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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. The evening is free for you to do as you wish. 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 Pitlochry. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise, Castle, and Outlander Tour

2. Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise, Castle, and Outlander Tour

Uncover the mystery of Loch Ness on a cruise to Urquhart Castle on this guided tour from Inverness. Immerse yourself in local history at Culloden Battlefield. Enter the world of the hit TV show Outlander at the standing stones at Clava Cairns. Depart central Inverness and journey to the world-famous Loch Ness. Glide over the lake's shimmering waters on a 30 min cruise to Urquhart Castle. Have free time to explore the 13th-century ruins on foot. Stop to purchase lunch in one of the charming local cafés in Beauly and explore Beauly Priory, which was featured in the Outlander novel series. Enjoy an optional Highland whisky distillery experience, where you can choose to sample a wee dram. Listen to tales of the Jacobite rebellions and the brutal Battle of Culloden, on a visit to Culloden Battlefield. Step into the world of Outlander at the burial chambers and standing stones at Clava Cairns. When you’ve heard the harrowing history that inspired the Outlander story, you might not want to travel back in time to meet Jamie Fraser after all. Return to Inverness in the early evening.

From Inverness: Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns Tour

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

You first venture to the ancient burial site of Clava Cairns. This Bronze Age ‘graveyard’ has survived four millennia and is a great spot to take atmospheric photos. They say the stone circle here was the inspiration for the Craigh na Dun time portal in the Outlander books. You then visit Culloden, one of the most important locations in Scottish history. It was here that a 60-year series of uprisings finally ended in a tumultuous battle. You can explore the visitor centre and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last ever battle fought on British soil. You ramble along to Glen Affric and stop off for walks amongst the indigenous Caledonian pine trees. You get the chance to enjoy views over Loch Affric and the mountains beyond, and your driver-guide ensures you go to the best waterfalls and photo spots throughout the afternoon. Following this, you have the chance to stretch your legs and explore the historic ruins of Beauly Priory. 13th-century French monks called this religious site 'beau lieu', which means 'beautiful place'. Your final journey takes you along the shores of Loch Ness and back to the centre of Inverness for the early evening.

Loch Ness and the Highlands 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

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

After leaving Aberdeen, our first stop is in the village of Aberlour in the heart of Speyside. Surrounded by forests and hills you might catch the seductive smell of whisky or shortbread on the breeze, depending which way the wind blows. You continue through the heart of Speyside and arrive at Loch Ness for al boat trip*. Onboard the ship, you travel over the widest and deepest part of the loch and get a fine view of Urquhart Castle. 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. You then continue 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. You have a comfort break within the gorgeous Cairngorms National Park before you reach Aberdeen in the evening. This route may be reversed on some occasions. *The Loch Ness boat cruise is weather dependent and may be cancelled without notice. ** Jacobite Cruise on Loch Ness included in the tour price

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.

Inverness: Fort George, Culloden, and Cairngorms Day Trip

6. Inverness: Fort George, Culloden, and Cairngorms Day Trip

Discover Northern Scotland on a guided coach tour from Inverness. Take in military history at Culloden Battlefield and Fort George, step back to the Bronze Age at Clava Cairns, and explore the quaint Scottish towns of Aviemore and Nairns. See the spectacular scenery of Cairngorms National Park. Start with a short tour of Inverness before heading to your first stop, Culloden Battlefield – one of the most important battlefields in Scotland’s history. Learn about the history of the battlefield, step onto it yourself, and see if you have family connections to the area at the visitor center. Continue on to Clava Cairns – the remains of a much larger complex used to house the dead – for a glimpse of what life was like over 4,000 years ago in the Bronze Age. Outlander fans may want to explore the prehistoric stone circle, the inspiration for Craigh Na Dun in the book and TV series. Then, travel to Fort George, an imposing fort built in the wake of the Battle of Culloden and now home to the largest regimental museum outside of Edinburgh. Fort George is still in use as an active army base and home to the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland. Next, head to Nairn on the north coast, where you will have time to grab lunch and take in the relaxing seaside town. Then, continue to explore more beautiful scenery in the Cairngorms, stopping at Loch an Eilein for a photo of the stunning loch, local wildlife, and island with its own castle ruins. Continue to the final stop of the day, Aviemore, where you will have a while to explore the beautiful village in the northwest corner of the Cairngorms National Park, surrounded by mountains and lochs. Explore and grab a coffee before journeying back to Inverness, where your tour ends.

Invergordon: Highlands Guided Tour with Cawdor Castle Ticket

7. 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.

From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour

8. From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour

Day One: Visit the conservation village of Luss, on the banks of Loch Lomond. Descend into Rannoch Moor and pass the Black Mount. Walk through Glen Coe and take in its haunting atmosphere. View Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, before stopping for lunch in Fort William. End the day by travelling to Inverness, after walking around Loch Ness.  Day Two: Visit the fascinating Culloden Battlefield and glimpse the ancient stones of the Neolithic Clava Clairns. Visit Dalwhinnie Distillery and take the opportunity to try their whisky. Stop for a gentle forest walk in a Scottish woodland after lunch (Only possible in the summer months). Cross the Forth Bridge and travel back to Edinburgh where you will be dropped off outside Edinburgh Waverley Train Station. Passengers that began the tour in Glasgow will be provided with a free train ticket to return to Glasgow.

loch Ness, Inverness and Outlander Sites from Invergordon

9. loch Ness, Inverness and Outlander Sites from Invergordon

Our Loch Ness tour from Invergordon promises to enchant, whether you’re a veteran visitor or are travelling to the Highlands for the first time. As soon as you disembark soon as you from your ship at the Invergordon cruise port, around an hour after the ship arrives, you will be met by one of our friendly local guides, who you’ll recognise by their Historic & Scenic Tours placard bearing your Surname. You’ll be escorted to one of our comfortable minibuses, where complimentary snacks and bottles of water will be made available for your tour.Visit some of the most historic and cultural sites in the Highlands starting with Beauly Priory, before moving onto the famous and romantic loch ness and then moving onto inverness to see the the saint Andrew's Cathedral and then onto historic Culloden Battlefield and the sacred site of Clava Cairns, home of the famous Outlander “cleft stone”. Finally, to the Singleton Distillery for a tasting before returning to Invergorden Port.

From Inverness: 3-Day Isle of Skye & Jacobite Steam Train

10. From Inverness: 3-Day Isle of Skye & Jacobite Steam Train

Ride a ferry to the beautiful Isle of Sky. Tour around on a Mercedes mini coach. Enjoy 2 nights' accommodation in a 3-star B&B with full Scottish breakfasts. Hop on board the iconic Jacobite Steam Train. Enjoy whisky tasting at Glen Ord. DAY 1: Head to Loch Ness in the early morning and appreciate the view of the 13th century Urquhart Castle, which is now derelict. See the Commando Memorial, built to pay tribute to the men of the original British Commando Forces who lost their lives during World War II. Continue to Fort William and board the world-famous Jacobite Steam Train. Ride this classic train along the West Highland Line between Mallaig and Fort William and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the west coast. Pass by the beaches of Arisaig and Morar. Finish your steam train journey at Mallaig where you can choose to eat lunch where fish and chips are popular. Stretch your legs and head to Skye. Visit Sligachan Old Bridge and the River Sligachan, which offers eternal youth according to a local legend. Gaze at the spectacular view of the Cuillin Hills. Travel overnight to Portree. DAY 2: Begin day 2 by taking in the natural beauty of the fairy pools. Hear about the island's folklore from your guide. Explore Dunvegan village. Stare at Quiraing, a landslip offering a display of cliffs along the Trotternish Peninsula. Impress yourself with the view of Kilt Rock, a cliff resembling a kilt. See the amazing Mealt Waterfall running into the ocean. Visit one of Skye's most famous sights, the Old Man of Storr, and be amazed by the steep rocky pinnacles dotted along the green hills. DAY 3: Commence your tour on day 3 as you travel from Portree to Inverness. Stop at Eilean Donan Castle, the most photographed castle in Scotland. Journey to the quaint highland village of Beauly and explore Beauly Priory, a derelict former monastic community which dates back to the 13th century. Go to Glen Ord for a Highland whisky experience. Choose to taste whisky as your guide explains how it is made. Gain new knowledge about the history of whisky in Scotland. Keep going to Culloden Battlefield, the site of the final Jacobite Uprising of 1746. Go to the bronze age burial site at Clava Cairns. See the standing stones, which were one of the inspirations behind the Outlander television series. Return to Inverness early evening.

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What people are saying about Clava Cairns

Overall rating

4.8
(496 reviews)

If you're looking for an unforgettable adventure through the majestic Scottish Highlands, look no further than William as your guide. He was an exceptional tour guide, and I can't sing his praises enough. It wasn't just his friendly nature that made him stand out—it was his unwavering dedication to ensuring every guest had the experience of a lifetime. William has an incredible wealth of knowledge about the Highlands' history and culture. With every twist and turn, he shared with us fascinating tales of Scottish lore, peppered with humor that kept us engaged and entertained throughout the journey. And let's not forget the fantastic music he curated for our listening pleasure, adding an extra layer of magic to an already enchanting experience. Thanks to his expertise and hospitality, my three days in the Highlands were nothing short of extraordinary. If you're lucky enough to join one of his tours, prepare to be amazed. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Highly recommended! I decided to book this tour as a 30th birthday present for my partner. To say we both thoroughly enjoyed it is an understatement! Scotland is such a beautiful place filled with picturesque landscapes and fascinating history, and this tour enabled us to explore the best of it and fall in love with the country. Our tour guide, Stephen, was super knowledgeable, funny, and very well-organized (not to mention his Spotify playlist - Red Hot Chili Pipers are on repeat for me 😄). We will be back for a 5-day tour soon!

Michael was a brilliant tour guide. The tourist spots covered were really beautiful. The stay was in inverness for 2 days which led to comparatively less time spend in each spot in Isle of Skye as it was a longer travel back. The tour can be split into one day stay in Inverness and one in Portree to give more time in the most beautiful isle of skye on the 2nd day of the tour.

This was such a lovely relaxing tour. Plenty of stops with long exploring time and little time on the bus. Loved our guide Sonia, giving us lots of recommendations of shops, restaurants. She even made a short shop at a local fair market. Well worth booking this tour!

Fraser was an excellent tour guide. He kept us entertained and taught us a lot about the history of Scotland. Isle of Skye was amazing!