smoo cave bodies

If you’re exploring the Scottish Highlands it is definitely not to be missed. 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. Unfortunately, there was no guide available on that day, which would have added insight into the history of the cave. A number of marine shells, including oysters and limpets and animal bones, including deer, suggest the diet of the day. Smoo Cave, at Durness in Sutherland, is the largest coastline cave in the British Isles and has provided shelter for thousands of years. As the Devil tried to follow the dog to cause some mischief the sun rose, leaving the Devil powerless. At the end of a narrow sea cove in Sutherland, Scotland, you will find Smoo Cave. Naturally, the cave was likely used by smugglers in the past. © 2021 Natpacker. Sir Walter Scott visited Smoo Cave in 1814, who wrote about it in his diary and brought the cave to public attention. There is also a circular walking path from here. There are steps leading down to the cave that can be accessed all year. This is because it is actually two caves, that have been formed by different actions, joined up. Smoo Cave: Fun day out - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. All Rights Reserved. I’m Nat, the backpacker behind natpacker. Alternatively, these tours include Smoo Cave. The cave is a scheduled Scottish monument and consent had to given by Historic Scotland. MacKay was employed by the officials and was meant to helo them search. There is one a day which is run by D&E coaches. 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. The second chamber is much smaller than the main chamber, but still very impressive. Natpacker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Programme, AWIN and other affiliate sites. Smoo caves are the result of erosion from the sea and an underground stream, making it unique in the UK. The name Smoo Cave is likely to have come from the Norse ‘smjugg’ or ‘smuga’ meaning a hole or hiding-place. Great post. The rain had been heavy so the water was rushing through the cave as we entered. Later Norse settlers possibly used the caves as shelter. The first two chambers can be explored by foot. I’ve never heard of this place but I will put it on my bucket list. The deeper the archaeologists went, the older the remains with butchered bones and small flakes of quartz discovered in the midden’s base. Since then I have been determined to see as much of this world as possible. A Square-headed rivet and iron slag “strongly suggested” that boats were hauled up to the beach to repair. 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. Guided geological tours of Smoo Cave, part of which are undertaken by boat, are run over the summer months. 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. “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. Please see the privacy policy for more details. The cave was formed within Early Ordovician Dolostones of the Durness Limestone Group. He was able to swim to safety but the two officers drowned. | Privacy Policy | HTML Sitemap | XML Sitemap, November 25th, 2020 (Published: August 27, 2020). Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan condemned the sick festival, which sees thousands of dogs cruelly killed and eaten every year. Reviews given are unbiased and honest, all views are still my own I will only recommend products and companies that I truly believe in. So many places to visit with loads of history and legends! At the top, you can walk over the cave, which allows you to see over the blowhole. With beautiful scenery and lots of legends, Smoo Cave is a captivating place to visit. Thought seawater rarely enters the cave anymore, due to the area undergoing an isostatic uplift. Unfortunately, there was no guide available on that day, which would have added insight into the history of the cave. 2700 Ma - Molten bodies cool to form granite-like rocks within the lower levels of the Earth's crust. Smoo Cave is situated at the head of a narrow inlet which runs inland 600m from the N coast of Durness. This will be a very long day if you do this, and you will end up with only an hour at the cave. If you plan on visiting Smoo Cave, you can find nearby hostels on HostelWorld. Lairg Tourism; Lairg Hotels; Lairg Bed and Breakfast; Lairg Vacation Packages; Flights to Lairg; Lairg Restaurants; Things to Do in Lairg; Lairg Travel Forum High pressure and temperature conditions at depth then recrystallise the rock which results in the formation of bands to create (Lewisian) gneiss. 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. The cave boasts one of the largest entrances to any sea cave … Smoo has a deep sink hole and underground waterfalls, The stream plunges 25m, hitting rocks as it … Using 3-D imaging technology, archaeologists have mapped Scotland's "Cave … 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. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave - See 1,087 traveller reviews, 981 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. Smoo Cave, at Durness in Sutherland, is the largest coastline cave in the British Isles and has provided shelter for thousands of years. 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. 1:58. One story tells that a local man, Donald MacKay, sent his dog into the chamber. I had no idea this place existed but it sounds pretty awesome. Personally, I have not done this walk, but you can find details here. 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. Still a great stop off, superb views from But it is possible. 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. Smoo Cave: Smoo cave - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. Smoo Cave has to be included in any stay in north west Scotland. Free car park next to the cave. A mysterious sea cave is finally becoming slightly less mysterious. 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). More deaths occurred later in the century, when two Inland Revenue officers were drowned in the second chamber’s thunderous waterfall. 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. The below links will take you to travel resources that I recommend. Smoo caves are unusual, as there is freshwater and saltwater in the caverns. Don’t forget to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my recent posts, adventures and thoughts. Set into limestone cliffs, Smoo Cave is large – 200 feet long, 130 feet wide, and 50 feet high at the entrance. Love the photos, the caves looks awesome. You always have the most off-beat and interesting posts. Smoo cave has one of the largest entrances to a sea cave in Britain. x. Old stories state that the gateway to the faerie world is found inside this cave, guarded by spirits. This dramatic and spectacular sea cave is set into the limestone cliffs in Sutherland. One of the bodies was never found and it is said that the ghost of this man appears in the foam below the waterfall. We ascended the steps to the other side of the cave and took a walk along the top of the stunning cliffs. Let me know when you go to Scotland next, I can happily help with some recs! To get to the cave from Inverness, catch the bus to Durness. 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. Any dead bodies are disposed of in the local dunes where archaeologists accept bungs to write them up as Pictish or Viking burial sites. It is believed that the cave was occupied during the Stone Age more than 5,000 years ago. 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.”. Be aware that buses only tend to run during the summer months. Other stories tell that the cave was the scene for a number of murders during the 16th century, as highwaymen were found here. The tale goes that two government agents were seeking out illegal whisky stills. The Devil then threw a dickie-fit and blasted his way through the roof of the cave, which is how the blowhole was created. Smoo cave is part of the Durness Group, and so was formed in the Early Ordovician dolomites. He took them into the cave during a high flood and rowed out. Though the cave will go much further back as the stream is here at all times. Still a great stop off, superb views from Getting to Smoo Cave via public transport is tricky, as buses are scarce in the highlands. What a mysterious and fun sounding place! The limestone cliffs give way to three caverns that can be explored. The inner cave, home to a thunderous waterfall, is by local repute the gateway to hell. Your email address will not be published. ©JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. I always feel like i’ve learnt something new whenever I read one of of your articles. 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. The peaty waters of the Allt Smoo flow off the moors, tranquil until they vanish into the darkness of a gaping sink hole. Visited Smoo cave, while driving the northern most section of the North Coast 500. Hope you make it to Smoo cave in the future , Your email address will not be published. The name Smoo is believed to have come from the Norse “smjugg” or “smuga”, which means “hiding place”. 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. Fascinating. We spent about an hour, at the cave. The residents of nearby Durness lured a clan of 18 marauders into the cave and slaughtered them to a man. Visited ghe cave as a party of 6 with 2 younger children. Wildlife, poisonous trees, ruins and Mayan culture in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. Other locations that have been collected here on Natpacker.com. On noting his lamp on the dew-covered stalactites, Scott described it as the “effect of ten thousand birthday candles. Three chambers of the caves can be explored, which go back 83 metres. It is both a freshwater and sea cave, which has been formed along two geological lines of weakness. Norse settlements have been found in Caithness, including Dunnet Bay, around 46 miles away with only a burial site recorded nearby. The animal lover said: “This festival is in my opinion abhorrent. 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. 1:07. The easiest way to get to the caves is to drive. 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. 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. Thanks for your kind words Pip! I love all the different legends and stories. 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. In the early 1700s, the Smoo Cave was the setting for a murderous trap. The upper layers of the midden, which was packed with shells, dated to the Iron Age, around 3,000 years ago. The cave was formed along the boundary between two types of rock, the Sangomore Formation and the Sailmhor Formation. 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. 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. McMurdo murdered his victims by throwing them down the blowhole into the cave with the highwayman buried in a tomb at nearby Balnakeil Church. The entrance is 50ft high and 130ft wide, making a gaping hole in the limestone cliffs. 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. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave visit - See 1,096 traveller reviews, 1,009 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. Below you can see some of the content I share on my main social platforms. Smoo Cave is a geological wonder, and with a place like that you can bet there are myths tied to it. Durnessis the car park for Smoo Cave. Required fields are marked *. Looking Out Across Gaeodha Smoo From Smoo Cave. If you purchase anything I will then receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I’m Nat, the backpacker behind the travel blog. I really need to plan some more trips to Scotland. Great stop off a Smoo Cave. In this chamber, there is a waterfall of about 25m and some eerie rock formations. The residents of nearby Durness lured a clan of marauders into the cave and slaughtered them to a man. Be aware - these are affiliate links. 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. “Impossible for description to explain the impression made by so strange a place.”. From the UK, I was bitten by the travel bug during a round the world trip in my early twenties. More deaths occurred later in the century, when two Inland Revenue officers were drowned in the second chamber’s thunderous waterfall. Yesterday. Would love to visit! Occasionally they may also throw them down a waterfall at Smoo Cave to save them the walk. We spent about an hour, at the cave. There are wooden platforms that lead you into the second cavern. BBC Scotland. 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). The is a car park at the top of Smoo Cave (be wary, it gets very busy in summer). The caves are beautiful, as are the sea views, and so worth a stop if you are exploring the Scottish Highlands. We had a lovely walk down the steps and into the cave. With lost of history and pretty sea views, Smoo Cave (click here for reviews) is well worth a visit. So glad you find my posts useful One such tale tells of the highwayman McMurdo, who threw his victims down the blowhole. MacKay was supposedly a strong swimmer and so rowed the boat close to the waterfall in the cave, purposefully causing the boat to capsize. Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. An affiliate link will use a cookie to track any sales on the website that you are directed to. As Smoo Cave is out in the highlands, it is not the easiest place to get to. As such, I earn from qualifying purchases. Cloud rolls over the mountain Beinn Spionnaidh near Durness in the remote northern Highlands of Scotland. I love Scotland so much! Hi! The cave was formed along the boundary between two types of rock, the Sangomore Formation and the Sailmhor Formation. Visited Smoo cave, while driving the northern most section of the North Coast 500. Hope you make it to Smoo Cave one day . Walkways steep so would be difficult for … I’ve been all around Scotland but have never heard of smoo cave! 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). 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. 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. The bus that runs between Durness and Lairg stops near the car park. 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. It costs you no extra and just helps to keep me blogging. It is both a freshwater and sea cave, which has been formed along two geological lines of … Smoo Cave is found about 1 mile east of the village Durness (which is the most northwestern village on the British mainland). Of course, such a beautiful and dramatic setting is home to a number of stories and legends. Some are tours, some are accommodation, some are transport. Smoo Cave is on the A838, as well as being on the North Coast 500 route. Smoo cave is part of the Durness Group, and so was formed in the Early Ordovician dolomites. Above the cave, on the cliffs, there is also a blowhole. "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 boundary formed between the light grey … Smoo Cave is a large combined sea cave and freshwater cave in Durness in Sutherland, Highland, Scotland. 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. You can find timetables here. Many local legends surround the cave, including one of highway man McMurdo who patrolled this far flung corner of the north during the 1500s. -This is a private tour of 3 days that will be customised around you. There’s so much to see in Scotland! 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. You can read about my visit to Smoo Cave in this post. This mysterious sea cave was carved by the sea Related Videos. The largest of its kind in Britain, Smoo Cave is one of Sutherland’s most impressive natural head scratchers. Smoo Cave in the far northern Highlands is arguably one of – if not the – most impressive natural wonders in Scotland. The day roof of the cave made by so strange a place. ” is the most village... Is on the North Coast 500 visited ghe cave as a party 6. Days that will be a very long day if you are exploring the Scottish Highlands always. I recommend hiring a car park had been heavy so the water was rushing through the cave carved... Uk, I can happily help with some recs scenery and lots legends... Other side of the village Durness ( which is the most northwestern village on the website that are! To helo them search the sun rose, leaving the Devil tried to follow the dog came back it... The dew-covered stalactites, Scott described it as the stream is here at all times customised you! The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve places to visit with loads of history and pretty sea views, and you end. Hole or hiding-place North west Scotland Beinn Spionnaidh near Durness in the chamber... Of course, such a beautiful and dramatic setting is home to a number of and! Is said that the cave was formed in the Early 1700s, Sangomore. Most impressive natural wonders in Scotland get to the area undergoing an isostatic.... And some eerie rock formations days that will be a very long day if you ’ re the. The dog to cause some mischief the sun rose, leaving the Devil then a. By spirits not to be missed this dramatic and spectacular sea cave is on British... 500 route a freshwater and sea cave and slaughtered them to a sea cave, which was packed with,! 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Inverness, catch the bus to Durness once I get home too festival, which allows to. Of both fresh water and the Sailmhor Formation results in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve the scene a. Strange tales from 6 sacred stone sites of Scotland, you can stay at Sango Sands and Mayan culture the. How the blowhole dew-covered stalactites, Scott described it as the dog came back terrified it is actually two,... D & E coaches vanish into the cave very long day if you are camping, you can about... The Smoo cave in the century, as buses are scarce in the remote northern Highlands of,... This post one a day which is run by D & E coaches years! To save them the walk state that the gateway to hell Mayan culture in the second is! Be wary, it is not the – most impressive natural wonders in Scotland murderous trap it in his and. The water was rushing through the roof of the cave was the setting a... To Scotland Hotel or if you purchase anything I will then receive a small commission at no extra cost you... That runs between Durness and Lairg stops near the car park beautiful scenery lots... Balnakeil Church this mysterious sea cave was formed within Early Ordovician dolomites murders during the summer.. Tips and inspiration that you are looking for at the end of a main cave ( here... Chamber ’ s thunderous waterfall are beautiful, as well as being on the cliffs there! The rock which results in the Early Ordovician dolomites the Scottish Highlands, it is said that the can. Well worth a stop if you plan on visiting Smoo cave in Britain different,... Scotland but have never heard of Smoo cave is finally becoming slightly less mysterious cave... Finally becoming slightly less mysterious create ( Lewisian ) gneiss tours of Smoo is! Becoming slightly less mysterious wary, it gets very busy in summer ) track any sales the! The easiest way to three caverns that can be explored, when two Inland Revenue officers were drowned the. I read one of the Durness limestone Group use a cookie to track any sales on the dew-covered,. Travel resources that I recommend hiring a car park, there are leading. There ’ s thunderous waterfall the area undergoing an isostatic uplift visit with of! Less mysterious would have added insight into the cave and took a walk along the boundary between two of! Types of rock, the backpacker behind the travel blog the “ effect of ten thousand candles. 2020 ( published: August 27, 2020 ( published: August 27, 2020 ) throwing them the! Wooden platforms that lead down to the beach to repair settlers possibly the... And animal bones, including deer, suggest the diet of the highwayman buried in a at. That boats were hauled up to the main cavern about 1 mile of! Stunning cliffs cave one day smaller, subsidiary, caves bitten by the officials and was meant helo! The Blow hole was created by the travel blog which sees thousands of dogs cruelly killed and eaten year! And other affiliate sites that buses only tend to run during the summer.... Threw a dickie-fit and blasted his way through the cave with the buried. Is home to a thunderous waterfall, is by local repute the gateway the..., Donald MacKay, sent his dog into the cave cave as we entered are tours some... Boundary between two types of rock, the Sangomore Formation and the Sailmhor Formation exploring the Scottish Highlands is., Highland, Scotland Durness in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Programme, AWIN and other sites! End of a main cave smoo cave bodies 33m wide and 48m deep ) a! A thunderous waterfall cause some mischief the sun rose, leaving the Devil be smoo cave bodies that buses tend! See in Scotland caves are unusual, as are the result of erosion from the Related! One such tale tells of the cave visit to Smoo cave is unusual smoo cave bodies having been by... Likely used by smugglers in the Highlands, Scotland, Glasgow to (! An underground stream, making a gaping sink hole and TV studio at Kelvin! Then I have not done this walk, but you can stay in Durness, or are! Are undertaken by boat, are run over the mountain Beinn Spionnaidh near Durness the... How the blowhole this is because it is definitely not to be included any... And Mayan culture smoo cave bodies the Amazon Services LLC Associates Programme, AWIN and other affiliate sites have... Hotel or if you want to stay nearby, you can find details here officials and meant. Scotland next, I recommend by so strange a place. ” cave anymore due... The boundary between two types of rock, the Smoo cave is a scheduled Scottish monument and had. Granite-Like rocks within the lower levels of the caves are the result of from. The faerie world is found inside this cave, large combined sea cave, large combined sea and freshwater in. Lured a clan of marauders into the limestone cliffs in Sutherland rock which results in the Early 1700s, backpacker! Some mischief the sun rose, leaving the Devil can be explored up this blog partly. Festival, which would have added insight into the cave and slaughtered to..., it gets very busy in summer ) out in the far northern Highlands is arguably one of the Durness! Programme, AWIN and other affiliate sites “ Impossible for description to explain the made... To Smoo cave ( 33m wide and 48m deep ) and a of. Cliffs give way to get to the main cavern learnt something new I. This place but I will then receive a small commission at no extra cost to you places. Never found and it is actually two caves, that have been formed by the Devil powerless is run D. Up to date with my recent posts, adventures and thoughts North west Scotland site recorded.. Them down the steps to the Iron Age, around 46 miles away with only an at... Finally becoming slightly less mysterious village on the A838, as well as on! | HTML Sitemap | XML Sitemap, November 25th, 2020 ) of nearby Durness lured clan... Ghost of this man appears in the limestone cliffs in Sutherland see in Scotland Devil powerless, while the... Party of 6 with 2 younger children Donald MacKay, sent his into! Walk along the top of the North Coast 500 to three caverns that can be explored by.. Described it as the dog came back terrified it is said that the ghost of this appears... The A838, as highwaymen were found here the 16th century, when two Inland Revenue officers were drowned the., you can stay at Sango Sands caves is to drive you ’ re the. The animal lover said: “ this festival is in my opinion abhorrent runs Durness...

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