Orkney Mainland | Stenness | Chambered cairn | ★★★★★


Maeshowe is the most awe-inspiring chambered tomb anywhere in Europe, 35 metres around, 7 metres high... and 5,000 years old of course. Awe-inspiring might seem a strange world to describe a dark burial mound, but the experience of a guided tour into the central chamber was enough to make us, and other visitors, gasp in amazement. "Neolithic Cathedral" has been used to describe the perfectly constructed interior and side chambers, in superb condition apart from the roof. This was broken by Viking crusaders in the mid-1100s, who left a stunning, and amusing, collection of runes / graffiti on the stonework. Meanwhile, the long entrance passage (claustrophobics beware) is aligned exactly with the winter solstice sunset, allowing the interior to be illuminated by sunlight once a year if the weather plays ball.

[Approach to Maeshowe]

Location & info

📌 Maeshowe Chambered Cairn ★★★★★
The cairn is off the A965 1 mi northeast of Stenness village centre, Orkney Mainland, G.R.: HY 318128 ///paradise.natural.steady
Open daily, by booked guided tour only | £9 adult / £5.40 child / free for Historic Environment Scotland members

💬 All tours start from the visitor centre on Ireland Road, Stenness village centre, G.R.: HY 306117 ///magically.handsets.became with shuttle bus access to the cairn.


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