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Smoo Cave opens to public after repair work

Smoo cave has reopened again to the public. Picture: submitted

Smoo cave has reopened again to the public. Picture: submitted

  • by ALISTAIR MUNRO
 

The largest coastline cave in the UK – and a popular tourist attraction – has re-opened to the public after safety works were carried out.

Smoo Cave is located at the eastern edge of the village of Durness, on Scotland’s most northerly coastline.

Set into limestone cliffs, the cave is over 200ft long, has an unusual geological formation and a rich archaeological history which attracts over 43,000 visitors a year.

The rock stability works was undertaken by Rope Access Scotland and overseen by geotechnical experts from consultants URS Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited.

It included light rock scaling, netting and bolting and was essential for maintenance of the site in a condition suitable for on-going public access.

North, West and Central Sutherland Councillor, George Farlow, vice-chair of the council’s planning, environment and development committee, said: “I am delighted that Smoo Cave is again open for public access.

“This site makes an important contribution to the local economy through tourism and prime time national television coverage will certainly encourage more people to visit this beautiful part of the Highlands.”

The first chamber of the unique cave, named from the Norse ‘smjugg’ or ‘smuga’ – meaning hiding-place or hole – was formed by the action of the sea, while the inner chambers are freshwater passaged which were formed from rainwater dissolving limestone.

There has also be digs which have found artefacts from Neolithic, Norse and Iron Age.

A visit to the site from the BBC One Show will be broadcast this evening.

SEE ALSO:

Ten places you won’t believe are in Scotland

 

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