Despite entering Scotsburn Wood to the south-west.... this is the first of the immediate area's trio of obvious (or perhaps not so obvious) great cairns that I end up visiting, if only by default. Yeah, having summarily failed to locate the western monument at the first time of asking, a distant glimpse of stone shining through trees above and to the north of the main west/east forestry track ensures there will be no such issues finding the eastern cairn.
Standing within a clearing upon the southern flank of Beinn an Lochain the cairn, according to the wondrous A S Henshall , "...has been c.50' in diameter and the remains are 3' to 4' high." It is most certainly 'chambered', too, although I found it difficult to discern any coherent detail from a series of orthostats remaining in situ within the surviving stone pile.... aside from the odd capstone. Or two. Again according to Henshall... "the passage is 10'6" long and the chamber entrance 1'9" wide, The chamber, c.14'6" long, has two compartments divided by a pair of transverse slabs with an entry between them". So, all in all this is a pretty decent, substantial monument, if lacking the wildly overgrown vibe of its western neighbour. In fact it might be suggested that the pair complement each other perfectly. Like Manic Street Preachers and Nina Persson, perhaps?
Speaking of vibe... that experienced today in this isolated forestry clearing is unfortunately not all that I would have wished due to tannoy announcements emanating from a gymkhana being held down in the valley. However since this is a local event, for local people, the annoyance is limited and most probably not justified. Whatever, my indignation soon more or less dissipates and I enjoy my time in the company of the great cairn. [Interestingly, I later discover that Strathspey was in attendance at said event.... small world, is it not?]
So please come to Scotsburn Wood. If - unlike myself - you manage to locate the western monument beforehand... head north until you bisect a major forestry track. Veer to the right (approx east) along this for a short distance, keeping eyes a'peeled for a hint of path ascending the hillside to your left (north). This should (ahem) lead you to the wondrous megalithic oasis within the trees. Or something like that.
Much more difficult to find than I first thought it would be (a look on Google Earth before setting out would save a lot of time! - the clearing can be quite clearly seen).
Set in a steep elevated forest clearing on the slopes of Bearn a Chlaidheimh, this Scheduled site has an awe- inspiring panoramic vista - from the mountains west of Dingwall to Burghead on the east Coast. How this would have looked a few thousand years ago gives food for thought.
I hiked through Forestry plantation from the cairn at Scotsburn wood West almost diagonally NE across the steep hill slope for approx 750m. through/over/under timber thinnings. With hindsite, a much less demanding route would have been to use the numerous forestry tracks which originate about 2 miles east on the Scotsburn road.
The effort in getting here was definately worth it.
Much of the cairn remains, although the central chamber has long since collapsed, the main portal stones are still visible.
There are a large number of flat, regular sized stones and a number of depressions visible within the cairn. There is also a huge amount of smaller stones throughout the site.
There is a smaller cairn about 250m SE(Unscheduled). This is much smaller and has been damaged by a forestry track which intersects the southern section of the Cairn. Again, there are a few large regular sized stones within an area of much smaller stone.
There are at least 6 known Chambered cairns within Scotsburn Wood (2 Scheduled).I am sure there are more - at least one is cut through by the Drove Rd skirting the southern edge of the forestry plantation.