Hike-in Required
Yes
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The bizarrely named Smoo Cave in Cape Wrath has seen human habitation for over 5,000 years. From the Norse word, "smjugg," meaning hole or hiding place, the deep and well-hidden Smoo Cave is almost invisible from nearly all approaches. You don’t really notice it until you descend into it. On the surface, the only noticeable feature is the sudden hole in the middle of a field disappearing into the dark. Legends abound of murderous bandits throwing their victims down into the pool below.

The earliest archaeological evidence suggest Stone Age inhabitants, with packed shells from the Iron Age found as well. Multiple Norse artifacts have been recovered at the site that researchers believe suggest Smoo Cave was used for repairing longboats and launching raids down the coast.

Today, there are several wooden platforms that make access to the cave easy and interesting.

The cave is massive. As you come down the stairs and onto the beach, you will cross a bridge giving you the first look into the wide-open mouth. The cave is nearly 20 meters wide and 15 meters high, the largest sea cave entrance in Great Britain. The main chamber is expansive and impressive with the namesake hole high in the cieling. At the back there is a wooden platform that gives you a viewpoint into the spectacular second chamber. A waterfall pours through the top of this beautiful limestone chamber. The wooden platform gives you a descent view. Mood lighting adds a slightly artificial atmosphere, but it doesn’t detract from the beauty.

If you fancy exploring further, there is a tour that you can join for £6 that takes you across the Lake Chamber to a passageway exploring the back tunnel of the cave. It is well worth it. Tours are run by Smoo Cave Tours March through to October.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Stunning. Historically fascinating.

Cons

Very wet in the cave. Busy. Very managed.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Family friendly
Guided tours
Picnic tables
Flushing toilets
Cave
Native artifacts
Historically significant
Big vistas
Waterfalls
Geologically significant
Whale watching
Bird watching

Location

Field Guide

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