Smoo Cave – Durness, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Smoo Cave

Durness, Scotland

A sea cave with a waterfall and Viking past 

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Located on the rugged northern coast of Scotland, Smoo Cave is unique because it features a rushing waterfall and large skylight. The cave was formed by both sea and freshwater erosion, creating multiple caverns that then joined together, though some collapsed and formed a narrow canyon to the ocean. A quick trip down the stairway and over a bridge leads visitors to the mouth of the cave and another small bridge in the cave takes you to the waterfall. 

Neolithic, Norse, and Iron Age artifacts have been found in the cave and it is thought to have been used as far back as the Mesolithic age. The name, Smoo, is believed to have come from the Norse term “smjugg” or “smuga,” which means “hole” or “hiding place.” The site has been used up to recent times, as witnessed by the metal winch at the base of the stairs, which was used to haul boats above the high water mark where they could be repaired.Just beyond the hill is the scenic Sango Beach. On a nice day, the views from all around beg for shutter clicks. 

Know Before You Go

There's a small parking lot with a toilet available. There is a staircase/trail down that is well maintained. If you don't mind stairs, it is a short walk and easy and safe to access.

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March 9, 2017

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