The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Allt An Tighe



20/05/2019 – Finally made it here. Our visit to this cairn had been a long time coming. First noticed it on the map well over a year ago. It ticked a lot of boxes for me. A cairn, high up on a hill, in the middle of nowhere. It didn’t really matter if it turned out a bit rubbish, the adventure to get there looked worth the trip alone.

After spending the last year boring Mrs T about how we really should make the journey up to see it, we decided to go for it. Our whole trip up north was based round this cairn marked on the map. I didn’t really know anything about it and avoided looking for photos on the web. I wanted a surprise.

Staying in Durness I didn’t really relish the idea of a walk there and back so after a bit of digging we found out Durness run a Dial-a-bus. It’s not everyday and mostly in the morning I think. Phoned up the evening before and the woman said no problem, pick you up in Durness at 10.00am tomorrow to take you to Laid, on the other side of the hills east of Durness. 8-9 miles or so, less than £2 each!!! Brilliant service.

We got dropped off at the start of a track heading up hill (NC 4160 5958). Just north of the phone box (marked on map) on the A838. We used the track to gain a bit of height and then followed the Allt an Lagain uphill. Don’t start heading off early towards the cairn. Best to hit the ridge as it’s stone and makes walking a lot easier. Very interesting area for walking. The stones/rocks are great round here. Weather today was very rubbish. Our heads were down and our hoods were up. The rain was heavy at times and the hillside misty. It didn’t matter though. In fact it added to the atmosphere. After a time a shape appeared in the distance, I thought surely that’s not it. It looked brilliant. As we got closer the rain lessened and the mist cleared. There it was – a wonderful D-shaped Neolithic chambered cairn. Wow!

I was really taken with this one. It’s still in great nick and these folk really knew how to pick a location. Everything combined to make a wonderful visit. The mist on the hill, the quiet, the cairn and the great views down to Loch Eriboll and beyond.

Nice front to the cairn and you can make out where the passage would be. After walking round it a few times we just stood to catch our breaths and take it all in. Finally we had made it here and it felt good.

Worth mentioning are a small lines of cairns heading north from here. Some even have small standing stones by them. I don’t know if they are from the same time as the big cairn but there is something going on here. People have been visiting this special place for years I think.

With the rain still falling we reluctantly left the cairn behind and started north to our next destination – the aisled roundhouse below Meall Meadhonach. From there it was back over the hills to Durness. A long day and hard on the legs but just great, really great. The cairn was worth the wait.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
29th May 2019ce
Edited 11th November 2019ce

Comments (3)

Great notes, an inspiring trip, bags of atmosphere and a super-duper cairn. Magic.

Refraining from comments about getting (to) Laid for £2.00.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
29th May 2019ce
Totally well done. My hat's off. spencer Posted by spencer
30th May 2019ce
Thank you both. It was a great day out. Just getting there from Aberdeen did feel like a proper mini adventure to us.

To be honest it's pretty straight forward from the road at Laid if you are just going up and back (and you live in Laid).
thelonious Posted by thelonious
30th May 2019ce
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