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23rd December 2016 | Regional News

Scotland’s Fascinating Sea Caves

As well as having some of the most historic cities in the UK, Scotland is the home to thousands of miles of beautiful coastline, including 700 offshore islands with breath-taking features. Along the shores of Scotland sit many of the world’s most mysterious sea caves, which are filled with historic tales from the past.

From Smoo Cave in Lairg to St Ninian’s Cave in Dumfries & Galloway, many of Scotland’s sea caves have become popular tourist attractions. Here at Parkdean Holidays, we’ve rounded up some of the best sea caves to visit on your next trip to Scotland.

King’s Caves

The Isle of Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, and although it’s known for its beautiful beaches, it’s also the home to the mysterious King’s Caves, which are buried into the sandstone rock along the coast.


Video sourced from Kev Guest

One of the caves is said to have been the refuge where the King of Scots, Robert the Bruce, had his famous spider encounter. The story is that Bruce was on the verge of giving up trying to gain independence for Scotland, and whilst hiding in the cave he spotted a spider on the wall. The spider span a web, only for it to keep collapsing from the stone, but the spider didn’t give up. Again and again, the spider attempted to build its home, and eventually the web held. Bruce was inspired to never give up, and after trying and trying, he finally led the Scots to independence in 1314.

The Isle of Arran is located off the South West coast of Scotland and is the home to picturesque villages, castles, ancient monuments and an abundance of local wildlife. If you are staying at Wemyss Bay Holiday Park or Sundrum Castle Holiday Park, then you’re only half an hour away from Ardrossan Harbour, where you can catch the ferry to The Isle of Arran and see the King’s Caves for yourself.

Smoo Cave

On Scotland’s northern coastline at the edge of the village of Durness in Sutherland, lies the beautiful Smoo Cave. Buried into the limestone cliffs, the popular tourist attraction is approximately 200-foot-long, 130-foot-wide, and 50-foot-high at the main entrance.


Video sourced from BadgeredRabbit

Located 2km east of Durness, the cave receives over 40,000 visitors a year and is now such a popular tourist attraction that it has its own car park, toilet facilities, stairs, and walkways, to help people see every little bit of the cave’s features.

If you’re visiting in the summer months, you’ll be able to get a tour of the inner chamber of the cave, where you’ll see the Alt Smoo River pouring down, causing a loud yet amazing 80ft waterfall.

St Ninian’s Cave

If you’re taking a stroll along the beach of Isle of Whithorn, you’ll come across a small cave which may not look like much from the outside, but inside holds thousands of years’ worth of history.

St Ninian’s Cave is believed to have once been used as a retreat by St Ninian himself, who is known for being the man who brought Christianity to Scotland in 397. Today, the cave is used as a place of pilgrimage, for those coming to the area on the trail of St Ninian.

Only an hour and a half west of Southerness Holiday Park, St Ninian’s Cave is set in a picturesque and unspoilt part of Dumfries and Galloway. After exploring the cave, Whithorn town centre is only a few miles away and is well worth a visit.


Video sourced from agrolina

Fingal’s Cave

If you take a short boat trip from the Scottish mainland to the Island of Staffa, you’ll come across one of the most famous caves in the world, known as Fingal’s Cave.

The cave is renowned for its unique structure, as there is no other sea cave in the world which is formed completely in hexagonally jointed basalt.


Video sourced from guydecervens

Fingal’s Cave is well known for its history, after composer Felix Mendelssohn supposedly visited the cave in 1829. Along with his friend, Klingemann, they set out on the new paddle steamer service to sail around Mull, calling at Iona and Staffa on their journey. Allegedly, the sound of the Atlantic tumbling into Fingal’s Cave made a huge impression on Mendelssohn, and the inspiration for the popular Hebrides Overture came to him.

If you know any fascinating sea caves in Scotland, we’d love to hear about them on our Twitter page.

 

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