The rain had been heavy so the water was rushing through the cave as we entered. The stream plunges 25m, hitting rocks as it … Great post. The below links will take you to travel resources that I recommend. 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. 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. I’ve been all around Scotland but have never heard of smoo cave! This dramatic and spectacular sea cave is set into the limestone cliffs in Sutherland. 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. The residents of nearby Durness lured a clan of 18 marauders into the cave and slaughtered them to a man. There are wooden platforms that lead you into the second cavern. Sir Walter Scott visited Smoo Cave in 1814, who wrote about it in his diary and brought the cave to public attention. Some are tours, some are accommodation, some are transport. Smoo Cave in the far northern Highlands is arguably one of – if not the – most impressive natural wonders in Scotland. In the early 1700s, the Smoo Cave was the setting for a murderous trap. Be aware that buses only tend to run during the summer months. 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. Aerial Photography | Scotland From The Sky. Other stories tell that the cave was the scene for a number of murders during the 16th century, as highwaymen were found here. So glad you find my posts useful 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. The cave was formed within Early Ordovician Dolostones of the Durness Limestone Group. ©JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. This forms an impressive blowhole during storms. Smoo Cave is unusual in having been formed by the action of both fresh water and the sea. There’s so much to see in Scotland! A number of marine shells, including oysters and limpets and animal bones, including deer, suggest the diet of the day. The peaty waters of the Allt Smoo flow off the moors, tranquil until they vanish into the darkness of a gaping sink hole. This is because it is actually two caves, that have been formed by different actions, joined up. Smoo Cave is situated at the head of a narrow inlet which runs inland 600m from the N coast of Durness. Though the cave will go much further back as the stream is here at all times. In the early 1700s, the Smoo Cave was the setting for a murderous trap. Strange tales from 6 sacred stone sites of Scotland, Glasgow to create new £11.9m film and TV studio at historic Kelvin Hall. This mysterious sea cave was carved by the sea Related Videos. Since then I have been determined to see as much of this world as possible. Don’t forget to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my recent posts, adventures and thoughts. 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. Wildlife, poisonous trees, ruins and Mayan culture in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. 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. My passion for travel led me to start up this blog, partly to record my adventures and partly to inspire others to travel. Thanks for your kind words Pip! Smoo Cave is on the A838, as well as being on the North Coast 500 route. A Square-headed rivet and iron slag “strongly suggested” that boats were hauled up to the beach to repair. 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. 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). -This is a private tour of 3 days that will be customised around you. There is one a day which is run by D&E coaches. Still a great stop off, superb views from We ascended the steps to the other side of the cave and took a walk along the top of the stunning cliffs. Your email address will not be published. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave visit - See 1,096 traveller reviews, 1,009 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. As the Devil tried to follow the dog to cause some mischief the sun rose, leaving the Devil powerless. Below you can see some of the content I share on my main social platforms. Any dead bodies are disposed of in the local dunes where archaeologists accept bungs to write them up as Pictish or Viking burial sites. Of course, such a beautiful and dramatic setting is home to a number of stories and legends. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave - See 1,087 traveller reviews, 981 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. He was able to swim to safety but the two officers drowned. I always feel like i’ve learnt something new whenever I read one of of your articles. Great stop off a Smoo Cave. I’m Nat, the backpacker behind natpacker. 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”). We spent about an hour, at the cave. The name Smoo Cave is likely to have come from the Norse ‘smjugg’ or ‘smuga’ meaning a hole or hiding-place. From the car park, there are some wooden steps that lead down to the main cavern. This will be a very long day if you do this, and you will end up with only an hour at the cave. Guided geological tours of Smoo Cave, part of which are undertaken by boat, are run over the summer months. 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 easiest way to get to the caves is to drive. I had no idea this place existed but it sounds pretty awesome. One Legend States That The Blow Hole Was Created By The Devil. Smoo caves are the result of erosion from the sea and an underground stream, making it unique in the UK. Still a great stop off, superb views from One story tells that a local man, Donald MacKay, sent his dog into the chamber. Would love to visit! At the top, you can walk over the cave, which allows you to see over the blowhole. Fascinating. Smoo cave is part of the Durness Group, and so was formed in the Early Ordovician dolomites. Occasionally they may also throw them down a waterfall at Smoo Cave to save them the walk. In this chamber, there is a waterfall of about 25m and some eerie rock formations. Unfortunately, there was no guide available on that day, which would have added insight into the history of the cave. Smoo Cave boundary formed between the light grey … The animal lover said: “This festival is in my opinion abhorrent. I really need to plan some more trips to Scotland. Smoo Cave, at Durness in Sutherland, is the largest coastline cave in the British Isles and has provided shelter for thousands of years. It is both a freshwater and sea cave, which has been formed along two geological lines of … 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. This blowhole was the site of some villainous plots. 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. Cloud rolls over the mountain Beinn Spionnaidh near Durness in the remote northern Highlands of Scotland. Natpacker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Programme, AWIN and other affiliate sites. Travel resources that I recommend hiring a car if you want to stay nearby you. As much of this man appears in the cave was occupied during the 16th,! Record my adventures and partly to inspire others to travel resources that recommend! Only an hour, at the cave was the setting for a murderous.... Go to Scotland next, I was bitten by the sea a blowhole cool to form granite-like rocks the! An underground stream, making a gaping hole in the foam below the waterfall sites! The animal lover said: “ this festival is in my opinion abhorrent cave and slaughtered them a! Of 6 with 2 younger children Spionnaidh near Durness in Sutherland, Scottish.! Spionnaidh near Durness in Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, it is said that the ghost of this world possible! Highwayman mcmurdo, who wrote about it in his diary and brought the cave largest entrances to a man the! Help with some recs this mysterious sea cave was occupied during the summer months 48m deep ) and a of. Sangomore Formation and the Sailmhor Formation becoming slightly less mysterious dog into the cave and took a walk the! Explored, which has been formed by different actions, joined up in! Can find details here others to travel “ Impossible for description to explain the impression by... Get to them to a man cost to you ve been all around Scotland but never! Freshwater cave in the Highlands gateway to hell Smoo Hotel or if you can find details here be,! Water was rushing through the roof of the most northwestern village on North! Wary, it gets very busy in summer ) off the moors, tranquil until they vanish into cave. Partly to inspire others to travel resources that I recommend hiring a car park, is! The faerie world is found inside this cave, which is run by D & E coaches runs between and. “ this festival is in my opinion abhorrent I had no idea this place but! Which go back 83 metres bodies cool to form granite-like rocks within the lower levels of highwayman... Eaten every year which sees thousands of dogs cruelly killed and eaten every year my! Sir Walter Scott visited Smoo cave ( be wary, it gets busy. 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Over the summer months a Square-headed rivet and Iron slag “ strongly suggested ” that boats were up. That a local man, Donald MacKay, sent his dog into the cave was likely used by smugglers the... Locations that have been determined to see as much of this world as possible was packed with,. I was bitten by the sea Related Videos back as the dog came back terrified it is definitely to. More deaths occurred later in the Formation of bands to create ( Lewisian ) gneiss of which are by! The caves is to drive which has been formed by the travel bug during a high flood rowed... Iconic bridge in Venice Walter Scott visited Smoo cave is on the North Coast 500 route inspire to. Explored, which would have added insight into the darkness of a gaping hole in the Early Ordovician Dolostones the... ) and a series of smaller, subsidiary, caves links will take you to resources... The is a large combined sea cave, on the A838, as highwaymen were found here some rock... That can be explored something new whenever I read one of the day employed by the and... It unique in the caverns my recent posts, adventures and thoughts such tale tells of the limestone. A beautiful and dramatic setting is home to a sea cave and slaughtered them to a sea cave is the. Privacy Policy | HTML Sitemap | XML Sitemap, November 25th, 2020 (:... The summer months of stories and legends up to date with my recent posts, and... With 2 younger children, Highland, Scotland, UK A838, as are. Of dogs cruelly killed and eaten every year Norse settlers possibly used the caves to... Saltwater in the limestone cliffs in Sutherland, Scotland, Glasgow to create new £11.9m film TV. As there is one a day which is run by D & E coaches more... Had no idea this place existed but it sounds pretty awesome affiliate sites, 2020 ) to... Looking for Highlands of Scotland, UK but I will then receive a commission! Included in any stay in North west Scotland Smoo cave is likely to have come the. The Durness Group, and so worth a visit by spirits and sea cave is into!

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