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Maeshowe (or Maes Howe; Old Norse: Orkhaugr) is a Neolithic chambered cairn and passage grave situated on Mainland Orkney, Scotland. It was probably built around 2800 BC. In the archaeology of Scotland, it gives its name to the Maeshowe type of chambered cairn, which is limited to Orkney. Maeshowe is a significant example of Neolithic craftsmanship and is, in the words of the archaeologist Stuart Piggott, "a superlative monument that by its originality of execution is lifted out of its class into a unique position." Maeshowe is a scheduled monument and is part of the "Heart of Neolithic Orkney", a group of sites including Skara Brae, which were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
|Monday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
Simply the most amazing place to visit .....my head was so full of information and could not believe I was standing inside something thousands of years old .
They stopped allowing car traffic to this site because it became too busy and dangerous for the tourists. You now have to go to the visitor center first. But you get a full guided tour! Totally worth a visit. Book ahead so don't miss out. The history here is amazing and to see the Viking graffiti was cool.
Great place to visit on Orkney, highly recommended. Try to pick a time when the tours are not packed - the space inside the cairn is spacious but if a tour is full you will not really be able to move around and see various sides of it easily. Important to note that Maeshowe is only accessible with a guided tour, which departs from the Maeshowe Visitor Centre a little way down the road from the actual Maeshowe historic site. Park at the Visitor Centre, get a tour booked and the tour bus will bring you over to the actual site.
Definitely a must see. Needs a little more archaeology in the presentation, about the site and it's links to the rest of Orkney's sites
Incredible construction & experience. Definitely one for the bucket list! Guide was very informative & knowledgeable. The Viking graffiti was particularly fascinating. The only reason I've not rated it 5 stars is not the monument itself, but the gift shop. Very disappointed to see a LOT of literature, toys & gifts depicting horns on viking helmets & outdated attitudes to vikings.
Neolithic chambered cairn (tomb) with Viking graffiti. Note that tours leave from the visitor's centre down the road (parking, toilets, gift shop at visitor's centre with shuttle to Maeshowe itself). You can only enter Maeshowe on a guided tour. It is awe-inspiring to be inside a structure that was built 5000 years ago. There is an admission fee for the tour. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or from the visitor's centre. The tour guide was very knowledgeable, professional, and kept things interesting. Most of the tour takes place inside the tomb (one large room with high ceiling), which is accessed via a long low stone tunnel (keep this in mind if you are claustrophobic as you will have to double over or crouch down to pass through the tunnel). Definitely recommend this if you are in Orkney!
Maeshowe is a most interesting and riveting place to visit! Our guide Sarah was one of the best parts! She mentioned at the start that she was hard of hearing and to make eye contact with her before asking her questions in order for her to answer them. She was so detailed and animated in her telling us of Maeshowe that not too many people had questions...but Sarah would have had the answer! She was most knowledgeable of this amazing place and I felt very strange in the chamber! it is very ...magnetic??All i know is that I was spinning upon leaving and took a while to gain my bearings and I felt like I had been somewhere very special!
I'm giving the site and the builders the 3 stars because it is a wonderful creation. However. There's not much to look at inside. Its either been left empty or everything of interest and importance was cleared away. The most interesting bits are the Viking writing. There's no photography allowed which doesn't much matter because there's a horde of people inside with you. Historic Scotland allows around 20 people inside at any one time which means NO ONE is having a good time. For about 75% of your time inside you won't see anything the guide is pointing out because you'll be staring at the back of a head. HS, please make it more pleasant for visitors by limiting the group size rather than sacrificing visitor experience just to make a couple more quid per run.
Amazing neolithical monument. If you ever make it to Orkney and you are interested in the old, old past, make sure you visit Maeshowe. Especially if you are in Orkney around the winter solstice. The entrance of the monument is aligned with the sunset and it lights the main chamber.
Very interesting to see such a well-preserved piece of history. Our guide Ellie did a great and entertaining job explaining everything and answering questions
Part of the UNESCO Heart of Neolithic Orkney. Awesome place to visit, Can only do so by booking a tour with Historic Scotland in Stennes, definitely worth it. The viking graffiti is incredible.