Smoo Cave Tours
Smoo Cave is an active cave being fed by the Allt Smoo stream. Come, visit and experience the natural beauty that has taken millions of years to form underground.
Open 7 days per week:
June, July, August, 10am – 5pm
April, May, Sept, October, 11am – 4pm
Welcome to Smoo Cave
Smoo Cave is fully accessible 365 days a year public access
A walkway into the waterfall chamber is free of charge. Should you wish to venture further inside and learn about the natural and human history of the cave, then you can join us for a tour.
Prices are £10 for adults, £5 for kids, but no under threes or dogs, please.
If you find yourself travelling through Durness, the most north-westerly village on the Scottish mainland, stop at Smoo Cave car park (right beside the North Coast 500). It will take 10 minutes to walk to the waterfall/lake chamber; if not, you miss out on some serious Scottish geology.
Tours into the cave will be available from the first of April, seven days a week, until the end of October. However, even a relatively small amount of rain can cause the cave to flood quickly, so there will be no tours these days.
Smoo Cave is an active cave being fed by the Allt Smoo stream and tours are therefore at the mercy of the area’s weather conditions that affect water levels in the burn. Too much water in the cave results in water levels being too high for the boat to pass under obstacles and a heavy waterfall results in unsafe conditions within the waterfall / lake chamber which the tour must cross.
Rain: The catchment area for the Allt Smoo and it’s tributaries covers a large area which is marked on the left map below by dashed lines (Smoo Cave marked by arrow). Much of this area is mountainous and underlain by impermeable rocks which easily sheds rainfall. As a result, the vast majority of rainfall within this area will eventually flow into Smoo Cave.
Wind: The Allt Smoo is fed by Loch Meadaidh which is located 2km south west of Smoo Cave. A strong south westerly wind can generate large waves along its 1.3km length which can transport significant volumes of extra water over its dam and into the Allt Smoo. During these conditions the cave can flood (even on what may seem a dry, sunny day).
Live weather for Smoo Cave
News & blog
We occasionally publish updates and interesting information here. The very latest news stories and blog posts are displayed below.
- The large volume of water entering the cave following the melting of the 'lambing snow' has meant that I have not been able to conduct tours for the past few days. I have made use of this spare time by searching for caves elsewhere across the Durness area. This was met with success near the southern end of the Kyle of Durness, where two new caves were discovered. Although short at the moment, future removal of inner blockages should allow entry into visible extensions. Further extension of a site closer to Smoo Cave was also made, which is particularly interesting as it trends towards Smoo Cave.
- Here are some images from an empty Smoo Cave. With the NC500 shut down, the village feels more like it's December than Easter. Plenty of time to clean the bridge and walkways. There is also the daily task of picking up rubbish that has blown down and washed in from the sea (never-ending plastic). No bags of dog poo, though.
- Happy New Year from the Smoo Crew. With no tours last year we are looking forward to starting the tours again this year. Have a great 2021 and I'll hopefully see you in the cave. Fraser Eadie.
- All we need now are a few more rainbows to accompany the new rock art...
- As things stand at the moment Smoo Cave Tours will not be running the inner cave tour this summer. It's with deep regret that after running the tours every summer for over 30 years now that we will be unable to safely operate this summer. Our number 1 commitment has always been YOUR safety. It is impossible to run our intimate tour safely at the moment so although financially crippling, this has to be the decision. Thanks to everyone for their generous donations on our Just Giving page. We are almost half way to our target and hopefully we'll make our target by the end of the summer. I will be in the cave daily from 10am till late to answer any questions you have about the cave. The cave is open, you'll be able to walk through and see the waterfall cascading into the second chamber, see the deadly Scottish piranhas feeding and I'll be doing walking tours in…
- Storms combining with high spring tides saw waves entering the cave, part of the walkway at the entrance to the cave being washed away and some epic floods due to the volume of water and snow melt coming over the waterfall.