Corrimony Cairn

Corrimony Chambered Cairn

Within an idyllic glen, surrounded by birch wood and agriculture, sits the Corrimony Cairn. This chambered Cairn has it all: standing stones around the main chamber, an imposing mass of pebbles and stones, and an open-air round chamber at its centre. If you want to see a Bronze Age relic between 2000 and 4000 years ago, look no further than the Corrimony Chambered Cairn.

The Corrimony Cairn sits south-west of Inverness near other major attractions, including the Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, and Falls of Divach. It’s an excellent spot to work into a day of attractions around Inverness-shire, so let’s break down everything you need to know on your visit.

History of Corrimony Cairn

The history of the Corrimony Chambered Cairn is obscured by time. When or how the Corrimony Cairns were built is unknown to this day, but similar Clava cairns in the area were built by prehistoric builders between 2000 and 4000 years ago. These cairns are usually recognised by a central burial chamber covered by small stones, with several larger stones around it.

The Cairn is a beautiful look into Bronze Age Scotland’s practices and beliefs. The planning and execution required considerable resources and skill from builders of the time, and it’s possible that Corrimony was the burial chamber of a prominent figure.

The Corrimony’s central burial chamber is uncovered, and the roof likely collapsed. Since 1952, Professor Stuart Piggott has excavated the Corrimony Chambered Cairn, making several key discoveries. Stuart found a woman in a crouched burial underneath the main flagstones and the only artefact from the site—a bone pin.

In 1994, Historic Environment Scotland designated the Cairn a scheduled monument. Ever since the stone circle and burial chamber have been a fantastic attraction in Inverness-shire for history lovers.

How to Get to Corrimony Cairn

While beautiful attractions and picturesque landscapes surround the Corrimony Chambered Cairn, it’s close to a few major towns and cities. Luckily, whether by car or bus, reaching the Corrimony Cairn is quite intuitive. Here are the best routes from the closest city to Corrimony, Inverness:

By Car

From the Inverness city centre, you’ll want to drive southwest along the A82 along the west shore of Loch Ness (keep an eye out for Nessie!). You’ll reach Drumnadrochit, after which you’ll want to continue west along the A831 past the River Enrick (where the original capstone and stones of Corrimony Cairn were gathered.

After about 10 minutes of driving along the River, you’ll begin to see signs directing you to reach the stone cairn – follow the narrow road through the stunning Glen Urquhart, and you’ll reach the historic site within a few minutes.

The entire journey should take around 40 minutes to complete, but there are several amazing spots along the way to visit if you want to take the scenic route.

By Bus

There are several bus routes that stop near the Corrimony Chambered Cairn to take full advantage of! The most direct route starts from Inverness. Take Bus 17 from Inverness’ Bus Station Stance 1 to Drumnadrochit. If you can tear yourself away from the Loch Ness Centre, hop over to the Post Office and take Bus 17 to Tomich for three stops.

Hop off at the Road End stop and walk along the narrow road to the Corrimony Chambered Cairn. The walk should take about 16 minutes, and the journey is just over an hour and ten!

Best Time of Year to Visit Corrimony Cairn

The Corrimoney Chambered Cairn is open throughout the year and has no entry fee for visiting the attraction. This makes it a superb place to see no matter when you visit Scotland. That being said, there are certain times of the year when the Corrimony Chambered Cairn is absolutely splendid.

The ideal time to visit the chambered Cairn is between May and September. These months offer the best weather and climate to visit the historic attraction, with Scotland’s summer months the most popular of the lot. Visiting during the shoulder seasons, however, often means fewer visitors and the cairns all to yourself!

Things to Do During Your Visit to Corrimony Cairn

Once you’ve arrived and set your eyes on the large mound of pebbles and stone slabs that make up the Corrimony Chambered Cairn, you may be asking yourself why you can get up during your visit. Here are the top things to do during your visit to this historic attraction.

Learn about Bronze Age Scotland

Learn about Bronze Age Scotland

Although the Corrimony Chambered Cairn doesn’t have a visitor centre, there’s plenty you can learn about Bronze Age Scotland simply by exploring the historic site.

At the centre of the Cairn, you’ll find the remains of the burial chamber, where a woman was found by Professor Stuart in a crouched burial position – a common practice at the time. Above the burial, there was likely a large, single slab of stone acting as a capstone, but it has since been eroded over time. Luckily, the passage’s roof survives to this day and offers a surreal entrance passage into the burial chamber.

Once you’re within this main chamber, you’ll be able to see cup marks along the drystone walls, which were likely decorative elements of the time. Around the central burial mound, there’s a stone kerb, which is further surrounded by massive stones that were said to have been fished out from the River Enrick. Historians believe there may have been a prehistoric settlement close by, which would have made it possible to drag the rocks from the River to the site.

Enjoy A Serene Walk Around Corrimony Chambered Cairn

Enjoy a Serene Walk

This prehistoric settlement is a wonder to behold, but remember the unique landscape surrounding the Corrimony Chambered Cairn. The pleasant surroundings are perfect for taking a walk or having a picnic, especially if you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Scotland’s cities.

Glen Urquhart, where the Corrimony Chambered Cairn is located, has a serene wilderness ripe for exploration. Come and see the beautiful brick trees and the local wildlife. If you’re a hunter, you’ll be happy to know the area is famous for deer stalking.

See Major Attractions Around Corrimony Chambered Cairn

See Major Attractions

If you want to add more attractions to your day after an adventure around the Corrimony Chambered Cairn, you’re in luck! There are several attractions to see that are just a half hour’s journey from the Cairn as the crow flies.

Castle Urquhart, for example, overlooks the stunning Loch Ness, where the infamous creature Nessie is said to live. In addition to being a beautiful and historic landmark, it offers gorgeous views over the Loch and Inverness-shire. The Castle was built in the Iron Age, providing a point of comparison to the Cairn for how building techniques had developed in Scotland.

The Falls of Davich are another popular attraction near the Corrimony RSPB, accessible after a beautiful forest passage walk. While no manufactured intervention led to this scenic waterfall, it’s a spiritually refreshing place to see during your visit.

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