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Over 20 of our staffed sites have now reopened and we are delighted to welcome you back. Booking in advance is essential. Find out more and book now

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Overview

Stand in awe of one of Europe’s finest chambered tombs, built some 5,000 years ago. Incredibly, the entrance passage to Maeshowe is aligned with the setting of the midwinter sun, so that the light illuminates the tomb’s interior.

Norse crusaders broke into Maeshowe in the mid-1100s, long after it had fallen from use. They too left their mark on the site: this time as graffiti carved in runes all over the main chamber’s walls.

Maeshowe is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

What to see and do

  • Feel far away from the outside world as you stand in the stillness, silence and darkness of the tomb
  • Admire the sheer monumentality of the chambered tomb – this is prehistoric architecture at its most impressive
  • Hear the story of the runic graffiti and how it gives us a rare and lively insight into Norse society
  • Take our fun fact-finding quiz while exploring the cairn. Available on site
Historic Scotland

Opening times

We're delighted to be able to welcome you back to the Visitor Centre (includes a talk) free of charge from Mon 21 June, and you can pre-book your tickets now. The cairn remains closed for now. 

1 Apr to 31 Mar: 
Daily, 10am to 4pm

Facilities

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Plan your visit

More than 20 of our sites are now open. Please book your tickets in advance.

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