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Camster Cairns | Ancient Scotland in Caithness

Caithness in the Scottish Highlands for Holidays in Scotland

Two Neolithic tombs originally built more than 5,000 years ago that have been reconstructed in modern times, and provide an insight into Neolithic burial practices. The original cairns at Camster were built before the Pyramids in Egypt.

The Grey Cairns have been reconstructed to allow the public to appreciate the structures, previously they were grassy mounds showing in the landscape. This followed excavations on the original cairns in the 1860's and from further studies of the site over the years. Surprisingly there is not a lot known about the people who lived in this area of the north of Scotland of around 3,000 BC. The cairns were taken into public guardianship in 1959 and is now looked after by Historic Environment Scotland. Entrance to the site is free, open all year round. A small car park is at the site. Raised timber paths are used to go across the moorland to the cairns.

Round Cairn at Camster Cairns

Camster Cairns

Round Cairn

Round Cairn at Camster

The Round Cairn at Camster Cairns

Grey Cairns of Camster

Grey Cairns

The Grey Cairns were burial sites and dated back originally over 5,000 years (carbon dating of wood and human remains. The construction of the original cairns demonstrate a complex and rich community living in Caithness, similar to that of Orkney. Learn more on the Historic Environment Scotland website.

Camster Grey Cairn

Entrance to one of the Grey Cairns

Camster entrance

Cairn entrance - if you feel brave enough you can enter.

Grey Cairns

Grey Cairns

The Camster Grey Cairns are large reconstructed structures of 60 metres long.

Sheep are some of the visitors to the Grey Cairns

Sheep are often found around the Campster Cairns, so please keep dogs on leads if sheep are on the moorland.

Camster Cairns Location Map

Camster Cairns location map

Grey Cairns of Camster map location