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Over 30 of our staffed sites have now reopened and we are delighted to welcome you back. Booking in advance is recommended to guarantee entry. Find out more and book now

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Access

Special arrangements are currently in place at Maeshowe Visitor Centre, to comply with Scottish Government guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Safety measures

  • Our staff have been trained in hygiene and social distancing and have been provided with the necessary PPE
  • Signage is on site to guide visitors, including one way systems and marked areas that are currently closed to visitors
  • We have introduced enhanced cleaning measures to make visitors feel comfortable while visiting
  • In line with Scottish Government legislation and guidance, face coverings are mandatory if you are visiting any indoor/enclosed spaces at our sites including retail and catering areas (subject to some exceptions)

Parking

Parking is available at Maeshowe Visitor Centre at Stenness, which has accessible bays and is level tarmac.

No parking available at Visitor Centre for coaches larger than 14 seats.

Approach to site

A shuttle bus transports visitors on a five minute journey to Maeshowe. The bus can accommodate a wheelchair (though there is no wheelchair access to Maeshowe itself), but please contact the site about this service as bus facilities may vary.

The cairn is reached across a busy main road from the coach stop. The route to Maeshowe goes through two metal latch gates and 400m along a path surfaced with gravel, stone and uneven grass, to another metal gate. It is on a slight downward slope. 

The route carries on down a slight incline. The final approach to the entrance gate is up a grassy slope (1:5 gradient) over a set of stone ridges.

Monument

Maeshowe has a small threshold and its entrance is low (119cm) and narrow (70cm). The entrance passage is 10m long, with a flagstone floor. The passage is unsuitable for wheelchairs. 

The main chamber has a gravel surface, and a metal barrier protects the walls. Electric lighting and torches are provided.

A Historic Scotland steward guides all tours. 

Surroundings

Maeshowe is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site and is surrounded by unspoilt farmland. Cattle, sheep and wildlife can all be seen in this rural setting.

Also visible from the site are the:

Dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted at all our sites and within roofed areas.  

Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and not left unattended at any time. Owners must pick up after their dogs.

Visitors' dogs are not permitted at Maeshowe.

Access Guide

For information on accessibility at more than 80 of our sites download our Access Guide

Historic Scotland

Opening times

We're delighted to welcome you back to the Maeshowe Visitor Centre. The cairn remains closed for now. 

As part of your visit, you will receive a talk bringing Neolithic Orkney and the World Heritage Site back to life.

1 Apr to 31 Mar: 
Daily, 10am to 4pm

Admission to the Centre is free of charge, but you must book your visit in advance.

Facilities

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