Visit the home of a powerful Pictish king.

Craig Phadrig

Walk through history at Craig Phadrig

Among the hundreds of ancient sites hidden in Scotland's forests, Craig Phadrig's hill fort is one of the most impressive. It was probably first built in the Iron Age around 300 BC and then, for some reason lost in history, abandoned and burned. Later it was re-occupied as the headquarters of a powerful Pictish king.

Today the walls are easy to see as an oval shaped mound at the top of the hill. Imagine all the comings and goings as you explore the forest, with glimpses through the trees of Inverness and the Beauly Firth.

Our guide to the Forest of Inverness (PDF 4MB) will help you explore Craig Phadrig and other woods around the city.

Parking Walking Ancient monument

Life's essentials

There are toilets and places to eat in Inverness.

Walking trails

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

Craig Phadrig’s history is fascinating, partly because it’s full of mysteries. The site was excavated in the 1700s, when there was much debate about whether the circular mound was the remains of a volcano! It’s been suggested that St Columba met the Pictish king Bridei here in 565 AD and converted him to Christianity, but there’s little evidence to support this.

Contact: Inverness, Ross and Skye Forest District

Address: Tower Road, Smithton, Inverness

Postcode: IV2 7NL

Telephone: 0300 067 6100


How to get here

Craig Phadrig is just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Inverness. Take the A862 heading for Beauly, cross the canal bridge at Muirtown and turn left at the second set of lights onto King Brude Road, following signs for Kinmylies and Leachkin. At the next traffic lights turn right towards Leachkin. After ⅓ mile turn right onto Leachkin Brae. The main car park is ¼ mile (400 metres) up this road on the right; there’s a smaller car park just before this. The main car park is at grid reference NH 638 449.

Using SatNav?

IV3 8PN is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

Buses run from Church Street in the middle of Inverness to the Scorguie and Balnafettack areas, next to Craig Phadrig. Check Traveline Scotland for details.

Nearby places

Find another hill fort at Ord Hill, just across the Beauly Firth. At Reelig Glen, to the west, there's a trail through beautiful woodland to a charming grotto.

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