Wideford Hill

Orkney Mainland | Kirkwall | Summit & chambered cairn | ★★★

[Dark clouds over Wideford Hill, seen from Highland Park distillery (photo from a few days later)]

Wideford Hill is one of the highest points on Orkney Mainland, providing great views of Shapinsay, Kirkwall and much of the surrounding countryside. Unusually, the top is directly accessible by a steep, narrow road, owing to the masts that scar the summit area. Touching the trig point hardly requires getting out of the car, but visiting the impressive chambered cairn on the hill's western flanks involves a little more effort.

[Wideford Hill chambered cairn]

Location & info

📌 Wideford Hill ★★★ (225 m, sub-2000')
At minor road end 3 mi west of Kirkwall, Orkney Mainland, G.R.: HY 412116 ///twisty.daunted.formal
Always open | Free

📌 Wideford Hill Chambered Cairn ★★★
About 500 m north of Wideford Hill summit, Orkney Mainland, G.R.: HY 419121 ///snapped.field.challenge
Always open | Free

💬 Access to the cairn is by roughly 15-min walk from a layby on the hairpin bend just south of Wideford Hill summit, on a steep path (downhill on the way there). Entering the cairn involves descending a vertical ladder, and reaching the side chambers requires a crawl. The chamber is nearly pitch black inside, but Historic Environment Scotland had provided a torch near the entrance on our visit.

[Kirkwall from Wideford Hill summit]


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