Sign posted off the A9 – just south of Ulbster.
Small car park a short distance from the start of the ‘path’.
We have taken our summer holiday in Scotland for the past several years but we always seem to end up somewhere on the (beautiful) western side of the country. We are looking to move to Scotland in the next few years and therefore wanted to explore parts we haven’t previously visited. This year we decided to ‘do’ the entire east coast to see what it was like and if there was anywhere we fancied living. This also (of course) gave me the chance to visit lots of ‘old stone’ sites and knock many Historic Scotland sites off the list. This is a great example where I was able to do both.
Sophie was asleep and Karen stayed with her whilst Dafydd and myself donned our boots and headed across the moor following the black and white poles. Dafydd took the lead and happily pointed out each new pole as it came into sight. The ‘path’ is easy enough to follow via kissing gate, stile and (in part) a wooden boardwalk, although the walk is nearly a mile.
The sun was beating down on us. It was hot and not a cloud in the sky (typical Scotland weather then!) A gentle breeze helped to keep us cool.
Soon enough we reached the site and needless to say had the place to ourselves. There are 3 large stones helping to support the dry stone walling, a small section of corbelled roof and 2 sets of upright stones which narrows the passageway. The place has a nice ‘remote’ feel about it, reminded me a bit of Orkney or Shetland. In the distance mist was rolling in from the sea. A great sight on this blue and sunny day.
Needless to say before long it was time to head back to the car.
This is a good place to visit and is a pleasant walk which is not too strenuous. However, in wet weather it would be very bogy and muddy in places so make sure you wear appropriate footwear. Flip flops would have been ok today!
There is now a dedicated car park 50 yards along the road from the gate. On the way to this site, there is a large broch on the top of a hill off to the right, some hut circles, lime kilns and the path passes inches from a cist. There are also two arrangements of stone rows, almost like "Hills O' Few Stanes".
A short walk over marshy ground (on raised boardwalk), leads past the cairns. Locally known as Carn of Get, and signposted as such. The cairn is open to the sky, and the floor is concreted, which detracts from the site's character. More interesting is the surrounding landscape, which demonstrates the continuity of existence in the crofting 'lowlands beyond the highlands' (there are no mountains in the far NE of Scotland) - the surroundings abound with scraps of cairn and low stones, to the NNE is Garywhin fort. Continue a short way along the path to reach a sizeable, ruined dam, which probably fed the 19th century corn mill at Whaligeo.
There is parking for one (small) car by the path, or, provided it is done considerately, more space just before the private farm road a short distance further on.
One was near the path and well hidden in the heather to the south of the chambered cairn.
The other cist I saw is very easy to spot. It is right next to the path as you approach the cairn, just before the 2nd small wooden walkway.
And very nice it is too!
Three of the side stones remain in place and the cist is about 0.5m deep.
Well worth keeping an eye out for when visiting the cairn.