Exploring Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns in ScotlandThe Stones at Clava Cairns

Exploring Clava Cairns - The Outlander Connection

Last week I said I'd try to remember to blog about Clava Cairns this week - yay - I remembered!

Clava Cairns is close to Culloden and we drove over there for a look after leaving the famous battlefield. The weather was sunny and warm in the little grassy, wooded area that encompasses the cairns. 

We walked around as the shadows lengthened in the late afternoon sun. There were quite a few people there.

Though not overly crowded, I had to exercise some patience to get a few photos of the cairns without people milling around. 

I haven't watched the Outlander series but I read a few of the books many years ago. They were recommended to me by someone who said they were "amazing historical fiction."

There was definitely some historical fiction happening, but I thought the romance was a little over the top, and Jamie Fraser's character was a little too perfect for me to suspend my disbelief. I enjoyed the historical part, but I never finished the books. 

The TV series has proved wildly popular and has increased tourism to Scotland

It's said that Clava Cairns was author Diana Gabaldon's inspiration for Craigh na Dun, which doesn't actually exist. Craigh na Dun was where the main character, Claire, mysteriously vanishes through the stones into a previous time period. That's where she meets Jamie.  

I did read that some of Outlander was filmed at Clava Cairns but I couldn't confirm that was true. 

At any rate, if you're in Scotland near Inverness, I recommend visiting Clava Cairns. It's only a few minutes from Culloden and well worth the visit.

It's also free, though I don't imagine it will stay that way. For now, just park and walk through the gate. 

The area is an ancient burial site but there are lots of unknowns about it.

One of the fascinating things about two of the cairns is that the stones were strategically placed to make the area an astronomical observatory. if you're there on the winter solstice watching the sunset, the sun aligns with the inside of the chamber and bounces off the back wall. 

I love that stuff. 

The burial sites are from the Bronze Age, though excavations appear to show that the sites were reused for later burials as well.

I was happy to read that Outlander fans have come through in a big way with donations to help preserve some of Scotland's historical sites, including Culloden. 

By the way, I waited for Jamie, but he didn't show:

Me standing in front of one of the stones at Clava Cairns

Hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday and if you're in the ATL, what about this weather? I love these cool mornings and sunny afternoons. 

See you between the raindrops...but not for a while:)


I love the mysterious Clava Cairns so for all you Outlander fans, I added the photo to the website