A Tour Of Scotland's Most Captivating Caves

St Kilda
St Kilda
Tori Chalmers

When thinking of Scotland, caves don’t instantly spring to mind. Rolling hills, historic architecture and wild landscapes yes, caves… not so much. Well, they should! As enchanting as they are full of adventure, they will dray any Culture Tripper with a discerning eye for the otherworldly like a magnet. Cure some of that wanderlust and explore Scotland’s most captivating caves.

1. Smoo Cave

Natural Feature

The flooded inside of the Smoo Cave near Durness, Scotland
© Pxl Store / Alamy Stock Photo
When it comes to caves, Smoo Cave certainly stands out from the crowd. A colossal cavernous palace fit for a giant king, this natural phenomenon is both a sea and freshwater cave. A playground for geologists, the cave came about from sea erosion, while the inner chambers were formed by an inland subterranean stream and rainwater that thawed the carbonate dolostone. The mammoth opening, mystical waterfall chamber, and wee freshwater passage are all worth exploring.

2. Massacre And Cathedral Caves


Massacre Cave / Cathedral Cave
© Christian Jones/Geograph / © Tom Richardson/Geograph
Riddled with dark history, the Massacre and Cathedral Caves sit on the South coast of Eigg. What began as a quarrel between the Macleods and the Macdonalds, resulted in a bloody execution of over 390 island inhabitants, who were burned alive in the Massacre Cave. When visiting, a torch is essential for this cave. Further down the beach sits the Cathedral Cave — this can only be accessed when the tide permits. When exploring these two intriguing labyrinths, take into consideration the narrow paths on the lead up.

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