smoo cave bodies

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. Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan condemned the sick festival, which sees thousands of dogs cruelly killed and eaten every year. There is Smoo Hotel or if you are camping, you can stay at Sango Sands. 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. The cave is a scheduled Scottish monument and consent had to given by Historic Scotland. We spent about an hour, at the cave. "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. Still a great stop off, superb views from One story tells that a local man, Donald MacKay, sent his dog into the chamber. The entrance is 50ft high and 130ft wide, making a gaping hole in the limestone cliffs. Thought seawater rarely enters the cave anymore, due to the area undergoing an isostatic uplift. The name Smoo is believed to have come from the Norse “smjugg” or “smuga”, which means “hiding place”. I’m Nat, the backpacker behind the travel blog. 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. 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. If you want to stay nearby, you can stay in Durness, or there are options closer. With lost of history and pretty sea views, Smoo Cave (click here for reviews) is well worth a visit. Smoo Cave: Smoo cave - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. Any dead bodies are disposed of in the local dunes where archaeologists accept bungs to write them up as Pictish or Viking burial sites. A mysterious sea cave is finally becoming slightly less mysterious. As Smoo Cave is out in the highlands, it is not the easiest place to get to. 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. 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. The residents of nearby Durness lured a clan of 18 marauders into the cave and slaughtered them to a man. The largest of its kind in Britain, Smoo Cave is one of Sutherland’s most impressive natural head scratchers. This is because it is actually two caves, that have been formed by different actions, joined up. I love all the different legends and stories. The bus that runs between Durness and Lairg stops near the car park. The below links will take you to travel resources that I recommend. So many places to visit with loads of history and legends! Other stories tell that the cave was the scene for a number of murders during the 16th century, as highwaymen were found here. Fascinating. I’m always hearing of new places once I get home too. Smoo Cave, at Durness in Sutherland, is the largest coastline cave in the British Isles and has provided shelter for thousands of years. Smoo caves are unusual, as there is freshwater and saltwater in the caverns. We spent about an hour, at the cave. The caves are beautiful, as are the sea views, and so worth a stop if you are exploring the Scottish Highlands. Reviews given are unbiased and honest, all views are still my own I will only recommend products and companies that I truly believe in. ©JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Smoo cave is part of the Durness Group, and so was formed in the Early Ordovician dolomites. It consists of a main cave (33m wide and 48m deep) and a series of smaller, subsidiary, caves. As such, I earn from qualifying purchases. 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 residents of nearby Durness lured a clan of marauders into the cave and slaughtered them to a man. The easiest way to get to the caves is to drive. The name Smoo Cave is likely to have come from the Norse ‘smjugg’ or ‘smuga’ meaning a hole or hiding-place. From the UK, I was bitten by the travel bug during a round the world trip in my early twenties. Visited Smoo cave, while driving the northern most section of the North Coast 500. The limestone cliffs give way to three caverns that can be explored. Smoo Cave, at Durness in Sutherland, is the largest coastline cave in the British Isles and has provided shelter for thousands of years. Many local legends surround the cave, including one of highway man McMurdo who patrolled this far flung corner of the north during the 1500s. From the car park, there are some wooden steps that lead down to the main cavern. Smoo caves are the result of erosion from the sea and an underground stream, making it unique in the UK. 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 upper layers of the midden, which was packed with shells, dated to the Iron Age, around 3,000 years ago. 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. All Rights Reserved. So glad you find my posts useful The first two chambers can be explored by foot. The is a car park at the top of Smoo Cave (be wary, it gets very busy in summer). Smoo Cave: Smoo Cave - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. The Devil then threw a dickie-fit and blasted his way through the roof of the cave, which is how the blowhole was created. 1:58. What a mysterious and fun sounding place! The cave was formed along the boundary between two types of rock, the Sangomore Formation and the Sailmhor Formation. 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. Below you can see some of the content I share on my main social platforms. Personally, I have not done this walk, but you can find details here. Old stories state that the gateway to the faerie world is found inside this cave, guarded by spirits. A Square-headed rivet and iron slag “strongly suggested” that boats were hauled up to the beach to repair. 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. This dramatic and spectacular sea cave is set into the limestone cliffs in Sutherland. Would love to visit! Durnessis the car park for Smoo Cave. Thanks for your kind words Pip! Walkways steep so would be difficult for … Therefore, I recommend hiring a car if you can. 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 rain had been heavy so the water was rushing through the cave as we entered. The tale goes that two government agents were seeking out illegal whisky stills. The journey takes 5 hours and goes via Ullapool. The cave was formed along the boundary between two types of rock, the Sangomore Formation and the Sailmhor Formation. Visited ghe cave as a party of 6 with 2 younger children. | Privacy Policy | HTML Sitemap | XML Sitemap, November 25th, 2020 (Published: August 27, 2020). I always feel like i’ve learnt something new whenever I read one of of your articles. In the early 1700s, the Smoo Cave was the setting for a murderous trap. Alternatively, these tours include Smoo Cave. Be aware - these are affiliate links. Please assume that any link that you click is an affiliate link. Hi! Great post. He took them into the cave during a high flood and rowed out. 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. x. MacKay was employed by the officials and was meant to helo them search. 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. Above the cave, on the cliffs, there is also a blowhole. But it is possible. There is also a circular walking path from here. In this chamber, there is a waterfall of about 25m and some eerie rock formations. I’ve been all around Scotland but have never heard of smoo cave! This will be a very long day if you do this, and you will end up with only an hour at the cave. The deeper the archaeologists went, the older the remains with butchered bones and small flakes of quartz discovered in the midden’s base. Smoo Cave in the far northern Highlands is arguably one of – if not the – most impressive natural wonders in Scotland. One Legend States That The Blow Hole Was Created By The Devil. Let me know when you go to Scotland next, I can happily help with some recs! 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). There are steps leading down to the cave that can be accessed all year. The inner cave, home to a thunderous waterfall, is by local repute the gateway to hell. The second chamber is much smaller than the main chamber, but still very impressive. I really need to plan some more trips to Scotland. Unfortunately, there was no guide available on that day, which would have added insight into the history of the cave. An affiliate link will use a cookie to track any sales on the website that you are directed to. Smoo Cave is situated at the head of a narrow inlet which runs inland 600m from the N coast of Durness. As the dog came back terrified it is certain that the devil can be found in the cave. This forms an impressive blowhole during storms. MacKay was supposedly a strong swimmer and so rowed the boat close to the waterfall in the cave, purposefully causing the boat to capsize. 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. Naturally, the cave was likely used by smugglers in the past. Three chambers of the caves can be explored, which go back 83 metres. Hope you make it to Smoo Cave one day . BBC Scotland. Other locations that have been collected here on Natpacker.com. 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. 2700 Ma - Molten bodies cool to form granite-like rocks within the lower levels of the Earth's crust. 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. Sir Walter Scott visited Smoo Cave in 1814, who wrote about it in his diary and brought the cave to public attention. Discover the history of the most iconic bridge in Venice. At the top, you can walk over the cave, which allows you to see over the blowhole. 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. 1:07. My passion for travel led me to start up this blog, partly to record my adventures and partly to inspire others to travel. The cave was formed within Early Ordovician Dolostones of the Durness Limestone Group. Norse settlements have been found in Caithness, including Dunnet Bay, around 46 miles away with only a burial site recorded nearby. Smoo Cave is a large combined sea cave and freshwater cave in Durness in Sutherland, Highland, Scotland. Yesterday. Some are tours, some are accommodation, some are transport. The stream plunges 25m, hitting rocks as it … To get to the cave from Inverness, catch the bus to Durness. A number of marine shells, including oysters and limpets and animal bones, including deer, suggest the diet of the day. Still a great stop off, superb views from Since then I have been determined to see as much of this world as possible. Aerial Photography | Scotland From The Sky. Smoo cave is part of the Durness Group, and so was formed in the Early Ordovician dolomites. Scotland is the best! More deaths occurred later in the century, when two Inland Revenue officers were drowned in the second chamber’s thunderous waterfall. 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. He was able to swim to safety but the two officers drowned. High pressure and temperature conditions at depth then recrystallise the rock which results in the formation of bands to create (Lewisian) gneiss. The peaty waters of the Allt Smoo flow off the moors, tranquil until they vanish into the darkness of a gaping sink hole. Your email address will not be published. © 2021 Natpacker. Don’t forget to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my recent posts, adventures and thoughts. One such tale tells of the highwayman McMurdo, who threw his victims down the blowhole. If you’re exploring the Scottish Highlands it is definitely not to be missed. More deaths occurred later in the century, when two Inland Revenue officers were drowned in the second chamber’s thunderous waterfall. 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. It is both a freshwater and sea cave, which has been formed along two geological lines of weakness. Please see the privacy policy for more details. Smoo Cave has to be included in any stay in north west Scotland. I hope you enjoy clicking around natpacker and are able to find all the travel tips and inspiration that you are looking for. Visited Smoo cave, while driving the northern most section of the North Coast 500. Of course, such a beautiful and dramatic setting is home to a number of stories and legends. Lairg Tourism; Lairg Hotels; Lairg Bed and Breakfast; Lairg Vacation Packages; Flights to Lairg; Lairg Restaurants; Things to Do in Lairg; Lairg Travel Forum 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). Wildlife, poisonous trees, ruins and Mayan culture in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. As the Devil tried to follow the dog to cause some mischief the sun rose, leaving the Devil powerless. If you plan on visiting Smoo Cave, you can find nearby hostels on HostelWorld. Though the cave will go much further back as the stream is here at all times. Smoo cave has one of the largest entrances to a sea cave in Britain. “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. Smoo Cave is found about 1 mile east of the village Durness (which is the most northwestern village on the British mainland). 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”). It costs you no extra and just helps to keep me blogging. Smoo Cave is unusual in having been formed by the action of both fresh water and the sea. Smoo Cave: Fun day out - See 1,119 traveler reviews, 1,056 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. I’m Nat, the backpacker behind natpacker. At the end of a narrow sea cove in Sutherland, Scotland, you will find Smoo Cave. We had a lovely walk down the steps and into the cave. “Impossible for description to explain the impression made by so strange a place.”. Looking Out Across Gaeodha Smoo From Smoo Cave. In the early 1700s, the Smoo Cave was the setting for a murderous trap. 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. 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. You can find timetables here. There are wooden platforms that lead you into the second cavern. Hope you make it to Smoo cave in the future , Your email address will not be published. Great stop off a Smoo Cave. I’ve never heard of this place but I will put it on my bucket list. I had no idea this place existed but it sounds pretty awesome. Smoo Cave is a geological wonder, and with a place like that you can bet there are myths tied to it. Natpacker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Programme, AWIN and other affiliate sites. 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 cave boasts one of the largest entrances to any sea cave … It is both a freshwater and sea cave, which has been formed along two geological lines of … “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.”. Occasionally they may also throw them down a waterfall at Smoo Cave to save them the walk. Getting to Smoo Cave via public transport is tricky, as buses are scarce in the highlands. Of Scotland, Glasgow to create new £11.9m film and TV studio at Kelvin. 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