• Maeshowe, Orkney

Maeshowe reopens to visitors

Visitors to Orkney can now step back in time at the incredible Maeshowe chambered cairn for the first time since 2020.

The 5000-year-old site has reopened to the public after remaining closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means visitors will be able to see inside one of the finest Neolithic structures in north-west Europe once again.

Maeshowe is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, along with the Ring of Brodgar, the Standing Stones of Stenness and Skara Brae. A long, low, entrance passage leads to a large central chamber with a number of side cells. Inside you’ll find graffiti carved into the walls 1000-years-ago by Vikings who broke into the cairn through the roof. They left runic writing as well as the beautiful Maeshowe Dragon carving, which has become a proud Orcadian symbol over the years.

It's such a special site, and one that we’re delighted to see open again. Historic Environment Scotland will be running hour-long guided tours at 10am, 11.30am, 2pm and 3.30pm, which includes transport from the Visitor Centre in nearby Stenness village. Due to the limited capacity, visitors are strongly advised to book tickets online as soon as possible.

The Visitor Centre offers more information and interpretation of the site, it’s open from 9.30am to 5.30pm, with last entry at 5.15pm.

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