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smoo cave bodies

smoo cave bodies

Would love to visit! We ascended the steps to the other side of the cave and took a walk along the top of the stunning cliffs. The inner cave, home to a thunderous waterfall, is by local repute the gateway to hell. We had a lovely walk down the steps and into the cave. The Devil then threw a dickie-fit and blasted his way through the roof of the cave, which is how the blowhole was created. If you plan on visiting Smoo Cave, you can find nearby hostels on HostelWorld. With beautiful scenery and lots of legends, Smoo Cave is a captivating place to visit. Railed stair wslkwsy down to the cave and a railed walkway up the hill away from the cave which leadx to a viewpoint or back to the car park. Scotland is the best! From the car park, there are some wooden steps that lead down to the main cavern. Norse settlements have been found in Caithness, including Dunnet Bay, around 46 miles away with only a burial site recorded nearby. Naturally, the cave was likely used by smugglers in the past. Be aware - these are affiliate links. 1:07. Don’t forget to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my recent posts, adventures and thoughts. The below links will take you to travel resources that I recommend. Smoo Cave: Fun day out - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. The upper layers of the midden, which was packed with shells, dated to the Iron Age, around 3,000 years ago. One such tale tells of the highwayman McMurdo, who threw his victims down the blowhole. The journey takes 5 hours and goes via Ullapool. Unfortunately, there was no guide available on that day, which would have added insight into the history of the cave. Be aware that buses only tend to run during the summer months. Reasons To Visit Mexico – And Get Out Of The Resort, Things To Do In England – Must Have Experiences, How To Cope With Your Periods When Travelling, Mexico Travel Tips – What You Should Know, Best Places To Visit In Mexico That You’ve Never Heard Of. There’s so much to see in Scotland! In the early 1700s, the Smoo Cave was the setting for a murderous trap. On noting his lamp on the dew-covered stalactites, Scott described it as the “effect of ten thousand birthday candles. I love all the different legends and stories. Required fields are marked *. ©JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. So glad you find my posts useful BBC Scotland. There are wooden platforms that lead you into the second cavern. © 2021 Natpacker. With lost of history and pretty sea views, Smoo Cave (click here for reviews) is well worth a visit. The cave was formed along the boundary between two types of rock, the Sangomore Formation and the Sailmhor Formation. Smoo Cave is on the A838, as well as being on the North Coast 500 route. | Privacy Policy | HTML Sitemap | XML Sitemap, November 25th, 2020 (Published: August 27, 2020). Once you have finished visiting the chambers, you can either go back to the car park the way you came or climb the path on the other side of Smoo Cave. The rain had been heavy so the water was rushing through the cave as we entered. At the end of a narrow sea cove in Sutherland, Scotland, you will find Smoo Cave. The residents of nearby Durness lured a clan of marauders into the cave and slaughtered them to a man. I had no idea this place existed but it sounds pretty awesome. Discover the history of the most iconic bridge in Venice. Using 3-D imaging technology, archaeologists have mapped Scotland's "Cave … I love Scotland so much! Durnessis the car park for Smoo Cave. MacKay was supposedly a strong swimmer and so rowed the boat close to the waterfall in the cave, purposefully causing the boat to capsize. From the UK, I was bitten by the travel bug during a round the world trip in my early twenties. A Square-headed rivet and iron slag “strongly suggested” that boats were hauled up to the beach to repair. Dating potentially as far back as the Mesolithic period legends include that it was used by the devil for his mischief making, utilised as a death trap by highwayman Donald McMurdo and, naturally, a base for smuggling operations. Smoo has a deep sink hole and underground waterfalls, Smoo Cave has to be included in any stay in north west Scotland. The tale goes that two government agents were seeking out illegal whisky stills. Other stories tell that the cave was the scene for a number of murders during the 16th century, as highwaymen were found here. Later Norse settlers possibly used the caves as shelter. The name Smoo Cave is likely to have come from the Norse ‘smjugg’ or ‘smuga’ meaning a hole or hiding-place. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave - See 1,087 traveller reviews, 981 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. As the dog came back terrified it is certain that the devil can be found in the cave. Occasionally they may also throw them down a waterfall at Smoo Cave to save them the walk. Smoo Cave is a geological wonder, and with a place like that you can bet there are myths tied to it. Getting to Smoo Cave via public transport is tricky, as buses are scarce in the highlands. The cave was formed within Early Ordovician Dolostones of the Durness Limestone Group. Thanks for your kind words Pip! The second chamber is much smaller than the main chamber, but still very impressive. Fascinating. It is both a freshwater and sea cave, which has been formed along two geological lines of … Other locations that have been collected here on Natpacker.com. One Legend States That The Blow Hole Was Created By The Devil. Smoo Cave, at Durness in Sutherland, is the largest coastline cave in the British Isles and has provided shelter for thousands of years. It added: “Donald Mackay, being a strong swimmer, purposely manoeuvred his craft into dangerous proximity to the crashing furies at the base of the fall and purposely capsized the boat, when he swam to safety, leaving the two unfortunate Inland Revenue officers to drown amid the angry, troubled waters. There is also a path that leads you over the cliffs next to Smoo Cave, from here the sea views are incredible, so it’s well worth heading out here too. Many local legends surround the cave, including one of highway man McMurdo who patrolled this far flung corner of the north during the 1500s. Free car park next to the cave. Great stop off a Smoo Cave. To get to the cave from Inverness, catch the bus to Durness. There is one a day which is run by D&E coaches. Smoo Cave: Smoo do you think you are - See 1,119 traveller reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. Smoo Cave is situated at the head of a narrow inlet which runs inland 600m from the N coast of Durness. Smoo Cave is a large combined sea cave and freshwater cave in Durness in Sutherland, Highland, Scotland. Above the cave, on the cliffs, there is also a blowhole. I’ve never heard of this place but I will put it on my bucket list. If you like my blog and want to help to support my work, please go via these links if you are using the companies for your travels. Please assume that any link that you click is an affiliate link. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave visit - See 1,096 traveller reviews, 1,009 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. This is because it is actually two caves, that have been formed by different actions, joined up. With a moody, restless dusk falling, I descend into the jagged, fern-bearded mouth of Smoo Cave, a Tolkienesque venue by name and nature: you expect to be asked a riddle to gain entrance, or stumble across a mossy pile of treasure in the gloom. Unfortunately, there was no guide available on that day, which would have added insight into the history of the cave. Situated around a mile to the east of the town of Durness, the cave can be explored by boat or by the path from the car park on the cliffs. The entrance to the cave is found at the end of a 600-metre long tidal gorge which is called Gaeodha Smoo (Gaeodha is Gaelic for “cave”). McMurdo murdered his victims by throwing them down the blowhole into the cave with the highwayman buried in a tomb at nearby Balnakeil Church. One of the bodies was never found and it is said that the ghost of this man appears in the foam below the waterfall. Since then I have been determined to see as much of this world as possible. As the Devil tried to follow the dog to cause some mischief the sun rose, leaving the Devil powerless. If you’re exploring the Scottish Highlands it is definitely not to be missed. You can find timetables here. It’s definitely worth a visit. In the early 1700s, the Smoo Cave was the setting for a murderous trap. For many centuries the cave was believed to be the residence of none other than Satan himself, so it was no surprise when locals found bodies dumped in the cave system, but these were simply men who’d crossed the local laird not paladins struck down by the lord of darkness. Smoo Cave boundary formed between the light grey … While Smoo Cave is ripe for myth and superstition - some believe it to be a gateway to the nether world - detailed archaeological studies have been carried out to increase understanding of who may have lived here. Hope you make it to Smoo Cave one day . 1:58. New Dig at Smoo Cave In September 2012 we finally got permission to attempt to find a new cave inside the main chamber after submitting an archaeological report (click here to view). Personally, I have not done this walk, but you can find details here. The caves are beautiful, as are the sea views, and so worth a stop if you are exploring the Scottish Highlands. There is Smoo Hotel or if you are camping, you can stay at Sango Sands. Some articles contain sponsored content; where I have accepted such content, received an item free of charge to review or been hosted on a trip, this has been stated in the article. The animal lover said: “This festival is in my opinion abhorrent. x. Old stories state that the gateway to the faerie world is found inside this cave, guarded by spirits. Hi! Evidence of Norse activity also emerged during the 1990s when a team of Glasgow University archaeologists headed to Smoo Cave, which has three separate offshoots - Glassknapper’s Cave, Antler Cave and Wetweather cave. Aerial Photography | Scotland From The Sky. All Rights Reserved. If you want to stay nearby, you can stay in Durness, or there are options closer. I’m Nat, the backpacker behind the travel blog. As Smoo Cave is out in the highlands, it is not the easiest place to get to. Smoo caves are unusual, as there is freshwater and saltwater in the caverns. Another tale tells of a Donald MacKay in the 1700s (though I am unsure if it is the same MacKay who sent his dog to look for the Devil in Smoo Cave). Smoo Cave, at Durness in Sutherland, is the largest coastline cave in the British Isles and has provided shelter for thousands of years. “A water kelpie or an evil spirit of aquatic propensities could not have chosen a fitter abode and to say the truth I believe at our first entrance and all our feelings were afloat at the marvelling of the scene the unexpected splashing of a seal would have routed the whole dozen of us. He took them into the cave during a high flood and rowed out. I hope you enjoy clicking around natpacker and are able to find all the travel tips and inspiration that you are looking for. Great post. The first two chambers can be explored by foot. The residents of nearby Durness lured a clan of 18 marauders into the cave and slaughtered them to a man. Three chambers of the caves can be explored, which go back 83 metres. There is also a circular walking path from here. The deeper the archaeologists went, the older the remains with butchered bones and small flakes of quartz discovered in the midden’s base. The peaty waters of the Allt Smoo flow off the moors, tranquil until they vanish into the darkness of a gaping sink hole. Therefore, I recommend hiring a car if you can. Thought seawater rarely enters the cave anymore, due to the area undergoing an isostatic uplift. “Rumours has it that one of the bodies has never been found to this day; but the ghost of this lost man appears in the foam below the waterfall inside the second chamber of Smoo Cave when the burn is in high flood.”. Please see the privacy policy for more details. Still a great stop off, superb views from It is believed to have been a Stone Age home more than 5,000 years ago with Norse settlers later gathering here to repair boats and fish for herring. Alternatively, these tours include Smoo Cave. Smoo cave has one of the largest entrances to a sea cave in Britain. MacKay was employed by the officials and was meant to helo them search. I really need to plan some more trips to Scotland. Archaeologist Tony Pollard, who led the excavation in the early 1990s and is now Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at Glasgow University, earlier said the cave may have been used as a temporary stop over by Norse mariners on their voyages from Scandinavia and the Northern Isles to the Western Isles, Ireland and the Isle of Man. Smoo Cave: Smoo cave - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. Let me know when you go to Scotland next, I can happily help with some recs! The cave boasts one of the largest entrances to any sea cave … You can read about my visit to Smoo Cave in this post. Visited Smoo cave, while driving the northern most section of the North Coast 500. Reviews given are unbiased and honest, all views are still my own I will only recommend products and companies that I truly believe in. Smoo Cave is found about 1 mile east of the village Durness (which is the most northwestern village on the British mainland). Smoo Cave, Durness: See 1,119 reviews, articles, and 1,056 photos of Smoo Cave, ranked No.5 on Tripadvisor among 19 attractions in Durness. The stream plunges 25m, hitting rocks as it … The largest of its kind in Britain, Smoo Cave is one of Sutherland’s most impressive natural head scratchers. The cave is a scheduled Scottish monument and consent had to given by Historic Scotland. The cave was formed along the boundary between two types of rock, the Sangomore Formation and the Sailmhor Formation. One story tells that a local man, Donald MacKay, sent his dog into the chamber. It is believed that the cave was occupied during the Stone Age more than 5,000 years ago. If you purchase anything I will then receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Cloud rolls over the mountain Beinn Spionnaidh near Durness in the remote northern Highlands of Scotland. But it is possible. -This is a private tour of 3 days that will be customised around you. Though the cave will go much further back as the stream is here at all times. Wildlife, poisonous trees, ruins and Mayan culture in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. In this chamber, there is a waterfall of about 25m and some eerie rock formations. What a mysterious and fun sounding place! The name Smoo is believed to have come from the Norse “smjugg” or “smuga”, which means “hiding place”. It is both a freshwater and sea cave, which has been formed along two geological lines of weakness. I’m always hearing of new places once I get home too. Any dead bodies are disposed of in the local dunes where archaeologists accept bungs to write them up as Pictish or Viking burial sites. High pressure and temperature conditions at depth then recrystallise the rock which results in the formation of bands to create (Lewisian) gneiss. Below you can see some of the content I share on my main social platforms. So many places to visit with loads of history and legends! Another claim is that two excise men seeking out illicit whisky distilling in the mid 1700s were drowned by a local man, Donald Mackay, who was bribed by the government agents to help in the search for an illicit still rumoured to be in the cave. Entrance of Smoo Cave, large combined sea and freshwater cave in Durness, Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK. Your email address will not be published. He was able to swim to safety but the two officers drowned. Smoo caves are the result of erosion from the sea and an underground stream, making it unique in the UK. 2700 Ma - Molten bodies cool to form granite-like rocks within the lower levels of the Earth's crust. The easiest way to get to the caves is to drive. More deaths occurred later in the century, when two Inland Revenue officers were drowned in the second chamber’s thunderous waterfall. Set into limestone cliffs, Smoo Cave is large – 200 feet long, 130 feet wide, and 50 feet high at the entrance. Looking Out Across Gaeodha Smoo From Smoo Cave. A mysterious sea cave is finally becoming slightly less mysterious. Smoo Cave in the far northern Highlands is arguably one of – if not the – most impressive natural wonders in Scotland. A number of marine shells, including oysters and limpets and animal bones, including deer, suggest the diet of the day. The main chamber is the result of erosion from the sea whereas the inner chambers are made from the freshwater passages, where rainwater dissolved the carbonate dolomites. More deaths occurred later in the century, when two Inland Revenue officers were drowned in the second chamber’s thunderous waterfall. We spent about an hour, at the cave. Archaeologists created a picture of high activity, with a peg carved from antler, a bone spatula and a broken bone needle, with a perforated round head - which may have been used to make and repair fishing nets - discovered. It is thought they dated from Mesolithic Period, or the Stone Age, when the earliest human inhabitants arrived in the Highlands between 8,000BC and 4,000BC. Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan condemned the sick festival, which sees thousands of dogs cruelly killed and eaten every year. Some are tours, some are accommodation, some are transport. The is a car park at the top of Smoo Cave (be wary, it gets very busy in summer). Yesterday. Lairg Tourism; Lairg Hotels; Lairg Bed and Breakfast; Lairg Vacation Packages; Flights to Lairg; Lairg Restaurants; Things to Do in Lairg; Lairg Travel Forum We spent about an hour, at the cave. In 1992 an archaeological dig on a midden site - similar to a rubbish tip- concluded the cave was one of the of the most northerly habitation sites in the British mainland. This will be a very long day if you do this, and you will end up with only an hour at the cave. An affiliate link will use a cookie to track any sales on the website that you are directed to. You always have the most off-beat and interesting posts. Smoo cave is part of the Durness Group, and so was formed in the Early Ordovician dolomites. This forms an impressive blowhole during storms. “On this particular occasion on which Donald Mackay was employed by them, the Smoo Burn was in high flood, and on pushing off from the anchorage inside the second chamber of the cave, Mackay observed that the two gaugcrs were literally terrified, as he rowed them into the spray of the waterfall inside it.”. Sir Walter Scott visited Smoo Cave in 1814, who wrote about it in his diary and brought the cave to public attention. Sir Walter Scott agreed with this, describing the third chamber as exceedingly strange and a perfect place for dark beings from the netherworld to reside. Smoo Cave is unusual in having been formed by the action of both fresh water and the sea. Of course, such a beautiful and dramatic setting is home to a number of stories and legends. Visible archaeological deposits are confined to the main cave and consist of a midden covering much of the E portion of the cave; this is at least 17m long and a maximum of 8m wide. 200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland, This website and its associated newspaper are members of Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). This dramatic and spectacular sea cave is set into the limestone cliffs in Sutherland. Still a great stop off, superb views from Visited Smoo cave, while driving the northern most section of the North Coast 500. This mysterious sea cave was carved by the sea Related Videos. Guided geological tours of Smoo Cave, part of which are undertaken by boat, are run over the summer months. At the top, you can walk over the cave, which allows you to see over the blowhole. While proving to be a safe harbour from the pounding North Sea, Smoo Cave has also inspired some rather romantic responses, such as an 1814 diary entry from Sir Walter Scott, who visited on September 19 that year. It costs you no extra and just helps to keep me blogging. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. All that means is that if you go via these links and then buy something, I receive a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Hope you make it to Smoo cave in the future , Your email address will not be published. Love the photos, the caves looks awesome. It consists of a main cave (33m wide and 48m deep) and a series of smaller, subsidiary, caves. I’m Nat, the backpacker behind natpacker. Natpacker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Programme, AWIN and other affiliate sites. The third chamber can only be explored by boat, which requires you to book a Smoo Cave tour, which you can do here, or there is normally a board with details on. I always feel like i’ve learnt something new whenever I read one of of your articles. There are steps leading down to the cave that can be accessed all year. I’ve been all around Scotland but have never heard of smoo cave! Visited ghe cave as a party of 6 with 2 younger children. As such, I earn from qualifying purchases. Strange tales from 6 sacred stone sites of Scotland, Glasgow to create new £11.9m film and TV studio at historic Kelvin Hall. The bus that runs between Durness and Lairg stops near the car park. “Impossible for description to explain the impression made by so strange a place.”. This blowhole was the site of some villainous plots. This is a cave that’s absolutely monumental in size, and the cave entrance has the privilege of being the largest sea cave entrance in Britain – something you’ll only really appreciate once you visit the place. Walkways steep so would be difficult for … The entrance is 50ft high and 130ft wide, making a gaping hole in the limestone cliffs. "Smoo" is a name thought to derive from the Old Norse Smugawhich means "hiding place" and the name is applied to this end of the village and to the river, the Allt Smoo, which disappears into a sinkhole on the inland side of the A838 a short distance from the car park, as well as to Smoo Cave itself. Smoo cave is part of the Durness Group, and so was formed in the Early Ordovician dolomites. The limestone cliffs give way to three caverns that can be explored. My passion for travel led me to start up this blog, partly to record my adventures and partly to inspire others to travel.

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Would love to visit! We ascended the steps to the other side of the cave and took a walk along the top of the stunning cliffs. The inner cave, home to a thunderous waterfall, is by local repute the gateway to hell. We had a lovely walk down the steps and into the cave. The Devil then threw a dickie-fit and blasted his way through the roof of the cave, which is how the blowhole was created. If you plan on visiting Smoo Cave, you can find nearby hostels on HostelWorld. With beautiful scenery and lots of legends, Smoo Cave is a captivating place to visit. Railed stair wslkwsy down to the cave and a railed walkway up the hill away from the cave which leadx to a viewpoint or back to the car park. Scotland is the best! From the car park, there are some wooden steps that lead down to the main cavern. Norse settlements have been found in Caithness, including Dunnet Bay, around 46 miles away with only a burial site recorded nearby. Naturally, the cave was likely used by smugglers in the past. Be aware - these are affiliate links. 1:07. Don’t forget to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my recent posts, adventures and thoughts. The below links will take you to travel resources that I recommend. Smoo Cave: Fun day out - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. The upper layers of the midden, which was packed with shells, dated to the Iron Age, around 3,000 years ago. One such tale tells of the highwayman McMurdo, who threw his victims down the blowhole. The journey takes 5 hours and goes via Ullapool. Unfortunately, there was no guide available on that day, which would have added insight into the history of the cave. Be aware that buses only tend to run during the summer months. Reasons To Visit Mexico – And Get Out Of The Resort, Things To Do In England – Must Have Experiences, How To Cope With Your Periods When Travelling, Mexico Travel Tips – What You Should Know, Best Places To Visit In Mexico That You’ve Never Heard Of. There’s so much to see in Scotland! In the early 1700s, the Smoo Cave was the setting for a murderous trap. On noting his lamp on the dew-covered stalactites, Scott described it as the “effect of ten thousand birthday candles. I love all the different legends and stories. Required fields are marked *. ©JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. So glad you find my posts useful BBC Scotland. There are wooden platforms that lead you into the second cavern. © 2021 Natpacker. With lost of history and pretty sea views, Smoo Cave (click here for reviews) is well worth a visit. The cave was formed along the boundary between two types of rock, the Sangomore Formation and the Sailmhor Formation. Smoo Cave is on the A838, as well as being on the North Coast 500 route. | Privacy Policy | HTML Sitemap | XML Sitemap, November 25th, 2020 (Published: August 27, 2020). Once you have finished visiting the chambers, you can either go back to the car park the way you came or climb the path on the other side of Smoo Cave. The rain had been heavy so the water was rushing through the cave as we entered. At the end of a narrow sea cove in Sutherland, Scotland, you will find Smoo Cave. The residents of nearby Durness lured a clan of marauders into the cave and slaughtered them to a man. I had no idea this place existed but it sounds pretty awesome. Discover the history of the most iconic bridge in Venice. Using 3-D imaging technology, archaeologists have mapped Scotland's "Cave … I love Scotland so much! Durnessis the car park for Smoo Cave. MacKay was supposedly a strong swimmer and so rowed the boat close to the waterfall in the cave, purposefully causing the boat to capsize. From the UK, I was bitten by the travel bug during a round the world trip in my early twenties. A Square-headed rivet and iron slag “strongly suggested” that boats were hauled up to the beach to repair. Dating potentially as far back as the Mesolithic period legends include that it was used by the devil for his mischief making, utilised as a death trap by highwayman Donald McMurdo and, naturally, a base for smuggling operations. Smoo has a deep sink hole and underground waterfalls, Smoo Cave has to be included in any stay in north west Scotland. The tale goes that two government agents were seeking out illegal whisky stills. Other stories tell that the cave was the scene for a number of murders during the 16th century, as highwaymen were found here. Later Norse settlers possibly used the caves as shelter. The name Smoo Cave is likely to have come from the Norse ‘smjugg’ or ‘smuga’ meaning a hole or hiding-place. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave - See 1,087 traveller reviews, 981 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. As the dog came back terrified it is certain that the devil can be found in the cave. Occasionally they may also throw them down a waterfall at Smoo Cave to save them the walk. Smoo Cave is a geological wonder, and with a place like that you can bet there are myths tied to it. Getting to Smoo Cave via public transport is tricky, as buses are scarce in the highlands. The cave was formed within Early Ordovician Dolostones of the Durness Limestone Group. Thanks for your kind words Pip! The second chamber is much smaller than the main chamber, but still very impressive. Fascinating. It is both a freshwater and sea cave, which has been formed along two geological lines of … Other locations that have been collected here on Natpacker.com. One Legend States That The Blow Hole Was Created By The Devil. Smoo Cave, at Durness in Sutherland, is the largest coastline cave in the British Isles and has provided shelter for thousands of years. It added: “Donald Mackay, being a strong swimmer, purposely manoeuvred his craft into dangerous proximity to the crashing furies at the base of the fall and purposely capsized the boat, when he swam to safety, leaving the two unfortunate Inland Revenue officers to drown amid the angry, troubled waters. There is also a path that leads you over the cliffs next to Smoo Cave, from here the sea views are incredible, so it’s well worth heading out here too. Many local legends surround the cave, including one of highway man McMurdo who patrolled this far flung corner of the north during the 1500s. Free car park next to the cave. Great stop off a Smoo Cave. To get to the cave from Inverness, catch the bus to Durness. There is one a day which is run by D&E coaches. Smoo Cave: Smoo do you think you are - See 1,119 traveller reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. Smoo Cave is situated at the head of a narrow inlet which runs inland 600m from the N coast of Durness. Smoo Cave is a large combined sea cave and freshwater cave in Durness in Sutherland, Highland, Scotland. Above the cave, on the cliffs, there is also a blowhole. I’ve never heard of this place but I will put it on my bucket list. If you like my blog and want to help to support my work, please go via these links if you are using the companies for your travels. Please assume that any link that you click is an affiliate link. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave visit - See 1,096 traveller reviews, 1,009 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. This is because it is actually two caves, that have been formed by different actions, joined up. With a moody, restless dusk falling, I descend into the jagged, fern-bearded mouth of Smoo Cave, a Tolkienesque venue by name and nature: you expect to be asked a riddle to gain entrance, or stumble across a mossy pile of treasure in the gloom. Unfortunately, there was no guide available on that day, which would have added insight into the history of the cave. Situated around a mile to the east of the town of Durness, the cave can be explored by boat or by the path from the car park on the cliffs. The entrance to the cave is found at the end of a 600-metre long tidal gorge which is called Gaeodha Smoo (Gaeodha is Gaelic for “cave”). McMurdo murdered his victims by throwing them down the blowhole into the cave with the highwayman buried in a tomb at nearby Balnakeil Church. One of the bodies was never found and it is said that the ghost of this man appears in the foam below the waterfall. Since then I have been determined to see as much of this world as possible. As the Devil tried to follow the dog to cause some mischief the sun rose, leaving the Devil powerless. If you’re exploring the Scottish Highlands it is definitely not to be missed. You can find timetables here. It’s definitely worth a visit. In the early 1700s, the Smoo Cave was the setting for a murderous trap. For many centuries the cave was believed to be the residence of none other than Satan himself, so it was no surprise when locals found bodies dumped in the cave system, but these were simply men who’d crossed the local laird not paladins struck down by the lord of darkness. Smoo Cave boundary formed between the light grey … While Smoo Cave is ripe for myth and superstition - some believe it to be a gateway to the nether world - detailed archaeological studies have been carried out to increase understanding of who may have lived here. Hope you make it to Smoo Cave one day . 1:58. New Dig at Smoo Cave In September 2012 we finally got permission to attempt to find a new cave inside the main chamber after submitting an archaeological report (click here to view). Personally, I have not done this walk, but you can find details here. The caves are beautiful, as are the sea views, and so worth a stop if you are exploring the Scottish Highlands. There is Smoo Hotel or if you are camping, you can stay at Sango Sands. Some articles contain sponsored content; where I have accepted such content, received an item free of charge to review or been hosted on a trip, this has been stated in the article. The animal lover said: “This festival is in my opinion abhorrent. x. Old stories state that the gateway to the faerie world is found inside this cave, guarded by spirits. Hi! Evidence of Norse activity also emerged during the 1990s when a team of Glasgow University archaeologists headed to Smoo Cave, which has three separate offshoots - Glassknapper’s Cave, Antler Cave and Wetweather cave. Aerial Photography | Scotland From The Sky. All Rights Reserved. If you want to stay nearby, you can stay in Durness, or there are options closer. I’m Nat, the backpacker behind the travel blog. As Smoo Cave is out in the highlands, it is not the easiest place to get to. Smoo caves are unusual, as there is freshwater and saltwater in the caverns. Another tale tells of a Donald MacKay in the 1700s (though I am unsure if it is the same MacKay who sent his dog to look for the Devil in Smoo Cave). Smoo Cave, at Durness in Sutherland, is the largest coastline cave in the British Isles and has provided shelter for thousands of years. “A water kelpie or an evil spirit of aquatic propensities could not have chosen a fitter abode and to say the truth I believe at our first entrance and all our feelings were afloat at the marvelling of the scene the unexpected splashing of a seal would have routed the whole dozen of us. He took them into the cave during a high flood and rowed out. I hope you enjoy clicking around natpacker and are able to find all the travel tips and inspiration that you are looking for. Great post. The first two chambers can be explored by foot. The residents of nearby Durness lured a clan of 18 marauders into the cave and slaughtered them to a man. Three chambers of the caves can be explored, which go back 83 metres. There is also a circular walking path from here. The deeper the archaeologists went, the older the remains with butchered bones and small flakes of quartz discovered in the midden’s base. The peaty waters of the Allt Smoo flow off the moors, tranquil until they vanish into the darkness of a gaping sink hole. Therefore, I recommend hiring a car if you can. Thought seawater rarely enters the cave anymore, due to the area undergoing an isostatic uplift. “Rumours has it that one of the bodies has never been found to this day; but the ghost of this lost man appears in the foam below the waterfall inside the second chamber of Smoo Cave when the burn is in high flood.”. Please see the privacy policy for more details. Still a great stop off, superb views from It is believed to have been a Stone Age home more than 5,000 years ago with Norse settlers later gathering here to repair boats and fish for herring. Alternatively, these tours include Smoo Cave. Smoo cave has one of the largest entrances to a sea cave in Britain. MacKay was employed by the officials and was meant to helo them search. I really need to plan some more trips to Scotland. Archaeologist Tony Pollard, who led the excavation in the early 1990s and is now Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at Glasgow University, earlier said the cave may have been used as a temporary stop over by Norse mariners on their voyages from Scandinavia and the Northern Isles to the Western Isles, Ireland and the Isle of Man. Smoo Cave: Smoo cave - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. Let me know when you go to Scotland next, I can happily help with some recs! The cave boasts one of the largest entrances to any sea cave … You can read about my visit to Smoo Cave in this post. Visited Smoo cave, while driving the northern most section of the North Coast 500. Reviews given are unbiased and honest, all views are still my own I will only recommend products and companies that I truly believe in. Smoo Cave is found about 1 mile east of the village Durness (which is the most northwestern village on the British mainland). Smoo Cave, Durness: See 1,119 reviews, articles, and 1,056 photos of Smoo Cave, ranked No.5 on Tripadvisor among 19 attractions in Durness. The stream plunges 25m, hitting rocks as it … The largest of its kind in Britain, Smoo Cave is one of Sutherland’s most impressive natural head scratchers. The cave is a scheduled Scottish monument and consent had to given by Historic Scotland. The cave was formed along the boundary between two types of rock, the Sangomore Formation and the Sailmhor Formation. One story tells that a local man, Donald MacKay, sent his dog into the chamber. It is believed that the cave was occupied during the Stone Age more than 5,000 years ago. If you purchase anything I will then receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Cloud rolls over the mountain Beinn Spionnaidh near Durness in the remote northern Highlands of Scotland. But it is possible. -This is a private tour of 3 days that will be customised around you. Though the cave will go much further back as the stream is here at all times. Wildlife, poisonous trees, ruins and Mayan culture in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. In this chamber, there is a waterfall of about 25m and some eerie rock formations. What a mysterious and fun sounding place! The name Smoo is believed to have come from the Norse “smjugg” or “smuga”, which means “hiding place”. It is both a freshwater and sea cave, which has been formed along two geological lines of weakness. I’m always hearing of new places once I get home too. Any dead bodies are disposed of in the local dunes where archaeologists accept bungs to write them up as Pictish or Viking burial sites. High pressure and temperature conditions at depth then recrystallise the rock which results in the formation of bands to create (Lewisian) gneiss. Below you can see some of the content I share on my main social platforms. So many places to visit with loads of history and legends! Another claim is that two excise men seeking out illicit whisky distilling in the mid 1700s were drowned by a local man, Donald Mackay, who was bribed by the government agents to help in the search for an illicit still rumoured to be in the cave. Entrance of Smoo Cave, large combined sea and freshwater cave in Durness, Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK. Your email address will not be published. He was able to swim to safety but the two officers drowned. Smoo caves are the result of erosion from the sea and an underground stream, making it unique in the UK. 2700 Ma - Molten bodies cool to form granite-like rocks within the lower levels of the Earth's crust. The easiest way to get to the caves is to drive. More deaths occurred later in the century, when two Inland Revenue officers were drowned in the second chamber’s thunderous waterfall. Set into limestone cliffs, Smoo Cave is large – 200 feet long, 130 feet wide, and 50 feet high at the entrance. Looking Out Across Gaeodha Smoo From Smoo Cave. A mysterious sea cave is finally becoming slightly less mysterious. Smoo Cave in the far northern Highlands is arguably one of – if not the – most impressive natural wonders in Scotland. A number of marine shells, including oysters and limpets and animal bones, including deer, suggest the diet of the day. The main chamber is the result of erosion from the sea whereas the inner chambers are made from the freshwater passages, where rainwater dissolved the carbonate dolomites. More deaths occurred later in the century, when two Inland Revenue officers were drowned in the second chamber’s thunderous waterfall. We spent about an hour, at the cave. Archaeologists created a picture of high activity, with a peg carved from antler, a bone spatula and a broken bone needle, with a perforated round head - which may have been used to make and repair fishing nets - discovered. It is thought they dated from Mesolithic Period, or the Stone Age, when the earliest human inhabitants arrived in the Highlands between 8,000BC and 4,000BC. Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan condemned the sick festival, which sees thousands of dogs cruelly killed and eaten every year. Some are tours, some are accommodation, some are transport. The is a car park at the top of Smoo Cave (be wary, it gets very busy in summer). Yesterday. Lairg Tourism; Lairg Hotels; Lairg Bed and Breakfast; Lairg Vacation Packages; Flights to Lairg; Lairg Restaurants; Things to Do in Lairg; Lairg Travel Forum We spent about an hour, at the cave. In 1992 an archaeological dig on a midden site - similar to a rubbish tip- concluded the cave was one of the of the most northerly habitation sites in the British mainland. This will be a very long day if you do this, and you will end up with only an hour at the cave. An affiliate link will use a cookie to track any sales on the website that you are directed to. You always have the most off-beat and interesting posts. Smoo cave is part of the Durness Group, and so was formed in the Early Ordovician dolomites. This forms an impressive blowhole during storms. “On this particular occasion on which Donald Mackay was employed by them, the Smoo Burn was in high flood, and on pushing off from the anchorage inside the second chamber of the cave, Mackay observed that the two gaugcrs were literally terrified, as he rowed them into the spray of the waterfall inside it.”. Sir Walter Scott visited Smoo Cave in 1814, who wrote about it in his diary and brought the cave to public attention. Sir Walter Scott agreed with this, describing the third chamber as exceedingly strange and a perfect place for dark beings from the netherworld to reside. Smoo Cave is unusual in having been formed by the action of both fresh water and the sea. Of course, such a beautiful and dramatic setting is home to a number of stories and legends. Visible archaeological deposits are confined to the main cave and consist of a midden covering much of the E portion of the cave; this is at least 17m long and a maximum of 8m wide. 200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland, This website and its associated newspaper are members of Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). This dramatic and spectacular sea cave is set into the limestone cliffs in Sutherland. Still a great stop off, superb views from Visited Smoo cave, while driving the northern most section of the North Coast 500. This mysterious sea cave was carved by the sea Related Videos. Guided geological tours of Smoo Cave, part of which are undertaken by boat, are run over the summer months. At the top, you can walk over the cave, which allows you to see over the blowhole. While proving to be a safe harbour from the pounding North Sea, Smoo Cave has also inspired some rather romantic responses, such as an 1814 diary entry from Sir Walter Scott, who visited on September 19 that year. It costs you no extra and just helps to keep me blogging. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. All that means is that if you go via these links and then buy something, I receive a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Hope you make it to Smoo cave in the future , Your email address will not be published. Love the photos, the caves looks awesome. It consists of a main cave (33m wide and 48m deep) and a series of smaller, subsidiary, caves. I’m Nat, the backpacker behind natpacker. Natpacker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Programme, AWIN and other affiliate sites. The third chamber can only be explored by boat, which requires you to book a Smoo Cave tour, which you can do here, or there is normally a board with details on. I always feel like i’ve learnt something new whenever I read one of of your articles. There are steps leading down to the cave that can be accessed all year. I’ve been all around Scotland but have never heard of smoo cave! Visited ghe cave as a party of 6 with 2 younger children. As such, I earn from qualifying purchases. Strange tales from 6 sacred stone sites of Scotland, Glasgow to create new £11.9m film and TV studio at historic Kelvin Hall. The bus that runs between Durness and Lairg stops near the car park. “Impossible for description to explain the impression made by so strange a place.”. This blowhole was the site of some villainous plots. This is a cave that’s absolutely monumental in size, and the cave entrance has the privilege of being the largest sea cave entrance in Britain – something you’ll only really appreciate once you visit the place. Walkways steep so would be difficult for … The entrance is 50ft high and 130ft wide, making a gaping hole in the limestone cliffs. "Smoo" is a name thought to derive from the Old Norse Smugawhich means "hiding place" and the name is applied to this end of the village and to the river, the Allt Smoo, which disappears into a sinkhole on the inland side of the A838 a short distance from the car park, as well as to Smoo Cave itself. Smoo cave is part of the Durness Group, and so was formed in the Early Ordovician dolomites. The limestone cliffs give way to three caverns that can be explored. My passion for travel led me to start up this blog, partly to record my adventures and partly to inspire others to travel. 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