 5: Inverness to Edinburgh Begin your final day with a visit to the chamber cairns and standing stones of Clava Cairns. Taste and learn all about the 'water of life' at a local whisky distillery before returning to Edinburgh in the late afternoon.

Isle of Skye, Oban, St Andrews and Highlands 5-Day Tour

8. Isle of Skye, Oban, St Andrews and Highlands 5-Day Tour

Departing from Edinburgh, travel through Scotland’s Central Belt to Glasgow, here there's time to visit the magnificent Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, opened in 1901. Then cross the Kingston Bridge over the River Clyde and head north to the village of Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond. Next, it’s onwards and upwards over the steep pass of 'Rest and be Thankful' in the village of Inveraray, a town lapped by the sea water of Loch Fyne and famed for its oysters and seafood. Next head to Dunadd Iron Age Fort, the coronation site of kings and queens of Dalriada, the ancient Gaelic speaking kingdom. Follow in the footsteps of kings and queens and take the steep but thankfully short path to the summit of the hill. After a stop at Kilmartin Museum, drive through the stunning Argyll scenery to the bustling port and fishing town of Oban, the location of your first night’s stay. In the morning discover the beautiful Glencoe, considered to be the most impressive glen in Scotland. After a short hike and photograph stop, head to the Glenfinnan Monument and Viaduct. Fom Glenfinnan travel to Fort William where you have two options – a tour of Ben Nevis Whisky distillery or a visit to Inverlochy Castle and Neptune’s Staircase. Time to head north and arrive at the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Your route then takes you into some of the most spectacular scenery in all of the Highlands as you pass through Glenshiel and the iconic Five Sisters of Kintail to the meeting point of 3 sea lochs – Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh – the wonderful setting for Eilean Donan Castle. On Day 3, explore the sights of the Trotternish Peninsula to the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Quiraing, hear about the local folklore of how the Fairies, Fishermen and Giants created the landscape. Next, visit the Museum of Island Life, and then loop around north Skye to take in magnificent views across the sea, east to the Torridon Mountains and west to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Journey onto the Cuillin Mountains and travel through Kyle of Lochalsh to the unbelievably pretty village of Plockton. At Plockton there is the option of taking a one-hour cruise or a short hike through nearby woodland. In the evening, visit a local highland pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. On Day 4, visit Kessock bridge and then head to the North West Highlands. The first stop of the day is at Corrieshalloch Gorge, Scotland’s deepest gorge, and then onto the legendary North Coast 500 Route traveling passed towering peaks to the ancient ruin of Ardvreck Castle. After this fascinating slice of Scottish history, head to the very wonderful Knockan Crag to learn more about the incredible geology of this area, next head to the pretty ferry port and fishing town of Ullapool. After lunch, travel to Rogie Falls and find frothing water cascading down the falls and gentle trails among the forest. From Rogie Falls it’s a short drive to the town of Beauly, the one time favorite town of Mary Queen of Scots. On the last day the first stop is Clava Cairns, the site of incredible standing stones and burial chambers dating back to at least 4000 years ago. Culloden Battlefield is the next stop location of the last battle to be fought on British soil. Onto Cairngorms National Park next, and then the final stop of the tour at the ancient east Fife town of St Andrews. This medieval walled town is home to St Andrews University, the oldest in Scotland, as well St Andrews Cathedral. It’s always hard to drag yourself away from St Andrews but in the early evening it's time to start winding your way through the fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife, across the Forth Road Bridge with views of the 1890 Railway Bridge and the 2017 Queensferry Crossing, and back into Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: 2-Day Scottish Highlands & St. Andrews Tour

9. From Edinburgh: 2-Day Scottish Highlands & St. Andrews Tour

Take a 2-day adventure out into the Highlands with a charismatic and knowledgeable guide. See the views that inspired countless artists and writers, and visit its most famous attractions, including Loch Ness. Day 1 Departing from Edinburgh, pass the iconic Forth Bridge as you make your way to St. Andrews. Take time to explore the town’s medieval castle and cathedral, ancient University buildings (where Prince William and Kate met), or wander along the fairways edge of the world-famous Old Course.   You’ll then venture into the Scottish Highlands with a visit to the peaceful Hermitage nature reserve. Take a short walk through the forest to the Falls of Brann before lunch in Pitlochry. Continue north into the Cairngorm National Park and watch as the rolling mountains turn blue in the summer or white with falling snow in the winter. In the late afternoon, you'll arrive at Clava Cairns, the Neolithic burial chambers that inspired Diana Gabaldon during the writing of her famous Outlander novels.   Your second-to-last stop today is at Culloden Moor, the site of the last battle fought on British soil in 1746. Your guide will retell the events of the battle and teach you about its significance not only to the Highlands, but also to the Scottish diaspora since. Spend the night in Inverness, a small city packed with restaurants and fun pubs—meet the locals and dance the night away to Highland music in the famous Hootenanny’s Bar with your fellow travelers.   Day 2 Your second day begins by venturing the entire length of the most famous body of water in the world, Loch Ness. Pass Urquhart Castle on your way to Fort Augustus at the mouth of the Loch, where you’ll have the option of taking a 1-hour boat cruise to search for Nessie.   Continue West towards the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, recently made famous by the Harry Potter movies. Hike to a viewpoint to get the best photos of this impressive piece of 19th-century engineering and, in the other direction, be treated to views of Loch Shiel and the monument to the Jacobites: one of the finest views in Scotland.   After lunch, you’ll arrive in Glencoe, the site of the infamous Massacre of 1692. Your guide will share this terribly sad story of betrayal with you. However, the beauty of Glencoe stays with those who visit this place for a very long time.   Your unforgettable Highland adventure ends with a scenic drive through Loch Lomond and Trossachs Park, passing Stirling Castle and into Edinburgh.

Invergordon: South Shore Tour Excursion

10. Invergordon: South Shore Tour Excursion

Start your day of adventure by arriving via Port of Invergordon in the Scottish Highlands. Once there, you will be met by your friendly driver as you leave the harbour area. After listening to a safety briefing you'll hop into your comfortable vehicle and travel South. First stop, the famous Culloden battlefield where your driver will provide you with an informative narrative about the events that led to this battle. Take your time and feel free to visit the visitor centre or exhibition (entry fee required). Your next stop is the nearby Clava Cairns, a series of mysterious stone circles which are a free attraction to visit. Leaving Clava Cairns the tour heads East on single track roads to Cawdor Village and Cawdor Castle. There is a charge for admission and guided tour by castle staff once inside. When your visit at Cawdor Castle is complete the tour travels back through Inverness to Dores Village which is sited directly on the banks of Loch Ness and the beach there gives direct access to the Loch itself. Head back to Inverness and travel North until you arrive at Beauly Priory. Make the most of the free entrance and enjoy some of the shopping opportunities inside. Continue on your journey to the Glenord Distillery at nearby Muir of Ord where you can indulge in a Whisky sampling experience.Your tour then heads North and back to the Port of Invergordon where the tour ends.

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What people are saying about Clava Cairns

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 410 reviews

I really enjoyed whole trip. Our guide and driver was Brian. He was amazing and funny. He is a truly Scottish man and I am so happy that I met him. He told us many interesting legends and tales. We saw many wonderful places - for example Skye (such a beautiful island). I wish we had more time there. But I know I have to come back and visit this beautiful country again. Thank you Brian ✌

Excelente tour. Debo destacar el trabajo de Ian, el guía, ha sido extraordinario su trabajo y dedicación para explicar cada parada que hemos realizado. Realmente se nota la pasión que tiene por su país y lo transmite. Lamentamos no haber tenido dinero efectivo para darle una propina, ya que era merecida. Ian ,well done.

Great trip, great guide, amazing scenery. So much to see and do in the Highlands and on the Isle of Skye that 3 days only allows brief stops at many places, but amazing places they were! Wouldn't hesitate to return and I'd be happy to use the same tour company again!

Our driver, James was very knowledgeable and made the tour exciting. I had a wonderful time and it met all my expectations and then some. Would definitely recommend this historical and scenic tour.

Very interesting route, nice and competent driver and guide, comfortable bus, breakes, beautiful views, interesting sites, opportunity to meet nice people. A lot funny stories as well