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Discover the mysteries of Maeshowe

19 May 2008

New for 2008, Historic Scotland is introducing special twilight tours at one of the finest Neolithic sites in Europe. From 1 June to 31 August tours will be available every day at 18.00, 19.00 and 20.00 taking in the beauty, tranquillity and mystery at Maeshowe Chambered Cairn.

A prominent feature on the landscape the Neolithic tomb of Maeshowe is older than the pyramids, and the great cairn, with its elaborate stone passageway and chambers, is the finest in north-west Europe. At the evening tours, visitors can experience the magical changes of light and the stillness of nightfall in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.

Alan Jones, Monument Manager at Maeshowe, said:

“Our daytime tours at Maeshowe are very popular, and we were keen to offer visitors something a little bit different this year. On these tours visitors can admire the remarkable skills taken to create such a sophisticated monument with simple tools and see the incredible collection of runic inscriptions and engravings, all by twilight. It promises to be a very atmospheric experience.”

All tours must be pre-paid and booked in advance by calling 01856 761 606 or in person at Tormiston Mill, Maeshowe’s visitor centre. Tours are adults £5.20, children £2.60 and concessions £4.20.

Visitors are advised that they should arrive 15 minutes before their tour. Each tour lasts around 20 minutes.

Notes for Editors

Maeshowe Chambered Cairn is 9 miles west of Kirkwall on the A965. The postcode is KW15 1BL. Tel: 01856 761 606.

Entry to Maeshowe is by pre-booked, guided tour only:
  • Summer: 1 April to 30 September, every hour from 10.00 to 16.00
  • Winter: 1 October to 31 March, every hour from 10.00 to 15.00
  • Twilight Tours: June to August, 18.00, 19.00 and 20.00 – these must be pre-paid and booked in advance.

Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys and Skara Brae. A full list can be found online at

Historic Scotland’s mission is to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information

Laura Adamson
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959 or 07769 630 763