The Blue Cairn near Califer is surrounded on its north side by a semi circular dry stane dyke and to the south by vegetation of any kind especially ferns. It was good fun clambering over the dyke and having a fight with the jabby stuff. Rowan trees mark the middle of this much tampered with cairn. The centre of the cairn has been houked and kerbs can be found at the bottom of the wall. canmore say its 16 meters wide and 1 meter tall. That is optimistic as all that is left is a small remnant. No trace of cist can be seen. Still like any other any other ancient monument it was built for a reason and the Bronze Age peoples chose a lovely place. Views over to the Black Isle, Moray Firth, hills to the south and to the west are wonderful. I tried looking for the possible cup marked stone but didn't see anything. Round the corner is Blervie Castle and just down from that is the stone circle at Templestones.
Take the third minor road south, west after the village of Alves on the A96 heading towards Inverness. Follow the road until it veers suddenly west and at the corner pull in. Walk down the field in front and the semi circular dyke soon comes into view. Just along the road is the superb viewpoint at Califer.
'The green track ahead brings us to commercial forestry and forges dead straight ahead for a couple of miles. Half a mile along is a second wonder. We plunge off road to our second fortress of the day - Davie's Castle. A glacial tummock above the Glen Burn was fortified (in the Iron Age - say 2500 years ago) - defended with a circuit of ditch and a low bank (originally topped with a wall or palisade). Not a major hillfort but a suitable place for a petty chief to asset status among his own dependants and to proclaim power to his envious neighbours.'
Relugas is a stunning fort in a stunning location. I drove from Dun Earn heading south amongst spectacular scenery, Daltullich Bridge is a fantastic work of architecture and engineering, near the fort and where I parked is the equally stunning Randolph's Leap (The River Findhorn passes through a narrow gorge, narrow enough to jump. This should be called Cumming's Leap as he and three of his men leaped as Randolph's men did the chasing. Complicated times during the time of Robert the Bruce)
I approached from the B9007 in the north and climbed the first small but steep slope. Then climbed the second small but equally steep slope. Once on top keep heading south until a track is found. From here head uphill as the oval shaped fort is above. Some of the track is in a rampart which winds its way up.
Once on top you enter the fort by passing a pile of stones, apparently a type of rock garden. Fairly modern walls sit on top of ramparts giving an idea of what the fort defences looked like. Vitrified rock has been found here. Water also plays it part as the River Findhorn is to the west, the River Divie is to the east and swings north into the Findhorn. The aforementioned steep slopes are also very handy for the defender but not to the climber.
What a superb place for a fort! What a place full stop!
Dun Earn has been badly damaged by the forestry people. Ramparts have all but vanished and these may have been created by the waste thrown out when making the ditch. The ditch which arcs round the fort has been filled in by dead trees and tracks but still exists in some parts as I can testify as I slid down its side on several occasions. Still, on this occasion, the feet managed to stay dry. Also acting as defences are steep slopes especially in the east, these drop into the River Findhorn and to the north where the slopes fall into the fast flowing Dunearn burn. Nowadays the fort is situated amongst dense highland woodland. Today, being misty, it had added atmosphere.
From the small village of Conicavel head south on the minor road. Follow the signposts to the Dun Earn Woodland walks. Once in the car park walk south on the track, then take the first track north east until a severe arc. The fort is just to the south. Take care not to fall into any burns, rivers or ditches. Not much to see, however the scenery is glorious even in the fog!